Almost 6 years ago I announced my intention to run for Mayor. Today, I am announcing my resignation, effective 11th December 2021. Representing the North Burnett for the past 5 and a half years has been the greatest honour and privilege of my life.
I have thrown my heart, soul and life into representing you with kindness, courage and passion.
The role of Mayor is a 24 hour / 7 day a week gig. To do justice to the position you need to throw everything you’ve got at it, which of course leaves little for anything else. Its demands are many and I wouldn’t have lasted as long as I have without the unwavering support of my family, friends, colleagues and community members. You all know who you are, and I can’t thank you enough.
At this point I’d like to set the record straight; I’m not leaving so I can run for the state seat of Callide. Over the years I’ve been asked numerous times to run for either state or federal government and have considered it on occasion.
However, I’ve decided once and for all, that even though I believe I would have made a great member of parliament, I’m too much of a delinquent for party politics. As I’ve told both sides over the years, if I didn’t believe in something, I’d cross the floor more times than a hoover.
Both parties have great people, many of which I regard as friends, both have some great ideas, and both have their issues. My hope is that whoever is in government now and into the future, works out very soon, that Local Government is the foundation of all of Queensland economies supports us accordingly.
I’ve relished the freedom being an apolitical mayor gives me. Until recently, the red team thinks I’m blue and the blue team thinks I’m red. That’s my job. That gives us the best chance for progressing the region.
I have loved being able to fiercely advocate for outcomes on your behalf and whilst my passion and determination hasn’t wavered, my attention has shifted.
The last three months of my personal life has forced me to reprioritise. These events have been life-changing and have served as a wake-up call as to how life needs to be lived. And I need to make some changes in mine.
I’m sorry for those I have let down with this decision. I agonised over it for a long time. All I can say, is that it’s the right decision for me, and for us as a family.
I walk away with some disappointment, knowing I have left a great deal of unfinished business. Biggenden, Coalstoun Lakes and Coranga Water, a regional university hub, Substation 99, Perry Pumped Hydro, the sealing state roads, minerals development and our project cutting red tape to name just a few. I would have loved to have seen these through to the end. And of course, there is still so much more debate to be had regarding Local Governments sustainability across QLD.
I walk away however, with my head held high, knowing that I have given my all to North Burnett. I will miss so many parts of this job. Others I won’t miss at all. I’ll leave it up to you to work out which ones are which.
Councillors, Mayors, MP’s and Senators are all just passionate community members who one day decided they loved their area so much that they would dedicate some of their life towards improving it for others. There is nothing particularly special about any elected representative, although I’m sure some would disagree with this statement. Each one of us is just doing the best we can, with what we’ve got, where we are.
It’s now time for another passionate, energetic, and proactive person to take the baton and run with it. There’s much work left to be done.
North Burnett, you will always hold a very special place in my heart. Thank you for the memories which I will hold dear for a lifetime.
Mayor Rachel Chambers