Cr Ray Jamieson to stand for mayor in Western Downs election
THE 2016 mayoral election for Western Downs Regional Council has its first official candidate with Cr Ray Jamieson declaring his intention to run for the position.
Cr Jamieson said his 12 years of experience in local government stands him in good stead as he prepares for the March 19 election.
"I believe I have what it takes to step up for a higher leadership role to serve the Western Downs community as mayor," Cr Jamieson said.
"With a strong regional focus I know I can represent the interests of the region at any level of government on any issue."
Cr Jamieson lives on a property near Meandarra comes from a small business and primary producing background.
He was first elected to Tara Shire Council in 2004 before being elected to the amalgamated Western Downs in 2008 and getting re-elected in 2012.
"I have a successful track record on council with many achievements including chair of the Saleyards Advisory Committee which oversaw the recently completed $12.6m redevelopment to turn it into a state-of-the-art facility," he said.
Cr Jamieson said he was also a board member Australian Livestock Marketers Association and the Western Downs Housing Trust and an executive on the Urban Local Government Association.
"I am committed to delivering more cost efficient affordable services while focusing on financial sustainability," he said.
"While regulatory requirements and cost shifting by the State and Federal governments have significantly contributed to the cost of services (post amalgamation), the promised economies of scale that would be achieved with bigger regional councils have yet to materialise."
Cr Jamieson said if elected he would focus on delivering lower cost quality services while maintaining liveability.
"Liveable communities are also about people being able to afford to live in our community," he said.
"My priority is to bring back our debt levels to a more manageable and responsible level by delivering reasonable operational surpluses."
Cr Jamieson said he would bring experience to the role of mayor and hit the ground running.
"I have the vision and credentials to step up to the mark and lead Council through whatever lies ahead," he said.
Outgoing mayor Ray Brown has already indicated he won't be standing again for mayor but will run as a councillor in the March election.
The council and mayoral election will be by postal ballot but while the eight councillor positions are decided by first-past-the-post, the mayoral election will be optional preference, meaning voters can number one or more candidates on their ballot paper.