Rob Mackenzie.
Rob Mackenzie. contributed

Candidate off council as election draws near

GOONDIWINDI Regional Councillor Rob Mackenzie has been forced to take a leave of absence from the council as he vies for a seat in State Parliament.

Under the Local Government Act, Queensland councillors must take an unpaid leave of absence from when they are accepted as a candidate.

Cr Mackenzie said his leave began as the Returning Officer accepted him as one of six candidates running for the Southern Downs.

"It starts as soon as the names are accepted so that was at noon on Tuesday,” he said.

"Since then I have sat in on a council workshop that I had no input in and observed as a community member.

"The next council meeting is a general meeting where you must vote on items and I won't be attending that.”

Council CEO Carl Manton confirmed Cr Mackenzie would remain on unpaid leave until after the election.

"I got the advice first thing this morning that his compulsory leave started on Tuesday afternoon and advised him of it,” Mr Manton said.

"We'll have to wait and see what happens at the election.”

Cr Mackenzie announced in July he would be running as an independent in the upcoming state election.

He will legally remain a councillor unless he is elected as a member of the Queensland Parliament.

"I have no issue with the fact that I'm not allowed to have any input into council business at this stage,” Cr Mackenzie said.

"I am a bit disappointed at the fact I won't be able to receive any emails letting me know what's happening in the community during that time.

"Having your find on the pulse and knowing what the community needs from that councillor connectivity is so important.

"My role on council will resume if I'm not elected.”

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