ELECTION ANTICIPATION: Rockhampton businessman Dominic Doblo is preparing to throw his hat into the ring in either the upcoming local or state elections.
ELECTION ANTICIPATION: Rockhampton businessman Dominic Doblo is preparing to throw his hat into the ring in either the upcoming local or state elections.

Doblo’s plan to target ‘weakest link’ at Rocky council

JUST days away from nominations opening for the Local Government Elections, colourful Rockhampton businessman Dominic Doblo has called for public assistance to determine which role and division he should target.

Despite running a highly successful fruit market for the past two years, Mr Doblo said no one was interested in what he had to say but a political role would give him the heft to fight for the region and turn his positive ideas for the community into reality.

Dominic Doblo is doing a brisk trade at Doblo’s Farmers Market at the Common.
Dominic Doblo is doing a brisk trade at Doblo’s Farmers Market at the Common.

"I am standing because regional Australia is in serious decline and the Pauls milk thing was the nail in the coffin," Mr Doblo said.

"Who is standing up for the dairy industry being destroyed in Central Queensland?

"Who is putting pressure on Michelle Landry to build a milk factory so that we can start a co-op so we don't lose the industry here?"

After two failed tilts for the role of Rockhampton Regional mayor in 2012 and 2016, Mr Doblo, 60, admits he's not getting any younger and this would be his last attempt to secure a seat at the council table.

"I always have said I'm a firm believer in looking after your own backyard first and the best place to look after our backyard is from the council," he said.

Weighing his options carefully, unsure if he would run for mayor or councillor, he posted a list of Rockhampton councillor's names and their divisions onto social media, calling for the public to name the "weakest link" he should challenge.

The overwhelming feedback suggested he target ­retiring Cr Rose Swadling's seat in Division 1 or Cr Stephen Schwarten's seat in Division 7.

Mr Doblo said he wanted to see which division he could have the most impact on the outcomes for small business before making his decision on where to run next week.

He's listed three key items which he intended to fight for as a councillor - backing local businesses, making junior sport more affordable and delivering a nation building project for the region.

Election 2016. Dominic Doblo in Rockhapmton. Pic Mark Calleja
Election 2016. Dominic Doblo in Rockhapmton. Pic Mark Calleja

"Small business in this town needs to be revitalised. All the councillors do a big song and dance when a big major comes to town but all the profits from a big major leaves ­Rockhampton. If you've got a small business, the profits stay here," he said.

If he was with the council, he would endeavour to bring together the region's small business people and create conditions making it easier for them to succeed.

He said the unaffordable cost for the youth to play a sport had become a problem which he hoped to take steps to fix either in council or through pressure on the state government.

While acknowledging that addressing youth crime was a state issue, Mr Doblo said he would use a position on the council to pressure the state government to act on the ­problem.

A key plank to Mr Doblo's future vision for the region was getting a national building project off the ground like his pet project, building the Fitzroy Gap Dam.

WATER DEBATE: Rookwood Weir is locked in but Doblo wants the Gap Dam.
WATER DEBATE: Rookwood Weir is locked in but Doblo wants the Gap Dam.

While the $1 billion Rockhampton Ring Road would deliver a short term sugar hit for jobs, he said it was short sighted and a large scale Gap Dam project, estimated to cost $9 billion with a capacity of 2 million megalitres, would deliver wealth and employment opportunities in agriculture, tourism, mining and construction for decades to come.

Since making his post, Mr Doblo has been flooded with comments and phone calls from people begging him to do something curb the issue of youth crime.

"The amount of people that have rung me about the crime, I didn't realise it was such a problem. Youth crime, out of control," he said.

"We haven't got enough police on the beat here, morale is down, down, down. The state government has lost control of youth crime in this state."

He is also entertaining the idea of running against Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke in October, where he could have a greater influence.

Mr Doblo is also on the record saying "the greens are totally insignificant in regional Australia", that he "has no belief in man made climate change", is "100 per cent against drugs" and wants "bureaucrats held accountable for their actions and decisions not consultants".

Mr O'Rourke and Brittany Lauga said they agreed with Mr Doblo's ideas to combat youth crime through supporting young people into training and employment.

"That's why the Palaszczuk Government is investing in programs like Skilling Queenslanders for Work and Project Booyah which all provide training to help get young people off the streets and into jobs," they said.

"We'd like to invite Mr Doblo to come and meet some of the local young people who these programs have made a difference for. Young Rocky people like Sam who was in trouble with the law but after some support, went back to school, finished Year 12 and is now studying to be a youth worker.

"There is more to be done and that's why I'm working closely with Police, Stockland and community to address this issue."

By becoming a councillor, or even just running for election, you can make a positive difference to your local community. Queensland's councils need councillors and mayors that reflect the diversity of our communities.

Click the link below to find out more about the role of a councillor, what councils do, and what you need to know if you want to stand for election in 2020.

www.dlgrma.qld.gov.au/so-you-want-to-be-a-councillor.html



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