News

Controversial councillor runs for seat in state election

Cr Mike Brunker will run for the seat of McMaster at the next state election, while taking a leave of absense from council.
Cr Mike Brunker will run for the seat of McMaster at the next state election, while taking a leave of absense from council. Peter Carruthers

WHITSUNDAY councillor and former mayor Mike Brunker will contest the seat of McMaster for the Labor party at the next state election.

Cr Brunker, who is a former coal miner and CFMEU representative, believed the recent redistribution of electoral boundaries would heighten his chances, given the electorate would now take in major Bowen Basin coal mining communities.

Coupled with his lengthy experience in local government, he was confident he'd have the edge over competition.

The seat, which is currently called the Burdekin electorate, is held by the LNP's Dale Last.

One Nation's Sam Cox, a former LNP MP, has also put his hand up to contest the seat.

"Dale's a nice fella but nice people don't necessarily make good politicians,” Mr Brunker said.

"Then you get Sam Cox he's the One Nation person. He might be the smartest of the One Nation candidates around. He's not going to support Putin and support some of the things his leader is and they'll end up collapsing again.

"With me you know what you're going to get.”

Before being elected a Whitsunday Regional Councillor last year, Cr Brunker had already served as mayor of the Bowen Shire and the Whitsunday Council for 17 years.

Despite the longevity of his stint, during that time he made headlines for getting in a fist fight with a turf club president, and his council's handling of finances, for which it was eventually cleared of wrongdoing.

He previously ran for the federal seat of Dawson against George Christensen while taking a leave of absence as Whitsunday mayor.

That's what he plans to do when the next state election comes up, rather than resigning from council: "because if you don't get elected you're out of a job then aren't you?”

But if he was successful, his resignation from council may force a by-election.

While Cr Brunker was critical of former councillor Kevin Collins when he resigned from the Whitsunday council in 2014 and triggered a by-election, he said the two situations were completely different.

"I'm certainly not just resigning and going to put my feet up in the hammock. I want to take our issues... advance them into the state. I'm trying to better our position,” he said.

"I think the council will be very happy they can get a local councillor that's a state member. It's going to be a very strong economical seat - mining, cane and beef. It will be a very strong advocacy role that's needed to take it forward.”

In the meantime, he didn't believe his state election campaign would conflict with his duties as a councillor.

"It's the same issues. People ring you up and complain about barking dogs and (ask you to) look at creeks and all that sort of stuff,” he said.

He is yet to secure pre-selection from the Labor party.

Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox, who is currently touring India with other Queensland mayors, was contacted for comment about Cr Brunker's candidacy.

He said "if that's what he wants to do I wish him all the best”. But he wasn't sure what impact it would have on council, stating he'll "have to straighten all that out” when he returns.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has until April next year to call the election.

Objections and submissions to the Queensland Redistribution Commission's plan to redraw boundaries and create new state electorates like McMaster are open until 5pm March 27.

Topics:  mike brunker state election whitsunday regional council

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Glitz and glamour: Students turn stars

Proserpine students Georgia Summerfield-Fallon, Sam Johnson (back) with Millie Schmidt, Olivia Lade and Charlotte Brodie.

Glitz and glamour: Students turn stars.

Hooking tourists on fishing

MEGA BARRA: Eliza Pearson with a 110cm barramundi caught at Lake Proserpine. Recreational fishing is being targeted as a key tourism opportunity for the Mackay, Whitsunday and Far North Queensland regions.

Hooking tourists on fishing.

Horror buggy crash on Hamo

Dever turned the wheel to the left, causing the buggy to go off track and fall 30m down a hill.

Horror buggy crash on Hamo.

Local Partners

First Tigerair flight from Brisbane touches down

IT MAY have poured with rain but not even the wet weather could put a damper on Tigerair's first direct flight from Brisbane landing in the Whitsundays.

CMC Rocks is just the ticket for Eric Paslay

HAPPY TO BE HERE: American country singer Eric Paslay will play CMC Rocks 2017.

Country music singer is touring overseas for the first time.

Daredevils of Nitro Circus to thrill Lismore

Oakes Oval in Lismore will host the sell-out, worldwide phenomenon that is Nitro Circus Live during its 15-city Australian tour in April.

The (in)famous 55-foot high Nitro Giganta ramp is the centrepiece

CHOOSING LIFE: Emu Park veteran leads way out of PTSD

WINNING THE FIGHT: Andrea Josephs with her daughter Kyla (10) at the Emu Park Anzac Memorial ahead of her official Matilda Poppy launch this weekend.

Andrea Josephs will officially launch Matilda Poppy in new hometown

Morgan Evans opens up about his CMC love story

SINGER returns from Nashville to host tonight's CMC Music Awards, which he co-hosted last year with his now fiance Kelsea Ballerini.

What's on the big screen this week

OLD TALE: Emma Watson brings to life the character of Belle in Beauty and the Beast.

DISNEY'S remake of Beauty and the Beast opens to rave reviews.

MKR recap: Josh and Amy figure out how to get along

Josh and Amy have figured out how to get along and cook well. Stay away from each other.

THEY’RE the couple we love to hate, but something changed tonight.

Mariah’s making a movie we probably don’t need

Mariah Carey and her dog Jack are prepping for a Christmas movie.

Mariah Carey is making animated movie ready for Christmas.

CMC Rocks is just the ticket for Eric Paslay

HAPPY TO BE HERE: American country singer Eric Paslay will play CMC Rocks 2017.

Country music singer is touring overseas for the first time.

MOVIE REVIEW: Disney remake a beauty-ful story

Emma Watson and Dan Stevens star in the movie Beauty and the Beast.

Emma Watson stars as Belle in classic tale of finding unlikely love

MOVIE REVIEW: Peppa Pig's Aussie adventure will delight fans

A scene from My First Cinema Experience: Peppa Pig's Australian Holiday.

Peppa visits Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef in feature film debut

'Dangerous precedent': Beachfront tree clearing rejected

WHAT A VIEW: A Google Earth aerial view of the strip of houses and sand dunes at Shelly Beach which could be set for changes.

BREAKING: Beachfront residents' bold bid to improve views fails

Couple ditch Springfield for $350 million rural lifestyle

Sales consultant Rachel Hargreaves (left) of Oliver Hume Waterlea at Wallon with new land owner Rebecca Mallett.

“To purchase a block the same size would be double the price here"

It's official: Byron Bay unaffordable

MILLIONAIRES ROW: The Housing Commission house in Keats St, Byron Bay which sold at auction on Saturday for $1.65 million.

Buying a home in Bay Bay is a dream too far for some

Coast home luring interstate buyers sold

PRIZED POSITION: Blue clip location, peaceful surroundings, spacious living with swimming pool, tennis court on 4562sq
m

The property was described as a 'Queenslander with Hamptons style'

Stylish Coast home lures buyers from four states

PRIZED POSITION: The six-bedroom house with swimming pool and floodlit tennis court is on 4562sq
m.

Expansive property boasts serious space

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!