Can­di­date forced to step down for vote

Stanthorpe Border Post - - NEWS -

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.”

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