‘Loved it from the first day I started and I still do’
CHERIE Rutherford has loved being a councillor from the first day she started and she still loves it now.
Cherie was first elected to Rockhampton City Council in 2004 as the Division 8 councillor and after the amalgamation it was renamed Division 5.
The seventh generation Rockhampton local is now putting her hand up for a fifth term.
Her desire to become a councillor 16 years ago was because she wanted to make Rocky a place that children didn’t want to leave, that they wanted to stay in and be happy to stay.
“I understand that children do have to leave, it’s good for them to spread their wings and find their own path but to have the region as a place they want to come back to, that is the best thing,” she said.
Cherie enjoys being a councillor because it gives her the chance to connect with people and contribute to the community.
She likes to give back to the community as it was very supportive towards her as a sportsperson in her younger years.
“You can’t help everyone but on the occasion when you can someone solve a problem then that is a really good feeling as well,” Cherie said.
“I have loved it (being a councillor) from the first day I started and I still do.
“I look around and see what we have achieved and I am really proud of the way our region has grown, what it looks like and what we have done.”
Cherie, who has two adult sons, started out in council in the parks, sports and recreation department as Tom Wyatt’s personal assistant.
Now the chair of the department herself, it is a branch of council she has always been interested in.
Cherie has been involved with trampolining for years, having coached for the past 30 or so, and still does at least three times a week at the PCYC.
The projects she would like to see get off the ground or continue next term are around this area of council.
She would love to see the bike and walking trail around Mount Morgan Dam take shape.
“I think that is a fantastic program that will be great for Mount Morgan and for the whole region,” she said.
“It’s just a beautiful area and it lends itself beautifully to that.”
The pump track at Gracemere is also another project she is passionate about and she is pleased to see the work that has progressed at Touch of Paradise at Cedric Archer Park.
A multi-sports precinct is also something Cherie is dedicated to getting off the ground.
She would like to get started on that next term so the sporting community is set up for the next 20 to 30 years.
Division 5 covers Wandal, West Rockhampton, Ridgelands to the Glenroy Crossing, Riverslea Crossing, Gogango, Westwood, Moongan, Struck Oil and Mount Morgan.
Changes in the boundaries for the next term add Kabra and Stanwell.
Being a rural area, Cherie has also been working the rural floodway crossings program and is eager to keep it going.
Overall she thanks her community for supporting her and voting her in over the years.