All names are in for vacant council seat

NOMINATIONS have now closed for the vacant seat on Gladstone Regional Council but councillors will have to wait until February 10 for the official selection process to start.

This newspaper revealed the names of seven of the nominees in the weeks leading up to January 31.

The most recent two nominees to come forward both say the council is in dire need of rural representation.

They say they only nominated because they were asked to by residents in the outlying regions of Gladstone.

Pilot Bruce Rhoades is from Agnes Water and said he could not sit idle while his community felt isolated and ignored.

"I would have to employ another chief pilot for my business, but I would hate to think the position would go to another town-based councillor because I don't put my hand up," he said.

"I would be very strong on some issues and how money is spent. Infrastructure is vital and being able to travel around regional areas is a vital infrastructure."

Calliope businesswoman Desley O'Grady said people had asked her to nominate because they needed a voice.

"They don't have any individual who they can talk to and take that message back to council," she said.

"I am already heavily involved in the community and I can just grow with that.

"I'd like to be the voice of the regional communities like Mount Larcom, Ambrose, the Boyne Valley, Lowmead, Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy, Benaraby and Miriam Vale because they don't have one at the moment."

Councillor Leo Neill-Ballantine resigned on December 18 due to personal reasons.

The council advertised the position and wrote to unsuccessful candidates from the last election.

The council had 12 weeks to fill the position after the resignation.

Now that nominations have closed, councillors will decide who takes the position by resolution by February 10.

The other contenders are Yvette Luckock, Stephen Mills, Peter Powell, Chris Trevor, Dr PJ Sobhanian, Brian Ross, Kathy Andrew and Lynda Ninness.

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