Mayor Peter Blundell has no intention of moving to Rockampton.
Mayor Peter Blundell has no intention of moving to Rockampton. Sophie Lester

Southern Downs Mayor quashes rumours, is here to stay

SOUTHERN Downs Regional Council Mayor Peter Blundell has quashed rumours he would join his partner in Rockhampton and not stand at the next council election.

He said he would not join his partner, former Granite Belt Wine and Tourism business and marketing manager Sarah Reeves, whether or not he won the March 19 election.

"My intention is to nominate for mayoralty at the next election," Cr Blundell said. "I think that there is still unfinished work to be done - managing the finances and taking this community to where we need to be with job creation."

Cr Blundell, pictured, said tackling council debt was a focus ahead of the election, with a financial forecast predicting a debt reduction from about $30 million to $10 million within 10 years.

"There are no quick fixes - our debt at $30 million is a big debt but manageable if we handle it properly, and I believe we have a plan to do that," he said.

"We've seen increases in rates that have been higher from a general rate point of view than other areas and increased service charges.

"That's been necessary to manage the finances but I am aware that's been a bitter pill for the community to swallow."