Mayor endorsed by chamber after second preference survey
INCUMBENT mayor Gerard O'Connell has cemented his place amongst the business community as the favourite person to lead the Fraser Coast forward.
The representative of hundreds of businesses across the Fraser Coast, the Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce has released the results of the second mayoral survey.
The second survey comes after the mayoral breakfast at the chamber last week where candidates addressed the crowd.
Chamber president Tim Powers said the 160 responses received were "overwhelming" in favour of Cr O'Connell to drive the region forward.
"This is a solid endorsement of the incumbent to lead the Fraser Coast Regional Council that manages over $1.2 billion in infrastructure, controls revenues of $150 million each year, employs over 500 people, administers thousands of pages of legislation, and is responsible for the delivery of essential services and infrastructure," he said.
"The mayor is the person we elect and trust to head this organisation.
"Particularly in today's environment, they must have council experience, integrity and be someone with strong connections in and to our Fraser Coast community - it is not a role that can be learnt on the job."
Cr O'Connell's 69% rating comes ahead of Chris Loft on 19%, Steve Coleman on 7%, Jannean Dean on 3% and both Greg Schmidt and Lee Carter with 1%.
"The fear of the business community, in continued difficult trading conditions, is that an inexperienced mayor leads to a loss of momentum which could be crippling for businesses on the Fraser Coast," Mr Powers said.
"Our member survey tells us that they believe Gerard O'Connell has the experience required to stop this from happening."
Mr Powers thanked all candidates who put their hand up for election "and expressed their willingness to serve their communities".
ELECTION: Who would you like to see become Fraser Coast Mayor?
This poll ended on 18 March 2016.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.