Maranoa councillor lucked out this time round
FOUR years ago, Maranoa Regional councillor Cameron O’Neil was elected over Balonne Shire councillor Robyn Fuhrmeister to represent six southwest Queensland councils on a statewide platform.
Cr O’Neil wasn’t as fortunate this time round, with five out of six councils voting for Cr Fuhrmeister for the position of Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) policy executive.
Cr Fuhrmeister has close to three decades of local government experience under her belt.
Maranoa Regional, Balonne Shire, Murweh Shire, Paroo and Bulloo Shire voted in favour of Cr Fuhrmeister and Quilpie Shire council selected Cr O’Neil.
The Maranoa councillor said he enjoyed the four years in the position and would have loved to have been re-elected but it wasn’t meant to be.
“You don’t win every election you stand for,” he said.
“I’m a big believer in any election, you’ve got to accept one of two outcomes and if you’re not comfortable with those scenarios then you shouldn’t enter the race.
“I’ve reached out to Robyn and congratulated her and offered to assist wherever I can.
“I enjoy contributing to policies that affect the southwest and so will be providing feedback to Robyn and helping wherever I can with the issues that affect us.”
Cr O’Neil said he is proud of the number of projects he was involved in over the four years.
“I’ve been proud of a couple of things, first was ensuring that the southwest secured the Bush Council Convention and we didn’t lose it to the central west,” he said.
“It was a really positive achievement and allowed us all in the southwest to showcase what we have been doing in our region in terms of local government.
“Same with advocacy for the Bush Compact formation that I championed with Rob Chandler and Belinda Murphy, recognising the need to ensure issues across the southwest, northwest are well articulated to government.
“We took a resolution to floor of the conference and that was overwhelmingly supported and the association should develop and advocate Bush Compact and get the government of the day, and other parties to agree to develop regional parts of the state.
“I’m looking forward to seeing that come to fruition.”
Cr O’Neil said it’s vital that southwest councils stay competitive compared to other parts of the state when the annual budget is divided up.
“We have to ensure there’s a strong focus on the issues prevalent to us.”
In regards to Maranoa councillors nominating Cr Fuhrmeister over their own member, Cr O’Neil said, “I think the community can draw their own conclusion.”
“I can’t speak on behalf of those councillors.”