Josh Burnett and his father Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett handing out how-to-vote information for Labor member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher at the Toolooa Street early voting booth. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Josh Burnett and his father Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett handing out how-to-vote information for Labor member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher at the Toolooa Street early voting booth. Picture: Rodney Stevens

Gladstone Mayor approached to run for seat of Flynn

NEWLY appointed Australian Local Government Association vice-president and Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett has ruled out running for Labor for the federal seat of Flynn at the next election.

Recent media speculation has been that Prime Minister Scott Morrison will call an early election late in 2021, if the polls still have him in a convincing position to retain power.

An openly Labor member, Cr Burnett said despite being contacted by opposition leader Anthony Albanese and many others to take a shot at the seat of Flynn, he is completely focused on his current roles of Gladstone Mayor and ALGA vice-president.

“I am absolutely 100 per cent committed to my position,” Cr Burnett said.

“I am not interested in a federal seat at this time, I am absolutely committed to being mayor.

“I wouldn’t have taken on this role if I was considering the seat of Flynn.

“I know that people want me to run for Flynn, and I’m getting the phone calls and the messages about people wanting me to run for Flynn.”

After 20 years in local government, Cr Burnett said it was still his passion.

Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett and Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd. Picture: Contributed
Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett and Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd. Picture: Contributed

“I really love being the mayor of the Gladstone region and I really love local government,” Cr Burnett said.

“Local government is where I have been for 20 years.

“I’m on the Local Government Association of Queensland and I’m on the Australian Local Government Association.

“People in Canberra don’t understand, I have a passion for local government and they are not listening.”

Cr Burnett has been elected to the position of vice-president of the ALGA for the next two years.

His position will regularly involve him meeting with federal and state ministers, the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister.

The LNP’s Ken O’Dowd, who has been the Member for Flynn for more than 10 years, has announced he will retire at the next election and not recontest the seat.

With a solid background in local government and a passion for serving and improving his community, Cr Burnett said there was one position that could change his mind.

“If they wanted me to run for Flynn, they would have to offer me the Local Government Ministerial role,” he said.

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