‘Time for a change’: New Livingstone councillor sworn in
Runner-up candidate from the 2020 Livingstone Shire Council election, Rhodes Watson, has officially been sworn in as a new councillor.
Council resolved to fill the vacancy following the resignation of councillor Tanya Lynch on March 4 by seeking consent from Mr Watson at a special meeting on March 8.
Standing outside Council Chambers on Tuesday morning, Mr Watson said he was excited because he thought he had “missed the boat”.
“At first I didn’t believe it because I thought Tanya Lynch was solid,” he said.
“I thought for her to do that, that took guts and I commend her for that.
“A by-election was something Tanya did not want because she knew the cost was prohibitive. To save $225,000 is a lot of money.
“That gave me that position and it got council running instead of having those few months where they are short a councillor.
“I am looking forward to getting started and working as hard as I can.”
Mr Watson, who currently runs Snippets Newspapers, said he had lived in the region nearly all his life and would follow in the footsteps of his parents, John and Suzy, who were councillors at Livingstone Shire Council in the late 90s.
“I have always had this attitude of just do it,” he said.
“I have done many things for the region over the years and I just thought it was time to become a councillor.
“At the end of the 2020 election I missed out by 141 votes, but this opportunity came up and I wasn’t going to let it go.”
He said there were a number of projects he wanted to get started.
“Something I have been working on since 2013 was a product called soil binder and that was to seal dirt roads in our shire to make them safer and save money for the shire,” he said.
“The shire has needed guidance for quite a while and has a new mayor who is doing that.
“I ran for council because I knew it was time for a change and things have changed quite a bit since then.
“I am very happy to be part of this council.”
Mayor Andy Ireland said council welcomed Mr Watson with open arms.
“He is a local, he has been here a long time and understands the region and issues,” he said.
“His background is in journalism and his parents are former councillors of this shire.
“We are excited to have him.”