Southern Downs Regional Councillor Mally McMurtrie.
Southern Downs Regional Councillor Mally McMurtrie.

McMurtrie steps up for mayoralty

LESS than two months out from local government elections, Southern Downs councillor Mally McMurtrie is the latest contender to enter the mayoral race.

Cr McMurtrie this week confirmed she would be vying for the top job when the region goes to the polls on April 28.

While she concedes it is a gamble to step away from the security of her councillor role, the former Stanthorpe deputy mayor said she wasn't afraid of the challenge.

"It is a gamble but I have gambled before," she said.

"I was the only woman to run for Stanthorpe mayor and I was beaten then but here I am again and ready to go."

The Stanthorpe councillor said the decision to run for mayor came after speaking with friends and family and a feeling that "it is the right time".

Although she can't explain what exactly it is that drives her to continue, she said she has a passion for the community.

Cr McMurtrie boasts a strong career in local government and business management and said she would tackle running the region as she would running a business.

When asked if she believed being a Stanthorpe candidate would be a disadvantage when it came to counting votes, Cr McMurtrie said she hoped she would be assessed on the merit of her work and not her postcode.

"I hope people will judge me on my past performances and the things I have achieved, not the 'I'm going to dos'," she said.

Although she is confident in the current council's performance, Cr McMurtrie admitted there were members of the community who would not feel the same.

"Sure, we have a few who are dissatisfied but I challenge people to tell me what they have seen go backwards," she said.

"We have tried to encompass all the towns and make sure they are all looked after."

Despite her assurances that she was the best candidate for the job, Cr McMurtrie was tight-lipped on her assessment of the competition.

"I haven't heard everyone speak yet and I don't like to judge people," she said.

Cr McMurtrie said the top item on her to-do list as mayor, if elected, would be the region's roads.

"The roads are the number one priority. You can have a lot of wants but you have to have good roads - it's a necessity," she said.

While initially against amalgamation, Cr McMurtrie said it was here to stay.

"If they would have asked me my opinion before (amalgamation) happened I would have said 'no way'," she said.

"But business opinion is no matter which side gets in they won't de-amalgamate - it costs a lot of money to do that."

Cr McMurtrie said if she were elected she would dedicate herself entirely to the role.

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