October 30, 2023
Media reports that Brett Otto has informed colleagues he would not be restanding for the position of South Burnett Mayor has puzzled some of his fellow councillors.
Councillors contacted by southburnett.com.au on Monday confirmed they had not received any such information from the Mayor.
It was reported on Monday morning that Mayor Otto had released a statement to colleagues “explaining his decision not to head to the polls at the 2024 local government elections”.
Mayor Otto has been on extended sick leave since July 31.
A three-month medical certificate was due to expire on October 31, however the Mayor submitted a new certificate to Council late on Friday.
This will extend his paid leave of absence until late January.
The last Council meeting Mayor Otto attended was the June 21 Special Meeting where Council handed down its 2023-24 Budget.
The Mayor was being treated in a Brisbane hospital in July but the media was asked at the time to keep this confidential “until proper medical assessments” were done.
southburnett.com.au understands Mayor Otto returned home earlier this month to continue his recuperation after a medical episode.
As Mayor Otto has not resigned, Deputy Mayor Gavin Jones will continue in the role of Acting Mayor in the interim.
Attempts on Monday to reach Mayor Otto to confirm the media reports were unsuccessful.
The next Council election will be held on March 16, 2024.
The caretaker period ahead of the election – when councils can no longer make significant policy decisions that would bind future elected councils – will begin on the day the Electoral Commission of Queensland publishes a public notice about holding the election.
- Related article: Mayor Takes Extended Leave