CHARTERS Towers’ newest councillor has been sworn in at a special meeting in the town this morning.
Cr Bernie Robertson has officially joined the team after he won over 20 per cent of the vote in the recent by-election.
The May 6 by-election was necessary after Councillor Brett Maff announced his resignation in March.
He stepped down on March 21, stating increasing business commitments had forced his decision.
Cr Robertson brings 22 years of experience back to the team, having previously served for 14 years as a councillor for the former Dalrymple Shire Council and another eight for the Charters Towers Regional Council until 2016.
He also served on the Dalrymple Saleyards board for 16 years.
Cr Robertson said he was looking forward to getting back in the saddle after two years out of the game, and was hoping to be a strong voice for people in the bush.
“It’s really good actually, I’m looking forward to it,” Cr Robertson said.
“I guess a lot of things change in two years that I’ll need to get my ahead around so I’ll spend the next couple of months doing that.”
During his time away from council, Cr Robertson worked in the rural industry on several properties and did the bush mail run a couple of times a week to landowners up Dotswood Road, Newman and Basalt areas.
He said those jobs had helped him stay in touch with the rural folk in the council area.
“I’m not being disparaging to new council at all, but I think the rural people maybe haven't had as much of a voice the last couple of years,” Cr Robertson siad.
“I’m not saying this council does't care, it’s just that there’s not really many people from the bush in there now and I think I can offer something to them in that way.”
Mayor Liz Schmidt was happy the vacant position on council had been filled and congratulated Cr Robertson on his appointment.
“As a council, we welcome Bernie and congratulate him on his win,” Cr Schmidt said.
“He has a wealth of knowledge and experience that we can draw upon.
“We look forward to working together and achieving our priority areas of focus.”