Wilson named Deputy Mayor

Cr Chris Wilson was voted Deputy Mayor at Lockyer Valley Regional Council's Special Meeting on 5 April.

The Lockyer Valley’s new Deputy Mayor is Councillor Chris Wilson.

Cr Wilson was voted in by his peers at Lockyer Valley Regional Council’s Special Meeting on 5 April.

“It’s a huge honour and a privilege to have the opportunity to be the new Deputy Mayor of the Lockyer Valley Regional Council,” Cr Wilson said.

With the retirement of former Deputy Mayor Jason Cook, it was up to the newly formed councillor vote for a new deputy.

The nominations came down to Cr Wilson and fellow returning Councillor Michael Hagan, both of whom have served two terms.

Cr Hagan was nominated by Cr Cheryl Steinhardt.

“The reason for my choice of Cr Hagan is that he certainly has had a wide portfolio,” Cr Steinhardt said.

Cr Steinhardt said her work in the nonprofit sector has drawn her attention to conflicts of interest.

“I have seen conflicts of interest which have caused problems moving forward and I feel for purity, safety, and true transparency, you don’t have that same conflict interest with Cr Hagan,” she said.

The councillors and Mayor Tanya Milligan opted to vote publicly, rather than by secret ballot.

Councillors Cheryl Steinhardt and David Neuendorf voted for Cr Hagan, who cast his vote for himself.

Cr Wilson voted for himself as did Councillors Julie Reck, Anthony Wilson, and Cr Milligan.

Before the proceedings, Cr Anthony Wilson declared a conflict of interest, as Cr Chris Wilson is his brother.

He requested to remain in the room and cast his vote, which was supported by all councillors except Cr Neuendorf.

Cr Wilson was nominated by Cr Julie Reck, who was mindful of representing the communities west of Gatton.

“My original thought was obvious, that the one with the most votes should be Deputy Mayor,” she said.

“15,661 people voted for Chris Wilson.

“In a democratic society, I feel these people should not be ignored and they would also like Chris as Deputy Mayor.”

Cr Wilson topped the polls at most of the booths, coming second in Grantham, Helidon, Upper Tenthill, and Ma Ma Creek, and receiving the third highest number of votes from Murphys Creek.

Despite the Mayor and now the Deputy Mayor both living in Laidley, Cr Wilson said the booth results spoke for themselves.

“Councils were amalgamated for a reason,” he said.

“I am aware that will be a perception, but I’m determined that won’t stop us moving forward.”

He thanked Cr Reck for the nomination and the councillors who showed interest in the deputy role.

“I would like to thank Cr Hagan for also putting his hand up,” he said.

“There was another councillor who, in the initial stages, showed some interest as well so I thank them for doing that.

“A big thanks to Cr Reck for nominating me and the thought process she went through to do that.

“I appreciate it and appreciate the support of the majority of council.”