Bill Byrne witnesses nomination for person who could replace him
BILL Byrne has officially witnessed Margaret Strelow's nomination form for Labor pre-selection to stand for the seat of Rockhampton.
Ms Strelow, the mayor of the Rockhampton Region, had asked the outgoing Rockhampton MP (first elected 2012) to witness her signature on the form.
Mr Byrne shocked the city earlier this month when he announced he would not be standing again due to health issues.
Cr Strelow, officially lodged her nomination after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Friday gave a strong endorsement for the mayor as the "best person" to replace Mr Byrne.
Cr Strelow paid tribute to Mr Byrne for his hard work and commitment to the people of Rockhampton and also for backing her.
"I would like to take this moment to thank Bill for his service and for his friendship and for his support," she said. "And to wish him a speedy return to full health.
"You should know that without Bill Byrne's active support and advocacy many of the things that are happening in our region (the Riverbank, Redevelopment of Kershaw Gardens, the Waterplay at Gracemere) would not have happened."
Cr Strelow said she had been "very much" encouraged to proceed with her nomination after the Premier's strong public support.
"I have watched her up close as she has steered the State for the last few years and I admire her immensely," she said.
"Quite apart from this process of pre selection, I sit here very humbled by her support. I would love to be able to work more closely with her to see her agenda for our State and our Region realised. "
Cr Strelow said she had also been contacted by "many fellow members of the Labor Party" offering encouragement and support but did not want to comment on the various scenarios that would play out if won pre-election.
"I know the prospect of my entering State politics leaves a myriad of questions but I'm really not keen to start speculating," she said.
"The pre-selection process will take some weeks. As the various stages progress there will be plenty of time for those conversations if they are appropriate."
"Meanwhile thank you to my Facebook friends too for your support.
"It has been an extraordinary few weeks in our community and the mood following the Adani announcement is palpably more buoyant and positive."
Labor nominations for Rockhampton close Monday.