ELECTION WIN: Incumbent Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow has claimed victory in the local government election from her home.
ELECTION WIN: Incumbent Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow has claimed victory in the local government election from her home.

RRC mayor Strelow returned after claiming election victory

ROCKHAMPTON Regional Council’s incumbent mayor Margaret Strelow has claimed victory after crushing her solitary challenger Chris Hooper in local government election.

After first being elected Mayor in 2000, this will be Cr Strelow’s fifth term at the helm of council to provide a steady hand steering the community through the COVID-19 crisis.

“I’m very grateful for the resounding result. I’ve been returned with close to 70 per cent of the primary vote,” Cr Strelow said.

“It means that I start this term knowing that I have the confidence of the community, and given what lies ahead, that is going to be very important.

“The councillors who have stood shoulder to shoulder with me over the last few years and were up for re-election have also been returned so once again, thank you for that.”

Cr Strelow said she was looking forward to working with two newly elected councillors who would be joining an already strong team.

Councillors Tony Williams, Ellen Smith, Margaret Strelow, Cherie Rutherford, Neil Fisher and Drew Wickerson all gave departing Councillor Rose Swadling (centre) a rose for her last meeting.
Councillors Tony Williams, Ellen Smith, Margaret Strelow, Cherie Rutherford, Neil Fisher and Drew Wickerson all gave departing Councillor Rose Swadling (centre) a rose for her last meeting.

“There’s probably only one thing on anyone’s mind at the moment and that’s the coronavirus and what we need to do from a health, economic and financial point of view. Council will be getting straight into that,” she said.

“There was a lot of anger on election day directed at pretty well anyone in power.

“And we can argue for ever about the reasons why the State Government chose to continue with the election. Our local community really understands the importance of staying home.”

The mayor said Rockhampton Regional Council acted very quickly to shut down public activity under their juristiction.

“On the day that the very first limitations came into force, (500 persons inside) Council announced that we were going further and we shut down any public event of any kind large or small in any Council venue,” she said.

“That sent a message to the community which was picked up by sporting clubs and other groups far in advance of most communities in Queensland.

“And the only message I have for the community now is to say thank you for your confidence and to encourage you to continue to take the measures of social distancing and hygiene very, very seriously.”

Defeated challenger Chris Hooper said there was much to take from the election result where he gained just over 30 per cent of the vote.

CHALLENGER: Chris Hooper was one of two mayoral candidates for the Rockhampton Region.
CHALLENGER: Chris Hooper was one of two mayoral candidates for the Rockhampton Region.

Mr Hooper said he believed a lot of people voted for him because they didn’t have faith in Cr Strelow’s leadership.

“My policies were different with mother nature my first concern,” Mr Hooper said.

“The virus may have determined people to vote for me because the global economy is falling apart.”

Mr Hooper said he’d like to see continuing activity from environmental groups both in Rockhampton and on the Capricorn Coast.

“We are thinking of setting up the thirty member board outside of council thus influencing that,” he said.

“Thank you people for your support.”