Garland plans comeback as familiar face for Division 8
AFTER four years on the sideline, a familiar Fraser Coast face is making a tilt to get his council seat back.
Ex-councillor and community stalwart Robert Garland joins incumbent councillor Denis Chapman and schoolteacher Stephen Keightley in the race for Division 8 in the region's upcoming council election.
Mr Garland, who claimed Division 8 in 2012, was defeated by Cr Chapman in 2016.
Speaking to the Chronicle, Mr Garland said his long-term affection for the region was the deciding factor putting his name on the ballot.
"I've been working across the region in some shape or form since 1980 and I just love the place," Mr Garland said.
"I'm keen to see it reach its full potential."
Mr Garland is one of three ex-councillors to make a tilt for a spot on the council table, alongside Phil Truscott, who held Division 2, and former mayor Gerard O'Connell, now contesting Division 6.
All three lost their respective seats in the 2016 election.
Mr Garland has since become a well-known community advocate for events and causes like Hervey Bay Relay for Life, the Dunga Derby and Comfort Kitchen at the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre.
Mr Garland said he was focussed on "local liveability" and wanted more shade structures, street trees and wider footpaths for the area.
"It would be great to see cars off the road and people being able to use walkways differently," he said.
"Another big thing for me is fenced dog off-leash agility parks: we don't want people having to be near home and travel large distances to walk their dog safely."