by Louise Shannon
NINE Central Highlands residents have nominated for the Central Highlands Regional Council by-election later this month.
The list of nominations was confirmed earlier this week for the September 30 election that would be conducted as a full postal ballot.
Among the confirmed list of nominees is Emerald State High School and Denison State School school chaplain, Ross Grierson, who said he will promote family health and continuance of care for families if his nomination for a position on council is successful ahead of September's local by-election.
Mr Grierson said this week that he was concerned many people who needed care, did not receive ongoing support when it was required as funding or contracts expired after 12-month periods, leaving a client or patient without "continuancy of care”.
He said he believed that people in need of care and help with mental health issues was increasing, especially men's health and men dealing with alcohol abuse and depression.
"But alcohol abuse is not the problem, it's depression which is caused from businesses going broke and all sorts of issues in the area.”
Mr Grierson said he had spoken with small business operators in the area, who as remote companies, often felt "forgotten and left in the lurch”.
"They feel that the attitude of the government is to shut the towns down and they feel forgotten.”
Council nominee Michael McDonald said this week he believed council needed the input of someone like himself who could "tell them what it's really like to bring up a family, and struggle, and work”.
Mr McDonald, who has lived in Rubyvale for 15 years and works in Emerald, said he was keen to advocate for the people who did not usually get a say in decisions.
He said he was concerned about council wasting money on new facilities, such as the pool at Blackwater.
"And then you've got rates which are higher than on the Gold Coast,” he said.
"They're one of the highest in Queensland.”
Mr McDonald said it was crucial that more people were enticed to the area as "there's more people leaving than staying” and he wanted to encourage and stimulate business.
"I just want to work for the people and be a voice for the people; I know how hard it is.”
The list of nominations also includes: Victor Cominos, Gai Sypher, Scott McDonell, Mellissa Chick, Mick Calvert, John Hallam, Natalie Curtis.