Council election candidates reveal if they plan to keep their other job if elected.
Council election candidates reveal if they plan to keep their other job if elected.

Q&A: Candidates reveal if they’ll keep their day jobs

IN THE lead-up to the March 28 council election, The Gympie Times put a number of questions to the region’s candidates.

Today, the 30 men and women fighting for one of the nine seats on the next Gympie Regional Council reveal how they plan to grow business in Gympie.


All responses presented in divisional order, and in the sequence candidates’ names appear on the ballot papers.

Hard at work.
Hard at work.


Glen Hartwig

No, Mayor is a full-time position and I will be 100% dedicated and committed to the role.

Mick Curran


Tim Jerome

I will be working full-time 100 per cent as Mayor.

At work.
At work.

Division 1

Jess Milne

Yes. I am a self employed part time cleaner and if elected I intend to continue cleaning a couple hours a week as the jobs are flexible. It will keep me grounded and won’t affect my ability to serve as an elected representative.

Ash Little

I ceased full-time employment in 2013 to focus on single parenting my three children.

I commenced studies, undertaking two separate degrees in a Bachelor of Primary Education and a Bachelor in Psychological Science. Two of my children are now adults and independent and I deferred studies in 2017 to focus on parenting.

The transition from being a volunteer community advocate to a formal councillor is a logical progression. It will be my only employment if elected.

Mark McDonald

I don’t have a day job and being a Councillor is a humbling honour bestowed on you by your community. If you’re in it because you need a job then it’s a clear indication that you’re probably not going to do it well.

Phil Feldman

My “day job” is mostly an online travel agency with minimal interaction of clients.

I almost takes care of itself and I have managed to work around this even when employed in full time job in previous government positions over the previous 45 years.

Some councillors will end up with a rejection slip come election day.
Some councillors will end up with a rejection slip come election day.

Division 2

Dolly Jensen

This will be my day job.

Leonora Cox

Council will be my day job, 100 per cent.

Previously as a councillor I put in more than average full-time hours and would expect to continue that commitment.

I don’t currently work full-time.

I do work part time.

As a swimming teacher I must teach for a small number of hours per year to continue to hold my accreditation.

Full-time work.
Full-time work.

Division 3

Mal Gear

When I was elected … four years ago I owned A Busy Driving School and tried to juggle the Business and being a councillor, but this got increasingly hard because you need to put a lot of hours into doing your councillor role to the best of your ability, So I sold the Driving School three years ago and now just do some part time driving … So I would continue to do this. But definitely I would be spending a lot more hours as a councillor then a driving Instructor.

Terry McMullan

I will be contributing all of my efforts to providing the best service and representation to the people of Division 3. I feel that in the beginning like most new jobs there will be a steep learning curve but as I adjust to the demands of the job I will be freer to offer better representation and time to the constituency.

Shane Waldock

Being a councillor is a serious commitment and if elected I intend to give 100% to council duties.

But yes, you will still find me pumping petrol at the Gympie West Store and Service Station – just not as often as I do now, as this is how I network and keep my finger on the pulse of how the community feels and what they want.

I cannot and will not hide behind closed doors.

Michiel Pratt

While as a small-business owner I need to make sure that my business continues for the sake of my employees, my intention is to devote as much time as is required to perform my council duties.

I have recently added a part time employee to my business with the intention of adding an additional part time employee if I am elected effectively replacing me in the business.

My role in our business will then continue in an advisory capacity.

Colleen Miller

No, I intend to be a full time councillor. There has been a lot of talk about how you can do your regular job and be a councillor too, but at the end of the day, I would rather do one job, and do it well. Full time will allow for more community consultation and interaction which I think has been sadly lacking in this current council.


Division 4

Bruce Devereaux

Will I still be writing up anecdotes about my family?

I sure will.

My blog wasn’t started as a business.

It’s a fun family diary and therapy for me.

I enjoy writing.

I’m like a kid getting paid to test toys.

Will I get any sponsored work once I’m a councillor?

My agent thinks maybe but I can’t see it.

In any case, paid or not, I write early morning or late at night.

Rae Gate

I resigned from my real estate position and finished in September 2019. I am available to work as a Councillor full time to give residents and the Gympie Region my full attention. I also volunteer my skills on many community organisations and will continue to do so.

Daryl Dodt

I have no “day job”.

I perform two roles; bulk billing local GP and councillor.

Two 24/7 roles.

I am a doctor and a councillor every minute of every day.

Councillor and doctor are roles, not “day jobs”.

It’s like being a parent; the parenting role does not stop when you drop the kids at school.

Any candidate who thinks “councillor” or “doctor” is a “day job” has no grasp of the role that they are vying for.

Wayne Sachs

My organisation currently allows me very flexible working arrangements and the potential to work part-time.

I have already inquired about working part-time in my current role.

Job hunting.
Job hunting.

Division 5

Rob Burns

I don’t really have a day job, for many years now I have employed others to do what I used to do.

Apart from the odd phone call, email or filling in an invoice my time is mine.

To answer the question I think is being asked, if elected I plan to be available to be the voice of the residents in Division 5 and all Gympie residents.

Dan Stewart

I have resigned from my work with Child Safety.

There is one investment property that I manage, otherwise my work time will be devoted to council and the community.

Chelle Dobson

I have no other paid employment. This will be my only paid employment. However I will continue with my current community volunteering.

Candidates are essentially job hunting.
Candidates are essentially job hunting.

Division 6

Hilary Smerdon

I have been basically a full time councillor for the last four years and cant see that changing if re-elected.

I do have a farm to run and a part time trough business but I can do that and still put in the required hours to be a full time councillor.

My constituents know that if they have a problem and require my assistance I will be there, any community event I will be there if possible.

Brian Thomas

No, I will not be keeping my day job and have already put in place a succession plan.

Mikki Lawson


Candidates have put their resumes out to public scrutiny.
Candidates have put their resumes out to public scrutiny.

Division 7

Donna Reardon

No. I need to be available and ready to serve my community. I believe the role of Councillor is full time plus position and if you truly are dictated you need to make yourself available.

Bob Leitch

I will continue be employed part time by EQ for 20 hours per week, it requires good time management and a very patient wife. I treat both with the integrity that they deserve.

Warren Polley

Yes. I am in the fortunate position to have great staff who have run the day to day operations for a number of years with me having to only maintain oversight and direction for the company at large.

Job seeker.
Job seeker.

Division 8

Bob Fredman

Yes, I will be keeping my day job if I get back in. Of course, my day job is being a councillor. I try and attend everything that is going on, and in my spare time I like to ride a push bike around the division to see, hear and feel (through the seat) how residents are going. Plus when you ride you have to eat and drink, so my fellow riders and I enjoy subsidising the great local shops we have in Division 8 from Jones Hill to Carters Ridge.

Trent Mitchell


When I’m elected I will be full-time committed to the people of Division 8 and will be out seeing the people when I’m not required to attend meetings

Lyndall Ensbey

If I am elected the Division 8 Councillor, I will allocate the necessary time to conduct my responsibilities and duties to fulfil the role effectively and efficiently. Therefore I would reduce my current full time workload significantly.

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