Our mayor shows his softer side

Keith talks life and love


POLITI­CIANS are of­ten in the pub­lic eye but iron­i­cally, rarely do they give an in­sight into their per­sonal lives. South Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil Mayor Keith Camp­bell sat down for an in-depth chat to break that mould. He shares parts of his life from out­side of coun­cil in­clud­ing what makes him tick, what he does to re­lax and how he deals with the con­stant com­plaints from res­i­dents about their roads, rates and rub­bish. It's an in­ter­est­ing in­sight into a side of the mayor rarely shown.

MATT COLLINS: Res­i­dents don’t of­ten let you know when things are go­ing well but they will when they are not happy. Does Keith Camp­bell ever go home and say ‘just once, can I get a pat on the back’?

KEITH CAMP­BELL: Well, de­spite the fact the me­dia are of­ten the ones mak­ing the com­plaints, there are a lot of other peo­ple who are giv­ing high level of sup­port for coun­cil but that doesn’t strike a good head­line.

MC: Say­ing ‘ev­ery­thing is great’ doesn’t sell news­pa­pers.

KC: That’s right, but the op­po­site does sell news­pa­pers and I ac­cept that and I value those opin­ions as well. I don’t want ev­ery­body to be agree­ing hap­pily with ab­so­lutely ev­ery­thing coun­cil does.

MC: When you are not do­ing may­oral du­ties, what takes up your time?

KC: Well at this point in time, I al­ways make room for church wor­ship on a Sun­day. That is my back­ground and I have a strong be­lief. MC: You al­ways have? KC: I al­ways have, I was born into a Chris­tian home and the prin­ci­ples of Chris­tian­ity work in my life.

MC: You en­joy gar­den­ing too I hear. You have a bit of a green thumb?

KC: I do, our gar­den is some­times ne­glected but it still seems to look half OK and that’s a re­ward, not just for my­self but my wife as well.

MC: She is lovely, your wife. I have chat­ted to Mar­ion be­fore, can I say you are def­i­nitely punch­ing above your weight there, Keith. (Both laugh)

MC: How long have you guys been mar­ried? KC: Com­ing up to 44 years. MC: What’s the se­cret? KC: Look, I am sure there are chal­leng­ing mo­ments in any re­la­tion­ship I guess. One party or the other isn’t al­ways right. When you know you are wrong...

MC: You’ll be told about it? (Matt laughs)

KC: Rather than that, be man enough to ad­mit the fact you got it wrong and move on.

MC: You seem to do that in coun­cil as well I’ve no­ticed. You are happy to put your hand up when a mis­take is made.

KC: I don’t tell lies. Why? Be­cause I am not that good at re­mem­ber­ing. So I pre­fer to be very con­sis­tent in the words that I speak and then I don’t have to worry.


MAY­ORAL DU­TIES: South Bur­nett Mayor Keith Camp­bell shares his thoughts on life away from coun­cil.

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