South Burnett Mayor Brett Otto has been on extended medical leave since July 31

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 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. 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.



2 Responses to "Mayor Extends Sick Leave"

  1. What appears glaringly obvious is that Mayor Otto, now on extended sick leave (six months on full pay), and Cr Duff have been working in tandem on the matter of who leads the South Burnett Regional Council after the 2024 Council elections.

    The announcement by Cr Duff, only a few hours after Mayor Otto declared his future intentions, raises questions about the relationship and intrigue that engages them.

    Many matters have been reported where the Mayor and Cr Duff have voted in unison. The complaint has been about the other five Councillors ganging up and objecting to their views.

    From a casual observation, a very interesting contest is about to happen. One wonders if there are more names yet to be announced to contest the Mayoralty?

    Why did Mayor Otto not resign rather than getting another three months of pay when he knows he’s made a decision not to contest the next election?

  2. Interesting, Mal. I guess they don’t want Cr Jones as the incumbent Mayor…

    Although incumbent Mayors have not done well post-amalgamation. Either not running or losing.

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