Coleman to stand for mayor against 'weak and divided' council

The Chronicle understands Mr Persal will back Mr Coleman against the incumbent Gerard O'Connell, councillor Chris Loft and Jannean Dean.
The Chronicle understands Mr Persal will back Mr Coleman against the incumbent Gerard O'Connell, councillor Chris Loft and Jannean Dean. Contributed

FRUSTRATED with the 'weak and divided' Fraser Coast Regional Council, businessman Steve Coleman has decided to stand for mayor this year.

The 54-year-old works as a representative for Fraser Coast businessman and citizen-of-the-year elect Warren Persal.

The Chronicle understands Mr Persal will back Mr Coleman against the incumbent Gerard O'Connell, councillor Chris Loft and Jannean Dean.

"I have long had an interest in local government and have been continually asked by dozens of people to consider standing in the March 19 election," Mr Coleman said.

"People are telling me the region needs stronger leadership and a more cohesive team of councillors than it has experienced in the last eight years since amalgamation.

"I will be a firm, fair mayor who will use my business skills to create an effective team from the 10 councillors the people elect."

Mr Coleman said the current council structure had placed too much power with the council staff and had fractured councillors by giving them individual portfolios instead of grouping them into committees.

"We have seen the elected representatives divided and weakened," he said.

"We must return to a structure where councillors can take greater responsibility in driving the council forward with decisive action."

Mr Coleman said the eight years since amalgamation had not been easy after the first team of councillors elected to the regional council had been replaced four years ago by an "entirely new team with little experience".

"We must work together to build on our strengths, preserving the qualities that make each city special and enhancing the unique coastal and hinterland communities," he said.

"We need to move forward now with unity: together, with strong leadership, we can build a region of quality and prosperity to rival any other area in Queensland.

Mr Coleman said he would make sure the welcome mat was out for investors and that businesses had fewer frustrations in dealings with the council."

Topics:  fraser coast regional council, local government elections 2016, mayor, steve coleman

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