Mayoral aspirants urged to release rates plans
Mayoral candidate Nyree Johnson has thrown down the gauntlet to her opponents contesting the role of Rockhampton mayor, challenging them to release their rates policies ahead of the January 23 by-election.
Battling to stand out from a crowded field of 17 mayoral challengers, Mrs Johnson warned that any increase in rates, fees or charges would hurt Rockhampton residents.
She believed the region's voters deserved transparency from their candidates to understand how their rates bills would be affected before deciding on who to vote for.
"I released my financial management policy on December 14 where I committed to no increase in rates above CPI if I'm elected as mayor," Mrs Johnson said.
"It's important that the people of Rockhampton know what each candidate will do to their rates if elected as mayor.
"We've heard grandiose plans by some of the candidates with absolutely no plan on how to pay for them."
Without increasing rates, she said the only way they could pay for these plans was by cutting services, sacking council staff or selling council assets like the Rockhampton Airport.
"As a small-business owner, I know how important it is to balance the books, spend responsibly, invest in the future and provide an excellent customer experience," she said.
Mrs Johnson acknowledged that council rates, fees and charges could hurt the hip pocket and
committed to working with fellow councillors and executives to identify responsible savings to keep rates as low as possible.
"I know many in our community feel the pinch when they get their rates notices or other council bills in the mail," she said.
"With three kids and several small businesses, I can assure you I know the feeling.
"If successful, I'll be a mayor who will be a strategic leader and I will work with my fellow councillors and the CEO to keep council rates as low as possible through responsible savings and more efficient spending."
Pre-polling will open on January 11 and postal votes have begun arriving in the region's letterboxes this week.
Locals are advised that they might not know who their new mayor was for up to 10 days after election day.