Benjamin, Eloise, Sean and Nicky Chaot celebrate the Somerset regional council win by Sean Choat on Saturday.
Benjamin, Eloise, Sean and Nicky Chaot celebrate the Somerset regional council win by Sean Choat on Saturday. Rob Williams

Choat brings State MP experience to council

TAKING in the view at the back of his new Haigslea property, Somerset council candidate Sean Choat and his family took a breather after a long campaign.

Mr Choat is one of the six elected representatives for the Somerset Regional Council and said he was excited to bring his experience as a State MP to the table.

"I had a lot of people say that people wanted you but they just couldn't accept what the government of the day had done," he said.

"The biggest reason I stood was the encouragement from the community. This result is a testament to them and my future as a Somerset councillor will be about them.

"It's been fantastic and I am so overwhelmed with the support I got.

"My wife Nicky and I have really missed that community contact and now it'll just be about me and the people just the way I like it."

The newly elected Somerset councillor said he was ready to get to know the people outside of his previous Ipswich West electorate.

"Now we've got our good old Lowood, Minden, Fernvale communities and also some exciting new places like Esk and Toogoolawah so it's a whole lot of new people to get to know and to help," he said.

"People out here just want things to meet their expectations.

"Roads are important and they don't need to be paved in gold they just need to be reliable and all weather.

"Council has done a really good job so far. Having $60 million in the bank generating $3 million a year to keep the rate base low is something I really admire. I'm excited to be part of a team and keep positive stuff rolling in."

Cr Choat said he was keen to support existing businesses, tourism operators as well as new business ventures in the area.

"We're not only south-east Queensland's lowest charging council but also the council with no debt and lots in the bank so that gives us a lot of opportunity," he said.

"I'm lucky coming in as a new councillor that I've had that experience in state parliament so I'm familiar with process and protocol but also how to get things done and shake the cage which I'm happy to do.

"I talk in terms of team Somerset. There are 22,500 people on that team and I want to be in the front row kicking those goals."

With 60.39% of votes counted the top six candidates were Helen Brieschke, Sean Choat, Cheryl Gaedtke, Michael "Otis" Ogg, Dan Hall and Bob Whalley.

Anna Hartley

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