Re­spected coun­cil­lor pulls pin

Central Queensland News - - RURALWEEKLY - . ZHANAE CON­WAY-DODD Zhanae.con­way-dodd@apn.com.au

AF­TER nearly a decade on the Isaac coun­cil, Dale Ap­ple­ton is pack­ing up and mov­ing back to the Cler­mont bush.

The move comes af­ter Mr Ap­ple­ton made the de­ci­sion to fo­cus on ex­pand­ing his fam­ily or­ganic beef busi­ness.

The cat­tle pro­ducer and fourth gen­er­a­tion Ap­ple­ton in the Cler­mont district will work across seven prop­er­ties in­clud­ing Bul­li­wal­lah, Yarmina, Bee­larong, Craven, Is­lay Plains, Tango, and Star Downs. Al­though Mr Ap­ple­ton now runs up to 40,000 head of cat­tle on about 195,000 hectares, he comes from hum­ble be­gin­nings.

Fin­ish­ing school in Year 9, Mr Ap­ple­ton be­gan his graz­ing ca­reer in his early 20s with a 526-hectare prop­erty bought from his un­cle.

The well known and re­spected Cler­mont man said al­though he started small, the beauty of the beef busi­ness was the con­stant pos­si­bil­ity of ex­pan­sion.

“That’s the great thing you can do in this life, you can start small and keep ex­pand­ing,” Mr Ap­ple­ton said.

“There are great op­por­tu­ni­ties in the bush, you just have to make it work.

“I’ve al­ways be­lieved where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Back when Mr Ap­ple­ton first started in the beef busi­ness his thoughts were far from pol­i­tics. It wasn’t un­til he was much older, his par­ents be­came ill and he wanted to be closer to town, that he thought of throw­ing his hat in the ring and giv­ing back to his com­mu­nity. Af­ter more than eight years on the coun­cil, Mr Ap­ple­ton said it had been an hon­our to serve Isaac’s ru­ral and re­mote com­mu­ni­ties.

“My proud­est mo­ment with coun­cil is see­ing 28 kilo­me­tres of bi­tu­men go on the Cler­mont-Al­pha Road in a ma­jor win for our com­mu­ni­ties,” he said.

“I’m proud of the re­la­tion­ships I’ve built with fel­low coun­cil­lors and staff over the years.

“But the big­gest thing I want to say is the re­spect I have for the mayor, for putting faith in me to be not just a coun­cil­lor but deputy mayor.

“I never thought I could run a meet­ing or do pub­lic speak­ing, but she gave me the op­por­tu­ni­ties and the con­fi­dence.

“I have the high­est re­gard

for Anne (Baker) and I still do, she is a great leader and she’s gen­uine.”

With Mr Ap­ple­ton due to fin­ish up on Septem­ber 30, Isaac Mayor Cr Baker said his

last day would be a sad day for both the coun­cil and the Isaac com­mu­ni­ties.

“I have enor­mous re­spect for Dale and he leaves be­hind a last­ing legacy and big boots to fill,” she said.

“What has al­ways struck me about Dale is his ded­i­ca­tion to ru­ral and re­mote com­mu­ni­ties, strong busi­ness sense, and salt-of-the-earth ap­proach to life.

“He is a hum­ble com­mu­nity leader, a tire­less worker and has been a valu­able as­set to the coun­cil team.

“We will greatly miss him at the ta­ble, he has worked in­cred­i­bly hard on be­half of his di­vi­sion for bet­ter ru­ral roads and live­abil­ity.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

A LOSS TO THE COM­MU­NITY: Dale Ap­ple­ton’s res­ig­na­tion from Isaac Re­gional Coun­cil is ef­fec­tive from Septem­ber 30, with a by-elec­tion to be held within the fol­low­ing 12 weeks.

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