ACT News


Four former mayors will contest Queanbeyan-Palerang election among other notable names

Four former mayors are set to contest the upcoming Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council election.

The nomination period for the September 9 election closed on Wednesday and 80 candidates have nominated to compete for one of 11 positions on the new amalgamated council.

The four former mayors, who all opposed the amalgamation of Queanbeyan and Palerang, are current administrator Tim Overall, Pete Harrison, Ian Marjason and Walter Raynolds.

Palerang's most recent mayor, Pete Harrison, said it was not a case of them going head-to-head in this election.

"I'd be surprised if any of us saw it that way," Mr Harrison said.

"I see it as simply having experience."


Walter Raynolds said that experience was going to be crucial for the new council. After being involved in the 2004 merger of Yarrowlumla and Tallaganda councils when Palerang was created, he holds serious concerns for Queanbeyan-Palerang.

"That was a very hard affair [the 2004 merger], and this will be worse," he said.

"The two cultures are as far removed as you could get in local government."

There have been concerns that with Queanbeyan far exceeding Palerang in terms of population, roughly 40,000 compared to 15,000, that Palerang residents won't be adequately represented.

Suggestions, including from the NSW state government, that councillors will represent the whole region despite the direct interests of their own localities have not diminished Mr Harrison's concerns.

"If you ignore the history of human behaviour for a second you might be able to see past that one," he said.

However he also acknowledged with the breadth of candidates running there was hope for the region.

"I think we've got a good cross section of the two former councils," he said

"So I think we have the opportunity to elect a council which is quite representative of the region."

The Queanbeyan-Palerang election will bring together an eclectic bunch of candidates.

Former Canberra Raiders captain Terry Campese is running, along with Justin Giteau another high profile name in local rugby and the brother of former Wallaby Matt Giteau.

The rugby  trio is completed with Tony Wood who may better be known as the Raiders' energetic mascot Victor the Viking.

The Liberal Party is also running its first ever endorsed ticket in the history of either Queanbeyan or Palerang. They join Labor and the Greens to ensure all three major Australian political parties are represented.

The ballot paper draw was held on Wednesday with Tim Overall's team securing Group A. There will be 11 groups on the ballot paper with only Karuna Bajracharya, Paul Cockram and Mr Raynolds running ungrouped.