Councillors' tell of shock and surprise

Published 4:00pm 16 February 2024

Councillors' tell of shock and surprise
Words by Nick Crockford

Six members of Moreton Bay City Council returned unopposed this week, have spoken of this week's “total shock”, “surprise” and “very humbling experience”.

Mayor Peter Flannery and Councillors Brooke Savige (Div 1), Jodie Shipway (Div 4), Yvonne Barlow (Div 7), Cath Tonks (Div 9) and Darren Grimwade (Div 9) were the only candidates when nominations closed on Monday.

It means residents in just seven of Council’s 12 divisions will need to go the polls in the Local Government Elections on Saturday March 16.

Of nine Queensland councils with 10 or more divisions/wards, only Logan City matches Moreton Bay with five uncontested divisions - but Logan has a Mayoral challenge.

Historically, the 2004 Pine Rivers Shire Council Election – when Mayor Yvonne Chapman, Councillors Bob Millar, Craig McConnell, Graeme Ashworth, Bryan Galvin and Mick Gillam were unopposed – matches this year.

Cr Yvonne Barlow, Cr Darren Grimwade and Mayor Peter Flannery who will return for the new Council term.

Peter Flannery was among 15 mayors to be unopposed in Queensland’s 77 local government areas and the only one in South-East Queensland.

“It’s a very humbling experience,” he said, “and I believe a sign the community is happy with what we have been doing.

“Over the last four years I wanted there to be confidence and transparency (in council).

“Now it’s about the team I want to work with (in the next term) and everyone working in the same direction.”

Brooke Savige has been returned for a third term representing Division 1 and said on Facebook: “Together we have achieved so very much. But there is always more to do.

“I want to thank each and every person who has supported me on this journey so far, but a special thank you to my friends and family, whose sacrifices have not gone unnoticed.”

Jodie Shipway, Deputy Mayor in the last term of council, is back for a second term in Division 4.

“With some big challenges facing our City in the coming years, we need to continue to work together to find practical, workable solutions to some of these challenges at the same time as continuing to meet the needs of our community,” she said on Facebook.

“Once again thank you for your support and for your contributions to making our community the amazing place it is.”

Councillors' tell of shock and surprise
Jode Shipway, who has been returned unopposed in Division 4

Yvonne Barlow, who won a by-election in 2021 when Denise Sims stepped down, will continue as Councillor for Division 7.

“I’m very humbled to be given the opportunity to finish some very important projects that are beneficial to the quality of life for families,” she said.

“I’m a big believer in keeping people informed so we take the journey together. My residents know I don’t believe in party politics in local government.”

Cath Tonks said she was “honoured” to return for a second term representing Division 9.

“There have been plenty of emotions this week and it was surprise to be re-elected unopposed,” she said.

“I am looking forward to seeing local projects delivered, including repairs to vital local infrastructure damaged in the January weather and introduction of the green waste bin later this year.”

Councillors' tell of shock and surprise
Cath Tonks who has a second four-term in Division 9

Darren Grimwade admitted it was a “total shock” to be re-elected unopposed in Division 11.

“I had prepared and started rolling out a full election campaign highlighting the many achievements the community and I had been able to deliver over the past four years in very difficult and unprecedented times,” he said.

“I want to thank the Division 11 community for entrusting me to continue to represent them.”

Local Government postal vote applications close on March 7.

Early voting will be from March 4-15; Election day is March 16 8am-6pm and the close of return of postal votes is March 26.

Comparable councils 10 or more divisions/wards:

Brisbane City Council - 26 wards, all contested

Bundaberg Regional Council - 10 divisions, all contested

Fraser Coast Regional Council - 10 divisions, 2 uncontested

Gold Coast City Council: 14 divisions, 1 uncontested

Logan City Council - 12 divisions, 5 uncontested

Moreton Bay City Council - 12 divisions, 5 uncontested

Redlands City Council - 10 divisions, 2 uncontested

Torres Strait Island Regional Council - 15 divisions, 4 uncontested

Townsville City Council - 10 divisions, 2 uncontested

Councillors' tell of shock and surprise
Brooke Savige ready for a third-term in Division 1


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