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Burnett announces he will be running for Mayor in March

Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett.
Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett. Brenda Strong

HE'S meant to be her right hand man, but Deputy Mayor Matt Burnett won't be much support to Mayor Gail Sellers at the next election, because he wants her job.

Cr Burnett has announced he will be running for mayor in March.

The news came as a shock to Cr Sellers who never thought the pair would go head to head at an election.

And while Cr Sellers was careful not to criticise her fellow councillor - and now political opponent - she admitted she was "surprised" and "disappointed" when her deputy of five years privately revealed his intentions to her in late December.

But he's not the only deputy willing to trample his own boss to climb the ladder; Ross Bartley is running for mayor of Southern Downs Regional Council and the Whitsunday Regional Council deputy Andrew Willcox is also making a bid for the top job.

>> I will run for Mayor: Matt Burnett (press release)

When asked if she felt betrayed; Cr Sellers had "no comment".

She said a mayoral candidate should "…be running for the right reasons: for the region. You don't run for other reasons."

But when we asked about the "other reasons", she again had "no comment".

Cr Burnett, who earlier in the year considered making a bid for the federal seat of Flynn, says he is running for the right reasons and has always wanted to be mayor.

He says now is the right time to try.

Cr Burnett says he can deliver the "change of leadership many residents are now seeking" with promises of more consultation, better waste management and a fight for zero percent rate rises. He claims he can do a better job of lobbying for funding.

"I think people are ready for a change; and if I have judged the community wrong then so be it, I will go do something else."

Cr Burnett topped the polls in the last election as a councillor, however his bid for mayor could bring an end to his 15-year career in local government.

Either way, Gladstone won't be looking at a Sellers-Burnett combination after March; that will add to the loss of more than 58 years of knowledge in Maxine Brushe, who has been in local government for more than 20 years, and Col Chapman, more than 38 years.

Topics:  election gladstone gladstonecouncil2016 matt burnett mayor politics



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