Business owner Tracey McPhee is among the candidates running for a Bundaberg Regional Council seat next March. She is running for division 4.
Business owner Tracey McPhee is among the candidates running for a Bundaberg Regional Council seat next March. She is running for division 4.

Who is running in the next council election?

THERE are eight confirmed councillor nominees across the 10 Bundaberg Regional Council divisions in the weeks leading up to Christmas, when politics slows down for the year.

Divisions 1 and 10 so far are the only ones to be contested.

As of yet there are two mayoral candidates, with Cr Helen Blackburn confirming her challenge against Mayor Jack Dempsey.

But there can only be one mayor, meaning that already there is a personality change in the council chamber following the March 28 election.

Cr Blackburn’s mayoral nomination has freed up division 4, but owner of coffee shop Alowishus, Tracey McPhee, announced her intention to run for the division last month.

The campaign for division 1 could be interesting as farmer Scott Allison runs against Jason Bartels.

Deputy mayor Bill Trevor ‘s intention for division 2 remains a mystery, having mentioned in October that he typically makes the decision with his family over the Christmas break.

Deputy mayor Bill Trevor with an LGAQ award he recently received for his years of serving local government.
Deputy mayor Bill Trevor with an LGAQ award he recently received for his years of serving local government.

Division 3 councillor Wayne Honor is vague about running in the 2020 election, but this week he said he risked undermining the work he needed to do for his division if he gave confirmation.

Division 5 councillor Greg Barnes has not made any confirmation, but he said in October that it was too soon to say.

He was unable to be reached yesterday for an updated position.

Coffee at Kelly’s owner Kelly Woods is the most recent nominee to reveal herself.

She will run for division 6. Incumbent councillor Scott Rowleson will step back to focus on being a “normal dad on the school gate”. Both of his children are under five-years-old.

Cr Ross Sommerfeld said he will be running for council again, representing division 7.

As for division 8, it is uncertain if Cr Steve Cooper would run again after winning the by-election in 2018.

Cr Steve Cooper is yet to confirm his intentions for the next council election, but he was elected in 2018 after a by-election.
Cr Steve Cooper is yet to confirm his intentions for the next council election, but he was elected in 2018 after a by-election.

“You change the rules,” Cr Cooper said, explaining his reluctance to give a straight answer.

“You can be seen to be campaigning when in fact you’re not.

“I can make that call when the election is officially called.

“Campaigning for three months to me is a bit silly.

“It’s different for the Mayor. I understand why he may come out early.”

Cr Judy Peters is a steadfast and reliable presence each council term, but she will be stepping back from division 9 after having had 25-years of local government experience.

She said she had another opportunity to use her experience in legislation, regulations, and decision making processes, although said state politics “is not on my horizon”.

Within three days of her announcement, Queensland Computers co-owner Geoff Augutis revealed he would seek the division 9 seat.

Division 10 looks to be a rematch between the 2018 by-election campaigners Cr John Learmonth and Tim Sayre.

Cr Learmonth serves as the council’s health spokesman, while Mr Sayre became the Bundaberg Chamber of Commerce president in October.