Candidate forced to step down for vote
INDEPENDENT candidate Rob Mackenzie has been forced to take a leave of absence from the Goondiwindi Regional Council in the lead-up to the state election.
Cr Mackenzie announced in July he would be standing as an independent candidate in the Southern Downs electorate.
Under the Local Government Act, Queensland councillors must take an unpaid leave of absence from when they are accepted as a candidate.
Cr Mackenzie said his leave began when the Returning Officer accepted him as one of six candidates nominated for the November 25 poll for the Southern Downs seat.
“It starts as soon as the names are accepted so that was at noon on Tuesday,” he said.
“Since then I have sat in on a council workshop that I had no input in and observed as a community member.
“The next council meeting is a general meeting where you must vote on items and I won’t be attending that.”
Council CEO Carl Manton confirmed Cr Mackenzie would remain on unpaid leave until after the election.
“We’ll have to wait and see what happens at the election,” Mr Manton said.
Cr Mackenzie will remain a councillor unless he is elected to the Queensland Parliament.
“I have no issue with the fact that I’m not allowed to have any input into council business at this stage,” Cr Mackenzie said.
“I am a bit disappointed at the fact I won’t be able to receive any emails letting me know what’s happening in the community during that time.
“Having your finger on the pulse and that councillor connectivity is so important.
“My role on council will resume if I’m not elected.”