O’Connell to go again after talks with family and colleagues
GERARD O'Connell will re-contest for Mayor of the Fraser Coast, pledging to build on the region's momentum if he is elected for another four years from March 2016.
Speaking at his Tavistock St office in Hervey Bay on Monday afternoon, Cr O'Connell said he had put a lot of thought into his future, consulting with "key colleagues" as well as his family.
"I'll be offering myself for leadership," he said.
"I've needed to consult a key number of people.
"At the end of the day it's my wife and family who make some sacrifices for me to do this job."
Our online reader poll revealed only 19% of respondents are in favour of Gerard O'Connell as Mayor, while 25% would like to see Chris Loft run for the position.
Who would you like to run for Mayor?
This poll ended on 21 October 2015.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
With "building our future" as his election slogan, the 54-year-old said he would continue developing plans started by this council.
"It's about further enhancement of the Esplanade, revitalisation in Maryborough, better rural roads, the education precinct in Hervey Bay and more aviation projects," he said.
Cr O'Connell did not comment about rumours councillor Chris Loft would challenge him, but welcomed any contenders.
Pledging to run a positive campaign, Cr O'Connell said voters wanted consultative councillors.
"I'll be offering a very positive and progressive type of leadership," he said.
"They (voters) want people who are prepared to listen to them and to make the necessary plans and decisions that are good for the region and good for the future generations."
Cr O'Connell said he had "enjoyed every minute" working as mayor. "I didn't want to warm a chair - I don't want to stay here just for the sake of it," he said.
At the 2012 Local Government Elections Cr O'Connell defeated incumbent Mayor Mick Kruger and Real Estate agent Chris Couper.