Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Whalley Keen to Make a Difference in Council; New Councillor Sure He Has the Right Credentials

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Whalley Keen to Make a Difference in Council; New Councillor Sure He Has the Right Credentials

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter Foley peter.foley@qt.com.au

BOB Whalley says he was surprised to be appointed to the Somerset Regional Council but credits his passion for the position and long-time community service for getting him there.

The former Esk Shire Councillor and past mayoral candidate has been appointed to fill the Somerset Regional Councillor vacancy.

Councillors voted unanimously to appoint Mr Whalley to the role vacated by Jim Madden who went on to win Ipswich West for Labor in the state election.

Mr Whalley was one of 33 people who nominated for the vacancy, including Sean Choat who was spoken about essentially swapping with Mr Madden who took his state seat.

Given all that, what did he think his chances were prior to the vote on Wednesday?

"I was hopeful," Mr Whalley said.

"Sean actually rang me to let me know he was applying and I let him know that I'd already applied too.

"Sean's a good guy and has a wealth of knowledge and I felt that when he was running that he'd be a very worthy candidate."

He said he was "very pleasantly surprised" to win.

Mr Whalley was a councillor for Esk Shire Council from 2004 to 2008 and in 2008 he was a Somerset Council mayoral candidate.

"I loved being a councillor when I was back in the day but I must admit it was a big surprise because -- not because I saw a list of anybody -- but I heard there was some really good quality people going for the position," he said.

He said he ran again, mainly because he loves the area and he enjoyed his time on the Esk Shire Council.

"I've got a vested interest in the area," he said.

"I've started out of the local P and C and I've been on the local area water board, I've been in the Fernvale Lion, I've contributed where I can in the community and when I did have the opportunity in 2004-2008, I absolutely loved the role, loved implementing good policy and helping people where we could and when we couldn't help people explaining why processes were why they were. …

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