Outgoing Gladstone Regional Councillors PJ Sobhanian and Peter Masters
Outgoing Gladstone Regional Councillors PJ Sobhanian and Peter Masters

Wisdom from outgoing councillors as candidates confirmed

It's not easy to come up with a job description for a regional councillor.

The depth of material dealt with goes far beyond waste, rates and roads.

Councillors Peter Masters and PJ Sobhanian won't recontest the election, and reminisced on some of the more memorable moments in the Gladstone chambers.

Some, like the demonstration of how an Alumina by-product could be used to separate liquids and solids, prompted laughter.

Cr Masters remembered raw sewage being used to illustrate the process.

"He put the flocculant in and it did separate it, but we had to clear the room," he laughed.

Others gave pause for reflection.

Cr Sobhanian recalled a matter in which they had the opportunity to help three people who found themselves in strife and in need of a lifeline.

"From the information we gained we managed to, I think, make the right decision in the interest of the community, but also potentially save three lives," he said.

"Out of all the big things, hydrogen, music festivals, budgets, debt repayments, out of all the big things we've done, the one that always come to my mind is helping the everyday person."

Nominations have now closed for council elections to be held on March 28.

In Gladstone there is a field of 21 candidates nominating for councillor, and two for mayor.

The two outgoing ­councillors shared some advice for those putting up their hand.

Cr Sobhanian said during the campaign it was important to remember councillors represented the whole community, and fought for every vote.

"Don't hold back, and be the best candidate for every person in the community," he said.

For those who are successful, Cr Masters said they shouldn't be afraid to ask for help, and to stay true to their morals.

"Try to enjoy it," he said.

"And if you have got a family, don't sacrifice your family for the job."

The decision not to run again was difficult for Cr Masters, who said it was a time to reflect on the past four years.

"It's a little bit surreal," he said.

Cr Sobhanian said it was good to leave while the passion was still there.

"I feel relaxed and comfortable about the decision, I feel it's the right time," he said.

The contest for mayor is between incumbent Matt Burnett and Gladstone ­business owner Michael Fearns.

The 21 councillor candidates are vying for one of nine available positions.

Aside from Cr Masters and Cr Sobhanian, all current councillors have put their hands up for another term.