Long-serving Isaac councillor reveals plans for future
HIS career has spanned nearly two decades over two different councils but this year will be one of Geoff Bethel's last in the chambers.
The Isaac Regional Council division eight representative announced he would not recontest his seat in the council elections in March.
"I've just felt I wanted to step back," Mr Bethel said.
Over his 18-year tenure he served as deputy mayor and division eight councillor representing the coastal communities from Ilbilbie to St Lawrence and west to Coppabella.
As a five-term councillor, Mr Bethel oversaw the amalgamation of Broadsound Shire Council into the Isaac region.
His wife, Ruth Bethel said it would be nice for her 72-year-old husband to spend less time on the road, travelling to and from council meetings, and more time at their Valkyrie cattle property.
"I'm just going to have to put up with him at home," Mrs Bethel joked.
While the veteran councillor's name would not be on the March ticket, there would be some familiar names for Isaac voters.
Mayor Anne Baker, Deputy Mayor and division five councillor Kelly Vea Vea and the remaining six councillors have said they would recontest their divisions.
After eight years on council, Cr Vea Vea said the region was about to experience "interesting times".
"I think it's never been more important to have a strong voice for industry, workers, communities and our region to represent us," she said.
Clermont resident and division one councillor Greg Austen confirmed he would recontest, but joked he was hesitant because "it's another four years. We're running out of daylight".
Division two councillor Nick Wheeler said he would campaign on improving facilities to his constituents in Dysart, including the town's drinking water.
Campaigning for a two-decade tenure on council, Division three councillor Gina Lacey, who represented Moranbah residents, said she would focus on helping the community weather the future ups and downs of the mining industry.
As the newest face on the council, with only 10 months in the job, Simon West said he was enthusiastic to run for his first full term.
"I'm just getting into the swing of it," Mr West said.
"But I already have some runs on the board."
The first-term division six councillor Lynette Jones said she was hoping for a new term to see her Clermont passion projects still locked "in the pipeline" come into fruition.
The challenge of representing the expanded division seven electorate, which would stretch from Middlemount to parts of Moranbah, was something two-term councillor Jane Pickels said she was excited to face if re-elected.
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