Third time lucky for Doblo to become Mayor?
Word of colourful Rockhampton businessman Dominic Doblo running again to become the Rockhampton region's next mayor comes with an asterix next to it.
Mr Doblo is willing to pull out of the mayoral campaign if someone with sound accounting knowledge and experience balancing budgets steps up to run for mayor.
The RRC by-election will take place on Saturday, January 23 with the deadline for candidate nominations on December 21 and early voting open from January 11, 2021.
Most recently he ran as an independent in October's Queensland Election where he finished fourth with 6.8 per cent of the vote - a result he chalks up to the dominance of the major political parties.
This will be his third attempt to become the city's mayor after failed bids in 2016 (10.87 per cent of the vote) and in 2012 (6.18 per cent of the vote).
"I'm definitely running unless someone more economically savvy than me, comes along," Mr Doblo said.
He took aim at Council's handling of the South Rockhampton levee bank, a project he's been opposed to since the start, claiming $100 million was wasted before RRC abandoned plans for the (estimated $189 million) project.
"They spent $100 million on studies, buying land for the levee bank, and whatever else and now they're saying it's not going ahead," he said.
"That money's just gone, it's been wasted.
"Could you imagine what we could do with a $100 million upgrading the CBD and the sporting fields around Rocky?"
Acting Mayor Neil Fisher responded to Mr Doblos comments about the flood levee project.
"Council has been working on this project for a very long time. It was raised as something we wanted to explore almost 30 years ago, so over that time we have carried out various activities from feasibility studies to engineering works," Cr Fisher said.
"A project of this size and complexity requires a significant amount of work before you can even break ground. However we have spent less than 10 per cent of the wildly inaccurate figure that has been suggested.
"The project has not been abandoned, nor the money wasted. My support and the support of the councillors for the South Rockhampton Flood Levee has never diminished. It is a vital piece of infrastructure to protect our community and businesses.
"We continue to support the SRFL and we want the other levels of Government to continue to keep it on their infrastructure agenda for our community."
As the owner of Doblo's Farmers Market, the self-appointed "fruit king" was very much focused on supporting small business owners, while retaining the region's existing businesses and attracting more to the area.
"I think it was a very sad day for Rockhampton that we lost the (Lactalis) milk factory," he said.
"They're saying that manufacturing is going to be the future to get us through post-COVID but we lost a major manufacturer here in February and no one said anything about it."
If he was elected mayor, Mr Doblo said he would be actively lobbying the state and federal goverments to secure $10 million to reopen the factory and support local producers, rather than seeing CQ's milk sent south to be processed before it was sent back north.
Mr Doblo would like to see the council doing more to revitalise the CBD and do more to encourage businesses to return to the area.
"I'd cut out the enormous amounts of red tape whereever possible," he said.
Another of his outside-the-box ideas was for council to create a southern entrance to Rockhampton's Botanical Gardens off the Bruce Highway after the Yeppen crossing.
Not only would it make it easier for tourists to access one of the region's most popular tourist attractions but it would provide an ideal opportunity for the gardens to be expanded towards the highway.