October 30, 2023
Division 5 councillor Kathy Duff announced on social media on Monday night she will run for Mayor of the South Burnett Regional Council.
The Boondooma grazier, and a former executive officer of the LNP’s Nanango Electorate Council, has served on the SBRC since amalgamation, including a term as Deputy Mayor.
Prior to that she served on Wondai Shire Council.
Cr Duff’s announcement was greeted by almost 300 “likes” on Facebook, including by former SBRC councillor Ros Heit and LNP Federal MPs Llew O’Brien and Colin Boyce.
It also confirmed media reports that current Mayor Brett Otto – who has been on paid medical leave since June 21 – would not be recontesting the March poll.
Cr Duff – who is possibly best know as “the lady in pink” – said she was humbled to have Mayor Otto’s support.
The pair have enjoyed a close working relationship during this Council term, often moving and seconding each other’s motions in a bloc obvious to observers.
The Duff and Otto families also share interests in thoroughbred racehorses and Council records from August showed Cr Duff had made a loan to Otto Racing.
Cr Duff’s ambition to stand for mayor has been the South Burnett’s worst kept secret for months.
On Friday, she stated she would make no announcement until Mayor Otto had made his intentions clear.
“Our ratepayers have been met with increasing rates and in many cases, less services. I am ready to lead a council that spends the ratepayer’s money like it’s their own,” the announcement said.
“For the last 20 years, I have served as Wondai Shire Councillor, Councillor for Division 5, your South Burnett Deputy Mayor and have travelled over one million kilometres serving our community.
“I have the time, energy and passion to serve our community as your Mayor.”
Cr Duff said she was committed to a five-point plan:
1. Reduce Council waste for affordable rates
2. Fix the roads, potholes and drains
3. Bring Council depots back to the towns and restore local pride
4. Cut red tape to give businesses a break
5. Keep Council Divisions to support community decisions
“I have mentioned my plan about returning local depots and local jobs and people get excited,” she said.
“The community are asking for better roads and they want potholes fixed instead of being circled, they want less red tape and a customer-focused Council.”
Cr Kirstie Schumacher and South Burnett Peace Of Mind founder Rhonda Trivett have also announced their intentions to run for mayor.
One other SBRC councillor is also expected to toss their hat into the ring for the contest.
Should all three sitting councillors run for Mayor, three vacancies will be left in Council at a Divisional level.
Murgon Rotary Club president Heath Sander, co-chair of the Murgon Music Muster organising committee, announced late last year he intended to challenge Cr Duff for Division 5.
- Mayor Extends Sick Leave
- Kirstie To Run For Mayor
- Mayor Takes Extended Leave
- Rhonda To Run For Mayor
- Mayor Weighs Up Options
- Sander To Stand For Council
[UPDATED with correction]