IN AN almost unprecedented move, a Rockhampton non-partisan religious leader has come forward to offer his ringing endorsement for one of Rockhampton's election candidates.
The Anglican Dean of Rockhampton, the Very Reverend Lindsay Howie has offered his support to the former mayor Margaret Strelow's run for the seat of Rockhampton as an Independent candidate.
Fr Howie said ordinarily he sought to remain non-partisan in the expression of his political views, but nevertheless had been very impressed with the quality and commitment of the elected members of the Rockhampton Regional Council.
He said that Margaret Strelow, in terms of her service to the community and her time as the Mayor of Rockhampton, had demonstrated great passion and fierce loyalty to the region.
"She is a true battler who in her earlier life had known adversity and abuse and yet refused to remain the victim,” Fr Howie said.
"She is a proud and strong woman who in her life's journey has risen above the shameful attempts of those who would keep her down.
"She has shown herself to be more than a survivor.”
He recognised that Ms Strelow has come through many ordeals and shown herself to be a brave and remarkable woman with great gifts of leadership and administration.
"Her significant experience in government, her compassion for the marginalised and her advocacy for progressive development in this Region of Central Queensland puts her ahead of any other standing candidate,” he said.
Fr Howie said that he was confident that as an elected member of the Queensland Parliament she would prove to demonstrate the same quality of strong leadership and representation that she has shown in Local Government.
"Sitting as an independent, Margaret Strelow may possibly achieve more for the seat of Rockhampton than if she held membership in a particular party, especially in the case of a minority government where Independents often hold the balance of power,” he said.
"I wish her well in her run for the Queensland Parliament and am delighted that she had decided to put herself forward as a candidate in the coming Queensland State Election.”
In response to the rare and unprompted endorsement, Ms Strelow regarded the gesture as both "surprising” and "extraordinary”.
"I've never known something like this to happen before for someone in his position to offer me his support,” Ms Strelow said.
"I'm incredibly honoured, humbled and grateful to Dean Howie.”
Ms Strelow, who only announced her candidacy in the state election last Monday - one week into the campaign - and has busily been playing catch up, announced on her Facebook page this morning some good news and an appeal for assistance.
"My corflutes have arrived! Yay!” Ms Strelow said.
"Can anyone give an hour or two to get a few around??”