STANDING in the back of a ute in Rockhampton's CBD yesterday, surrounded by his Team McMillan council candidates, mayoral candidate Michael McMillan officially launched his campaign.

For a number of months Mr McMillan, a local small business owner, has been a candidate in the race for Rockhampton mayor in this month's local election.

But yesterday Mr McMillan, who was introduced by his campaign director Robert Schwarten, wanted to make sure there is no doubt in people's minds he wants to be the one to deliver change to the region.

Mr McMillan said he was running for mayor as he was "not a bystander".

"We're getting to the business end of this election and, like most people in Rockhampton, I have an absolute desire for change," Mr McMillan said.

"I've been talking to people where they work, relax and shop and they see this council as tired and out of touch. I want to take this city forward to be one of the country's leading economies. I will bring council to the ratepayers' neighbourhood.

"We will turn our airport into an economic powerhouse exporting millions of dollars' worth of local goods. We will keep the rates under control by expanding the rate base by bringing in new business and by setting up networks of Rocky business people who now live all over the world.

"My only aim will be to be the best mayor this city has ever had and I know that is a big call because there's legends like Rex Pilbeam and Jim Webber to compete with."

Mr McMillan said he organised to launch his campaign in East St, the heart of the CBD, as it was one of the areas of the town he had plans for.

"This is a major issue for our council," Mr McMillan said.

"Something that we really need to consider is the revitalisation of our CBD over the next four years so that will be a key project for council in how we assist these businesses get back to a viable position. This has all got to be about our economy, it's got to be about jobs and sustainability across our region."

LOCAL ELECTION:

Saturday, March 19.

Visit: ecq.qld.gov.au for a list of local divisions.