OUR SAY: Burnett takes mayoral robes in landslide

MAYOR-ELECT Matt Burnett's resounding landslide victory in Saturday's local government elections underlines that the voters of Gladstone are ready for a young and enthusiastic leader to ring in some changes to progress the city and wider region.

The time was right for this popular and charismatic young politician to make his move, and the people have given him a clear mandate to shake things up.

They do so safe in the knowledge that he is no greenhorn; Cr Burnett has served on council for 16 years, five as a loyal deputy to outgoing mayor Gail Sellers.

As the realisation sunk in on Saturday night that her distinguished local government career was over, Mrs Sellers could not hide her hurt and disappointment.

She spoke of an agreement between herself and Cr Burnett that they would not run against each other being broken, but the political reality is that ambition cannot be held at bay forever and sometimes brutal tactics are required.

So while the transition was not to be a smooth handover, the majority of voters had seen enough of Cr Burnett's style and substance to be more than comfortable with his challenge.

Mrs Sellers can take heart and pride in her many achievements over almost three decades of public service, and the Gladstone Regional Council should honour this at the appropriate time.

It would appear Queenslanders have strongly supported four-year terms for the State Government, which should provide a better cycle for decisive and effective government.



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