Mayoral candidate Phil Buddle is keen to get the Bony Mountain signs back up, among other goals for the region.
Mayoral candidate Phil Buddle is keen to get the Bony Mountain signs back up, among other goals for the region. Jenna Cairney

Mayoral candidate to do top job

WITH some interference, treble and balance, the latest mayoral candidate, Bony Mountain sound technician Phil Buddle, thinks he can hit some high notes in the Southern Downs.

Driving around the site of the inaugural Bony Mountain Festival, which is also Mr Buddle's and his partner, Norma O'Hara Murphy's, 100 acre home, he told the Daily News his lunge into politics isn't a change of frequency for him. Previously he served two years as mayor of Uralla, NSW, and he thinks the experience will serve him well.

"I'm a professional communicator and I know that aspect of the job," Mr Buddle said.

"I started thinking of going for councillor but then a few well-known business people in the town heard what I'd done in the past and said I should put my hat in the ring."

Local folklore suggests business owners are favoured when it comes to picking a council leader but Mr Buddle thinks 13 years as vice principal of Armidale High School is the equivalent of running a business.

"Without knocking the other guy, I do know if I got the job I won't have distractions." With three degrees under his belt, the maths, science and computing teacher will favour a practical, commonsense approach to running the region.

A relative newcomer to the area, having moved here seven years ago, Mr Buddle said he thinks his listening skills will help him make his mark and be accepted.

"It's about listening to people. I'm a good listener - at school I counselled the school counsellor."

He said he's passionate about ensuring Stanthorpe and Warwick works as a region and thinks having an outside perspective will help.

"It's good having the perspective of someone from a smaller area," he said. "When we first came to Bony Mountain, there was a sign on the highway and on the Warwick back road, they've now both come down.

"There are 31 mailboxes in Bony Mountain, which makes nearly 100 people, that's a community."

He said he didn't serve the full four-year term as Uralla mayor, as he was elected as mayor two years into his stint as councillor.

His major achievement in the position was the $150 million telecommunications project he helped bring to the region.

"My name is there at the site now."

As for what he'd like to see done here, he thinks quarterly rates and more consistent roadside slashing, as well as new Bony Mountain signs will be first on the list.

Mr Buddle wasn't yet keen to comment onpresent council chief executive Rod Fergusonthough.

"I've no knowledge of the CEO at this stage," he said.

"We might get on fine.

"I think a lot of issues between residents and council isn't the councillors, it's the staff and one of the mayor's main jobs, as well as being the figurehead, is to make sure the CEO is doing what is required."

Are you thinking of running for election? Call 4660 1318


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