Mayoral candidates get ready to field the questions … Kirstie Schumacher, Kathy Duff, Tom Wilson and Gavin Jones

February 20, 2024

The toxicity of social media meant many good people in Queensland’s 77 councils will not be recontesting their positions at the upcoming March 16 elections, a candidates’ forum heard on Monday night.

Former broadcast journalist Kim Skubris said she was in awe of everyone who put up their hands to run for council, knowing the toxic environment they would be stepping into.

The forum, which attracted an audience of about 200, was organised by the Kingaroy Chamber Of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and held at the St John’s Lutheran School hall in Kingaroy.

KCCI president Damien Martoo said Kim had been invited to come up from Brisbane to ensure the evening’s proceedings were completely independent.

The night was divided into two sections: one for candidates contesting Divisional positions, and the other for a panel discussion amongst the four mayoral candidates (see links to the audio recordings, below).

The divisional candidates were each given three minutes to introduce themselves and explain why they were running, and what they thought was good or bad about the current council.

The session began with Cr Danita Potter who was invited to speak first even though she has been re-elected unopposed to her Division 3 position.

All but three of the Divisional candidates then took turns at the microphone, speaking in ballot paper order.

However, Dan Andersson (Division 4) was a late apology due to a COVID infection, and was told Division 5 candidates Stuart Battese and Allan Walters did not respond to the KCCI’s invitation to attend.

After a short break, the four Mayoral candidates then took part in a panel discussion where they fielded questions submitted to the KCCI and curated by Kim.

Waiting to have their turn at the microphone … Tom De Weers and Jane Erkens (Division 1), Linda Little,  Douglas Grant and Wendy Hazelton (Division 2), and Seth Schuback (Division 4)
Gerald Daly, Heidi Westbrook and Deb Dennien (Division 4), Heath Sander (Division 5) and Scott Henschen and Ros Heit (Division 6)

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Divisional Candidates 

(in the order they spoke on the night)

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Mayoral Panel

(adjudicated by Kim Skubris)

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Photo Gallery

KCCI president Damien Martoo introduced moderator Kim Skubris and thanked his executive committee for their help in organising the night
Veteran journalist Kim Skubris posed the questions and kept the candidates in check
St John’s P&F had a canteen open and put on a barbie as a fundraiser for the school … Kylie Birch was keeping an eye on the democracy sausages
St John’s Lutheran School Hall was the venue for the KCCI-organised candidates’ forum


2 Responses to "Candidates Praised For Their Courage"

  1. Is the rumour accurate that, if Kathy Duff is elected mayor, the Kingaroy peanut silos will be painted pink, regardless of heritage protection?

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