Banana Shire Council Election: Candidates finalised
THE winds of change are blowing in the Banana Shire, with several candidates announcing their intention to run for council elections.
Business owners and community leaders have thrown their hats into the ring, aiming for change on March 28.
With the retirement of Cr David Snell (Division 1) Cr Warren Middleton (Division 2) and Cr Pat Brennan (Division 3), three new councillors are assured to make up the team in the next term.
The 2016 elections saw all divisions besides Division 6 battle it out among two to three candidates.
Cr Snell took out Division 1 in 2016 with 60.44 per cent of the votes over rival Paul Moon who scored 39.56 per cent of the vote.
In Division 2, Cr Middleton scored just under 75 per cent verses Symonn Leighton at 25 per cent.
Division 3 saw Cr Brennan score 717 votes against Sarah Larsen who managed 631 votes.
Cr Colin Semple took out victory in Division 4 over Steve Ensby and Cr Brooke Leo took out Division 5 in a nailbiter over Maureen Clancy, with 504 and 501 votes tallied respectively.
Division 6 saw Vaughn Becker win unopposed before Cr Terri Boyce was elected at the 2017 by-election.
The Central Telegraph can announce who will be battling it out in the Banana Shire at the end of the month.
Each candidate has mapped out why they think you should vote for them and what they will do if they're elected to the Banana Shire Council.
FULL LIST OF BANANA SHIRE COUNCIL CANDIDATES
Nev Ferrier (Incumbent)
A former publican and shop owner in Dululu, Banana Shire mayor Nev Ferrier is hoping to maintain his seat in the upcoming council election.
Cr Ferrier wants to eliminate current debt levels within the next five years and help sporting bodies offset the costs of providing water for their grounds with bore water.
With strong family values and nine kids, Division 1 candidate John Ramsey believes he brings to the table an understanding of the needs of many different people.
Mr Ramsey has a passion for social issues and understands the constraints that finances can place on families, young people and the elderly.
Having served with the Biloela Apex Club for 26 years, Jason Williams has thrown his name in the ballot box in a bid to "bring the shire back to its glory days".
A business owner, Williams is running for Division 1 in the Banana Shire Council election to give support and power back to small businesses throughout the shire.
Having lived in Biloela for 58 years, painter Colin Nevell said he would adopt a commonsense approach to all decision making if elected as Division 2 councillor.
Mr Nevell wants to ensure that any future rate rises are kept to an absolute minimum because "residents are experiencing hard financial times."
Supporting businesses and local jobs are key on the agenda of Division 2 candidate Judy Pender.
Mrs Pender believes it's time for a change, saying that "People don't seem to really know a lot that goes on with council at the moment and I'm going in there to do my best and be totally honest and open with everything".
Missing out on being elected mayor in 2016, Thangool's Phillip Casey is again throwing his hat in the ring, this time for Division 3.
Mr Casey is currently unopposed in Division 3 but is determined to "sit in the chamber with a bunch of people and work together to take this shire forward because things have gone stagnant".
Colin Semple (Incumbent)
Unopposed Division 4 candidate Colin Semple said if elected, he would continue to represent residents of division four to the best of his ability and keep a fair and balanced view to the whole shire.
"With the drought we have been experiencing, the cost of rates will be of concern to most people, this needs to be remembered when the budget is being formulated," Mr Semple said.
Brooke Leo (Incumbent)
After winning the 2016 election by three votes, Division 5 candidate Brooke Leo is determined to drive population and economic development in the region.
"We enjoy a great lifestyle and by building on these strengths I hope more people have the opportunity to make this place a home for their families."
Terri Boyce (Incumbent)
Elected to office at the 2017 by-election, Division 6 candidate Terri Boyce has a laser focus on our region's roads.
Cr Boyce advocates for a fair distribution of funding across the Banana Shire and wants to work towards major improvements on the state owned roads.