Dominic Doblo
Dominic Doblo Chris Ison

Business bosses back Doblo's bid

DOMINIC Doblo says he'll spare no expense in his quest to wrest control of Rockhampton Regional Council from the bureaucrats - and it won't cost him a penny.

The landscape gardener says 30 business leaders have so far agreed to bankroll his campaign to be mayor, and others are waiting in the wings to pour thousands into the kitty.

Their donations will pay for an extensive advertising and publicity blitz as the contest with candidates Brad Carter and Tim Griffin hots up in the coming weeks.

"They are motivated by the same force as me: frustration at the waste and the control exercised over the council by bureaucrats. The amount of support I have received from business people has amazed me. There is so much dislike out there for the way the council is run," he said yesterday as he outlined the focus of his campaign.

Radio advertising will centre on the theme: "No bureaucrat is going to push me around. I won't back down." He will also advertise heavily in newspapers and on billboards.

And Mr Doblo says his controversial past as a businessman who went bankrupt will not harm his chances of winning the top prize.

"There are people financially backing me who I owed money to when I went bust. I don't shy away from my past. I've been in Rockhampton all my life so people know what happened."

He said he had been thinking about venturing into politics for about 18 months and the more interest he took in the workings of the council, the more convinced he became that it needed a strong character at the helm.

"I'm going to be a mayor for the people who faces major problems head on. I won't be passing things on to officers to push pieces of paper about for months on end. If I am mayor I will be in charge, not the CEO and I'm prepared for a battle within the organisation."

But he said he knew there were plenty of good people in City Hall who were tied up with red tape.

Mr Doblo, 52, has been married twice and has three grown up children from his first marriage and a three-year-old and six-year-old from his second to school teacher Nadine Kelly.

He says although he has no political allegiances he was a great admirer of former Rockhampton mayor Rex Pilbeam and ex-Premier Joh Bjelke-Peterson. And his mother, Teresa, was an Alderman for one term in the 1980s, serving under Pilbeam.

"She was a bit outspoken," he said. "It must run in the family."

He promises a colourful campaign but says he will not make any personal criticism of the current mayor, Cr Carter. "I don't think he's a bad bloke and we get on well, but I think he's been in the wrong place at the wrong time and hasn't been able to rein-in the bureaucrats."

The council election is expected to be on April 28 and a number of other candidates are expected to nominate in the coming weeks.

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