Stuart Battese … the third candidate to announce he will be running for Division 5 (Photo: Supplied)

February 2, 2024

A third candidate has tossed his hat into the ring for Division 5 at the South Burnett Regional Council elections on March 16.

Division 5 is the area currently held by Cr Kathy Duff, who is vacating the Division after holding it for 16 years to run for Mayor.

Hivesville resident Stuart Battese has joined other Division 5 hopefuls Heath Sander and Allan Walters in contesting the Division.

Division 5 stretches from Boondooma to Moffatdale and includes Proston, Hivesville and Windera as well as all of Murgon and part of Wondai.

Stuart said he had lived all his life in rural and regional areas of NSW and Queensland and had first hand experience of growing up, working and living on properties and in smaller communities.

“Much of my working life has been in government roles, in both State and Local Government,” he said.

“I wasn’t born here but chose to buy a property some years ago and live in the area because I genuinely like the district and the communities in it.

“I have a strong work ethic and a practical attitude. I’m definitely a ‘doer’ more than a ‘talker’, I’m much more focussed on getting things done rather than just telling everyone what needs doing.”

Stuart said he could “hit the ground running” if elected.

“Make no mistake, operating Council is a complicated business requiring a balance between getting things done and working within the numerous Acts of Parliament and local laws under Council’s jurisdiction,” he said.

“Anyone who has come to Council from outside, both elected Councillors and Council staff, will tell you that it takes much longer than you first anticipate to understand what can and can’t be done and to contribute meaningfully.

“Having worked for this Council, I already have a very good operational knowledge of how Council functions and how the State and Local Laws affect that operation.

“I also have a good understanding of small business operations, both as an employee and as a business owner.

“My view is that government, both State and Local, should focus on providing effective support with a minimum of obstruction or intervention.

“Over the years I have seen many Council practices that are historical and outdated and exist because ‘we’ve always done that’.

“I think that is a lazy attitude and needs to change.

“Division 5 is very predominantly rural and rural industries focussed.

“I would strive to achieve an equitable balance between the needs and services provided to the ratepayers in Murgon, Proston and Hivesville and those in the smaller communities and rural areas.

“The residents of those areas should not be the subject of an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude.

“I can’t promise to achieve everything asked of me. What I can promise is that I will listen to residents’ concerns and will advocate strongly to have those concerns actioned by Council.”

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