Who will be Rockhampton's new mayor?
Who will be Rockhampton's new mayor?

By-election candidates: 11 contenders to vie for mayor

NOMINATIONS for the Rockhampton Regional Council mayoral vacancy are due to close next week and the list of candidates is growing every day.

The election will be held on Saturday, January 23, with nominations to close Monday December 21.

Here is a list of candidates The Morning Bulletin has heard from so far and a brief outline of their policies.

Chris Hooper.
Chris Hooper.

CHRIS HOOPER

Dubbed the accidental mayor, legislation changes now force Mr Hooper to run for the role and be voted in.

Pineapple has various policies which include scrapping the flood levee and stadium plans. He is also anti-Adani.

He would like to see council run by the community more, shelters built for the homeless, more solar panels on council buildings, the Bouldercombe Hotel made into a community centre, free public transport and less youth unemployment.

Nyree Johnson with her family.
Nyree Johnson with her family.

NYREE JOHNSON

The mother of three children, small business owner and writer wants to build a bright future for Rockhampton.

She announced her first policy this week which was based on a “financially sustainable council” with a focus on no rate increases, regional benchmarking in the budget, transparent budget reporting, resource sharing for cost saving and a Reforms and Savings Portfolio.

Ms Johnson has also spoken broadly about strong leadership and her plans to create a team that works together.

Mayoral candidate Christian Shepherd.
Mayoral candidate Christian Shepherd.

CHRISTIAN SHEPHERD

His name might sound familiar as he previously ran in the State Election for the Katter Australian Party as a candidate for Rockhampton.

Mr Shepherd would like to focus on financial stimulation with ‘lowered development fees, lowered rates, less red tape, less green tape, responsible spending and intuitive town planning’.

He would also like to see the water treatment plant expanded and a pipeline to Mount Morgan and agricultural centres, investment in small sports clubs and community groups, investment in light commercial and industrial facilities and a focus on the CBD business vacancies.

Rockhampton Region's mayoral candidate Christopher Davies
Rockhampton Region's mayoral candidate Christopher Davies

CHRISTOPHER DAVIES

New to the political landscape, Mr Davies, 32, was influenced to run for mayor in a bid to do right by his community.

He believes he will be able to bring a youthful insight to the council table.

Some policies include reducing crime, more entertainment options for youths, a youth council and attracting industry.

Rockhampton region councillor Donna Kirkland with the Environmental Sustainability Year in Review Report 2019-20.
Rockhampton region councillor Donna Kirkland with the Environmental Sustainability Year in Review Report 2019-20.

DONNA KIRKLAND

Voted into council for the first time at this year’s election as councillor for Division 7, Cr Kirkland is looking to move up the next rung of the ladder.

Coming from owning businesses for the past 30 years, Cr Kirkland brings leadership and business sense to the mayoral role.

Cr Kirkland is not interested in making election commitments given it is an existing term with existing budgets and projects.

She would like to see the foundation projects of roads, rates and rubbish continue.

Councillor Tony Williams has announced he will run for mayor in Rockhampton Regional Council 2021 by-election
Councillor Tony Williams has announced he will run for mayor in Rockhampton Regional Council 2021 by-election

TONY WILLIAMS

With 16 years of experience as a councillor behind him, Cr Williams is ready to take the next step.

Like Cr Kirkland, he didn’t plan to make any project commitments.

He is eager to work cohesively with the council table and the community and wants to see Rockhampton flourish.

He has a keen interest in capital projects, infrastructure and tourism.

He hopes the community will rely on the good reputation he has built over the years and vote for him.

Russell Claus is running for mayor. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin
Russell Claus is running for mayor. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin

RUSSELL CLAUS

One of the latest candidates to enter the race, Mr Claus comes from an economic development and planning background.

He has a vision of transforming the city into a place that will make youth want to stay or come back home.

He has worked in Oklahoma, revitalising the town centre after the Murrah bombing in 1996.

He would also like to see more sporting facilities in the region, including an indoor netball stadium.

BRONWYN YOUNG

The first official candidate to nominate with the Electoral Commision of Queensland, The Morning Bulletin has not been able to make contact with Ms Young yet.

Rockhampton businessman Dominic Doblo.
Rockhampton businessman Dominic Doblo.

DOMINIC DOBLO

The Fruit King hasn’t confirmed if he will run, telling The Morning Bulletin he will pull out if someone with “sound accounting knowledge and experience balancing budgets steps up”.

If he does run, Mr Doblo would like to see the Lactalis milk factory reopen, the CBD revitalised and red tape cut.

Miranda Broadbent is running for Rockhampton Mayor in 2021
Miranda Broadbent is running for Rockhampton Mayor in 2021

MIRANDA BROADBENT

A born and bred Rockhampton woman, Ms Broadbent, nee Ghea, taught for nearly 25 years and has two children.

Ms Broadbent is passionate about getting young people involved in how to grow the future of Rockhampton and listening to the needs of the community.

She is involved with donating blood and volunteers as a consumer representative with Queensland Health, is part of the Toastmasters group and the CWA along with fitness groups.

Fluent in Japanese, Ms Broadbent is keen to work with council’s sister city.

John Rewald is the latest candidate to step forward in the campaign to be Rockhampton region's next mayor.
John Rewald is the latest candidate to step forward in the campaign to be Rockhampton region's next mayor.

JOHN REWALD

Mr Rewald has added his name to a growing field of challengers.

Well known throughout the city as a community leader, Mr Rewald is taking his run for mayor extremely seriously.

Mr Rewald was in the midst a “very large transition” having recently ceased his employment as a Minister at the Oasis New Life Centre in Park Avenue and CEO of Oasis Community Services to campaign full-time until by-election day on January 23.

Mr Rewald has a long running association with Central Queensland having grown up in Moura before moving to Rockhampton in 1998 with his wife of 31 years and their four children.

For the past six years he’s also served as the chaplain for Central Queensland Capras