Sean Choat has applied for the position held by his successor Jim Madden.
Sean Choat has applied for the position held by his successor Jim Madden. FILE

Former MP Sean Choat set to fly the coop to council

THE Bill Lawry of Ipswich politics is set to fly again.

Sean Choat, a pigeon enthusiast just like the legendary former Australian Test cricketer, has applied for the Somerset council position vacated by the man who took his former seat of Ipswich West at the state election.

Mr Choat lost the seat to Labor's Jim Madden but that has not dimmed his interest in continuing in public life.

Applications to fill the councillor position left vacant by Mr Madden close on Friday, March 6 and the Somerset Regional Council will collate all entries and appoint a new councillor.

Speculation Mr Choat would nominate was rife in the district and the QT had to drag it out of him that he had applied.

But the former LNP MP wants to make a contribution to the local community that is dear to his heart.

"The people in the community, and God bless them, are getting excited about it as though it is a fait accompli and that if I put an application in I will be selected," Mr Choat said.

"But that is not the situation at all.

"I certainly don't want to be seen as some sort of schmuck who assumes he will go from the state position to the council.

"That would be insulting to the councillors and the Mayor who have got to make the decision.

"But I really want to build things for the betterment of the area and make Somerset a better place.

"There is a common constituency there with Ipswich West, with the townships of Lowood, Fernvale and Minden.

"Then there are a lot of little localities like Glamorgan Vale, Tarampa and so many wonderful spots with beautiful people."

Mr Choat is about to move into his home at Haigslea where he has been sleeping over while the finishing touches are being applied.

He has changed his electoral role details to his new address within the Somerset council boundaries.

Somerset Regional Council Mayor Graeme Lehmann said council would wait until all entries were in and then make a call on the new councillor.

"We will wait until the list comes in and then take a vote on who is the best person for the job," he said.

"As it is over 12 months until the next local government election we have to appoint someone."

Whatever happens, Mr Choat has a project that is dear to his heart under way at his new home.

He is a pigeon fancier from way back, just like the great former Australian batsman and Channel Nine cricket commentator Mr Lawry.

"To my utter delight I am two-thirds of the way through my pigeon loft…my masterpiece," he said.

"Three-quarters of my pigeons are still with my mum in Brisbane, which is probably a pain to her and to me.

"So it is lovely to see the loft come together.

"The small things in life can be so rewarding and excellent."

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