Mayoral candidate Nyree Johnson with children Alan and Sara at the Electoral Commission on Wednesday.
Mayoral candidate Nyree Johnson with children Alan and Sara at the Electoral Commission on Wednesday.

Mayoral candidate outlines financial policy vision

NYREE Johnson officially submitted her nomination for Rockhampton mayor today.

Having announced her entry into the competition last week, she said the number of people joining the race - though only three are currently official - was due to there being "an opportunity that's come up and people are looking for their next adventure".

"If we can find those people that can genuinely do a really amazing job, then that's what it should be about - supporting those people," she said.

Ms Johnson also laid out her financial policy plans this week, saying council charges could "hurt the hip pocket" and committed to finding ways to save money and keep rates "as low as possible".

"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.

"I know many in our community feel the pinch when they get their rates notices or other council bills in the mail.

"With three kids and a busy household, I can assure you I know the feeling."

Ms Johnson's promises included:

- To seek the council's endorsement to not increase general rates beyond the Consumer Price Index.

- To ask council management to benchmark the Rockhampton budget against comparable regions, to ensure responsible spending.

- To improve budget transparency by adding to the document a region-wide breakdown of expenditure, local suppliers, employment, and council projects.

- To set up a Regional Resource Sharing Taskforce to explore cost savings through resource sharing, cooperative procurement, and contract management.

- To appoint a Reform and Savings Portfolio Councillor tasked with working with the CEO, Chief Financial Officer, and general managers to save money and improve efficiency.

Ms Johnson said she would release her policies on council portfolios before pre-poll opened.

The mayoral by-election will be held on January 23, 2021.