DISAPPOINTING TURNOUT: Not many candidates appeared for the session hosted by CEO David Keenan.
DISAPPOINTING TURNOUT: Not many candidates appeared for the session hosted by CEO David Keenan.

Candidates question councillor sessions after dismal turnout

IT was a dismal turnout at the prospective councillor information sessions at the Warwick Town Hall on Monday night and candidates questioned the value of the educational evening.

Fewer than six residents attended the session, hosted by Southern Downs Regional Council CEO David Keenan.

Speakers discussed basic information about the region, including population size, budget and council structure, attendee Andrew Gale said.

“It was disappointing there weren’t more people there,” Mr Gale said.

“There were more current councillors than there were prospective ones.”

“But then again, considering each candidate has to do ‘So You Want To Be a Councillor’ training, I question the holding of such a session in the first place.”

The new training required of candidates comes as part of the second stage of the Belcarra reforms, aimed at increasing transparency during local government elections.

The ratio of existing to prospective councillors led attendees to wonder whether the educational session was an opportunity to “suss out the competition” rather than provide valuable information.

Mr Gale argued candidates should already have that base level of knowledge prior to putting their hand up to represent the region.

“If you were going for a job you would research the position well before the interview,” he said.

The second stage of the prospective councillor information evening was held in Stanthorpe tonight.


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