Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Bundy's Mayor in for the Long Haul

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Bundy's Mayor in for the Long Haul

Article excerpt

Byline: Toni McRae

The young suburban mum who got fed up with "being neglected by the older people on council" isn't doing too badly making it to the boss of 90,000 people over a 6500sqkm patch of Queensland and running an operating expenditure of $110 million.

"It's not quite what I expected when, as a kid, I was helping my family run the only 24-hour service station on the Bruce Highway between Booyal and Rocky," says Lorraine Pyefinch

The first mayor of the Bundaberg Regional Council, elected a year ago when she ran against four men, is a bit of a surprise package.

"Working in the family's service station gave me a good sense of customer service along with how tough it is to run a small business."

Her country girl background also won her a substantial vote in the mayoral race - along with some impressive business experience and her roots in a local pioneering family.

"My family settled in the Bundaberg region in the mid 1800s and I was born in Gin Gin in Kolan Shire and raised in Booyal.

"My father, Les Tucker, worked at the Isis Sugar Mill until his retirement in the mid 1980s."

Politics didn't loom on Mrs Pyefinch's horizon; nursing did. She started that career at Bundaberg Base Hospital and while remote nursing in Alpha in the central west, met Frank Pyefinch, the medical superintendent.

"You never know where you're going to find your partner. We moved to Redcliffe and had Robert, who's now studying jazz guitar at the Conservatorium of Music after two years in engineering. We came back to Bundaberg, which is a wonderful place to raise a family and where our daughter, Emily, is now in grade 12 at Shalom College.

"Frank gives me a long rope. He's always been totally supportive of me."

Dr Frank would need to be. His wife was first elected to Bundaberg City Council in 1994 after becoming fed up with what she perceived as young suburban mums like herself not truly being represented. She was then, at age 31, the youngest female on the council. …

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