The end of a long chapter for outgoing councillors
AMID the excitement of welcoming new faces into the council chamber, one councillor has warned being on local government can resemble being trapped in a lift with an unpleasant smell.
More than 50 years of knowledge and experience has now left Gladstone Regional Council as Maxine Brushe, Col Chapman and Graham McDonald exit stage left, headed for retirement.
This week each gave an emotional speech at the end of their last council meeting, as years of memories came flooding back days before their last election as a sitting councillor.
For Cr Brushe the years of service have been a rewarding experience, one she considers an honour.
Cr Chapman's sentiments were similar when saying his farewell, and his colleagues took the opportunity to point out the value of his scrutiny on officer's reports.
But for Cr McDonald the last few years have been less enjoyable than the first.
"It's felt like being trapped in a lift and someone passes wind. All you want to do is get out of the lift," Mr McDonald said.
"You think, I should have taken the stairs and enjoyed the fresh air and exercise instead.
"That's what these last few years have felt like for me."
Cr McDonald told The Observer the council had become "a popularity contest" and that had been shown in the past few days in the lead-up to polling day.
While Cr McDonald may have often been quiet in the chamber, he said his views were made clear behind closed doors.
"People should keep their politics out of the boardroom," Cr McDonald said.
"A councillor needs honesty, integrity and to show respect for others. Decisions should always be made with common sense based on what is fair and reasonable.
"I don't have any regrets.
"It's been a good journey along which I have set my own goals and achieved them."