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Ron calls for change

Mayor Ron Bellingham.
Mayor Ron Bellingham.

ON THE eve of the highly anticipated State Election, Southern Downs mayor Ron Bellingham said the people of the local electorate were "cheesed off" with the continued pork barrelling among parties.

Cr Bellingham said the electorate was disadvantaged by being considered a "safe seat", as there was no competition between candidates.

"One party has got no chance of being elected in this very conservative electorate and the other side of politics knows they are going to win," he said.

"There is no real competition and that has certainly been to our disadvantage for quite some time.

"There is traditionally a lot of pork barrelling that goes on and the people of our electorate are really getting cheesed off with it."

Ahead of tomorrow's election, Cr Bellingham said it would be exciting to see which way voters went.

"I am listening to the media and I am not so sure they have it exactly right," he said.

"I think we are going to see a significant swing away from the existing government but to what extent that will manifest itself is anyone's guess."

Whichever way the polls swing, Cr Bellingham said he would like to see the State Government "get off the back" of their local counterparts.

"My big wish is for goodness sake, to get them off the back of the local governments, who are so bogged down in bureaucratic red tap it's mind boggling," he said.

Cr Bellingham said local governments were treated as thought they were the child of the State Government.

"To be blunt, the relationship between state and local is like master and slave," he said.

Cr Bellingham praised current Member Lawrence Springborg and his commitment to his role.

"We have had extremely good leadership from our current local member and he deserves credit for his tenacity and dedication to our area," he said.

"I am full of admiration for what he has been able to achieve."

While Cr Bellingham was reluctant to pinpoint exactly who he would like to see be victorious, he was clear in his hopes for a change.

"Really, it is a two-horse race in my opinion and it's time for a change and for State Government to take a little more notice of rural Queensland," he said.

While he has no plans for an election party to celebrate the state heading to the polls, Cr Bellingham said he would be keeping a close eye on the election coverage.

"I will be watching the polls and with the experience I have I know who I would like to see win the seat. And I would hope to see some significant change."

Topics:  queensland election 2012, ron bellingham


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