Mayor Mal Forman is calling it quits after serving the Bundaberg region for 14 years
MAL Forman has stepped down from the Bundaberg mayoral race as his first term draws to a close, citing a severe eye condition.
“The coming of the new year has meant deep reflection for me regarding my values and family,” Cr Forman told the council at yesterday morning’s meeting.
“Following considerable consultation and discussion with my wife Joy and family, coupled with advice from my ophthalmologist and doctor, I have made a decision to step out of the public arena.”
A corrugation on his cornea flared up in September, forcing him to cancel a trip to China, and has made reading and using computers “a considerable challenge”.
“I am extremely reluctant to walk away from council having spent 14 years serving our community,” he said.
Rumours of the Mayor’s departure had been around for several months, candidate and local mechanic Troy Madle said.
“I feel sorry for Mal as he has health problems,” Mr Madle said.
“I don’t take for granted for one minute that this is going to be easy.
“I’ve got a very good opponent in Jack Dempsey and the election hasn’t been called yet, so plenty more people may yet (challenge).
“I’m going to keep my head down and my bum up, as they say, and keep working hard.”
Mr Dempsey expressed his best wishes for Mr Forman.
“I feel for Mal – it’s a demanding job and it takes a toll on you, not just physically, but on you and your family as well,” he said.
“Mal and his family have dedicated a lot of time and effort to the whole of the region. I wish him and his family all the best for the future.”
If elected, Mr Dempsey said, he would look forward to continuing some of the projects still under way and working hard to unite the region – something he felt had not been completed since the amalgamation.
“People are disillusioned,” he said. “I’ll be making sure that no matter where people are in the region, they get the best value for the rates they pay, and ensuring everyone works together as a team.”
Elise Cottam said “the more the merrier” when it came to the race, and she had been following Mr Forman’s work for years, but that she was more focused than ever on her campaign.
“We’re going out and getting to know what the community wants and what their needs are.”
Candidate Reid Schirmer was contacted but did not respond before deadline.
Nominations for the mayoralty are still open.
Mal Forman I am extremely reluctant to walk away from council
Mal Forman will not contest the coming elections.