Mayor sticks his hand up for top Qld job

IN RUNNING: Mayor Mark Jamieson is in the race for one of the state's top jobs.
IN RUNNING: Mayor Mark Jamieson is in the race for one of the state's top jobs. Patrick Woods

SUNSHINE Coast mayor Mark Jamieson is in the running for one of the most powerful jobs in the state.

The Local Government Association of Queensland has this morning confirmed Cr Jamieson is down to the final two in the race to be the next president of the association.

Cr Jamieson is vying to replace outgoing president and former Brisbane City councillor Margaret de Wit.

Cr Jamieson will square off against Western Downs councillor Ray Brown for the top job.

BATTLE: Mayor Mark Jamieson and councillor Ray Brown will duel it our for LGAQ supremacy.
BATTLE: Mayor Mark Jamieson and councillor Ray Brown will duel it our for LGAQ supremacy. Bree Anderson

The Daily understands a new president will be elected in October at the association's annual conference, where the annual general meeting will also be held.

The presidency is decided by a vote from the broader association membership base where the winner will take over from current acting president Councillor Jenny Hill, Townsville's first female mayor, who is covering in the role after Ms de Wit's departure until a new president is elected.

Ms de Wit spoke to the Daily this morning about her time as president, declaring it the "greatest privilege" of her 19 years in local government.

"It's an honour to have the role of being president," she said.

She said the opportunity to work for all 77 Queensland councils was incredible, as was the eye-opening experiences of seeing how remote local governments served their people through innovation and the resilience to overcome natural disasters and droughts.

Ms de Wit said the smaller councils needed "someone to take up the fight for them" on a wide range of issues and the next president had to be across issues affecting local governments throughout the state.

She said a "fair bit" of background and experience in local government helped in the role but she was confident in the abilities of those she knew of that were running.

Juggling her responsibilities as a Brisbane City Council chair while presiding over the association was always a challenge she said, but the achievements made in lobbying for disaster and road recovery funding had made the balancing act worthwhile.

She said the weight of the association behind her had definitely helped when approaching state and federal governments.

Cr Jamieson said he'd already discussed his bid with other mayors and had flagged with Coast councillors his intention to nominate earlier this year.  

Encouragement to go for the role coupled with his knowledge of rural Queensland had been the catalyst for Cr Jamieson's nomination he said.  

"The position certainly won't do any harm for our region (if successful)," Cr Jamieson said.  

A Local Government Association of Queensland spokesman this morning confirmed Cr Jamieson and Cr Brown were the two names that association members would choose from in a secret ballot at the October 20 annual general meeting.

Both hopefuls will get the chance to present their case during the meeting prior to the election.

The spokesman said regardless of the election result, the association's new board would include Cr Jamieson, Cr Brown and acting president Cr Jenny Hill for the remainder of the 2016-2020 term.

Topics:  council local government association of queensland politics sunshine coast council

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