Council elections have now been declared by the Electoral Commission Queensland and the mayor and councillors have been sworn in.
The Mayor and ten councillors listed below are the elected members representing the ten divisions that comprise the Bundaberg Region.
Bundaberg Regional Council Elected Representatives
Cr Jack Dempsey - Mayor
Phone: 1300 883 699
Portfolio: Economic Development
John "Jack" Dempsey was born on 7 April 1966 and was raised in Ipswich.
A keen sportsman, Jack represented Australia in schoolboy's rugby union as well as playing union, rugby league and many other sports. He believes sport is a great educator and provides a great insight into the values of team work, discipline and humility.
His first jobs involved working as a brickies labourer and concreter before involving himself in the transport industry and eventually joining the Queensland Police Force.
Jack travelled extensively throughout his police career which brought him into contact with a lot of characters and a host of genuine Queenslanders.
Jack, Christine and their family made Bundaberg home in 2000 after immediately falling in love with the region.
He was elected Mayor of the Bundaberg region on 10 March 2016 after an extended period in Queensland politics.
Jack is the former State Member for Bundaberg, being elected to that position on 9 September 2006. He held various Ministerial positions culminating with his appointment as Minister for Police and Community Safety in 2013, a position he held until he exited politics on 31 January 2015.
Proud of his role in State Government, Jack brings that same pride to his position as Mayor.
Jack is passionate about the Bundaberg region and is delighted at the opportunity to serve the region and its residents and has pledged to make the Bundaberg Regional Council the envy of Councils across Australia.
He is widely involved in many community groups and organisations and retains a strong interest in sport and recreation activities.
Cr Jason Bartels - Division 1
Phone: 0438 681 189
Portfolio: Water & Wastewater
Jason is Councillor for Division 1 which covers Winfield, Yandaran, Avondale, Moore Park Beach, North Bundaberg, Sharon and Burnett Downs.
Jason lives at Burnett Downs with his wife in their family home where they have raised their three children, all now young adults. Jason enjoys spending time with his family and they all enjoy water skiing, fishing, bike riding and appreciating all that this beautiful region has to offer.
Prior to being elected to Council, Jason had a very diverse background, which has allowed him to gain invaluable experiences in life. Jason is a trade qualified Plumber, Drainer & Gasfitter and he and his wife ran their own successful plumbing business.
In 2008 Jason was successfully elected as a Councillor for the Maranoa Regional Council. He then sold his plumbing business and devoted the next four years to Council.
Jason's family has owned property in the Bundaberg region for many years and it has always been their preferred holiday destination, so when an opportunity became available in 2012 to relocate permanently to the Bundaberg region they jumped at the chance.
In the four years from 2012, Jason had been employed as the Plumbing Coordinator with Bundaberg Regional Council and in this time he realised that his skill set was better suited to making the strategic changes Council needed and decided to nominate for a Councillor position.
Protecting the lifestyle and liveability of the region is one of Jason's main goals and he is determined to ensure that our region remains an attractive and affordable area in which to live.
Jason has been assigned the Water & Wastewater portfolio and he believes that with his experience, knowledge and background in this area, he will be able to contribute greatly to the advancement of the much needed development of a sustainable Water and Wastewater network for the entire region.
Cr Bill Trevor OAM - Deputy Mayor, Division 2
Phone: 0429 873 103
Portfolio: Roads & Drainage
Bill has a long and meritorious association with local government in Queensland having served initially as a Councillor with the former Isis Shire Council prior to becoming Mayor in 1993 until amalgamation in 2008.
Bill brings a wealth of knowledge to Bundaberg Regional Council and it was no surprise that his past experience made him an ideal selection for the position of Deputy Mayor.
Bill comes from a sugar cane farming background in the Childers area and stamped his leadership credential at an early age being high school captain and a champion athlete.
Community service has always been a strong motivator for Bill and service in Apex was simply a precursor to the many community roles he undertook. Bill was founding President of the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Organisation of Councils (WBBROC), Wide Bay Burnett Area Consultative Committee (ACC) Chair for 14 years and is the current Wide Bay Burnett Chair of Regional Development Australia (RDA) after being appointed in 2014. He is also a former director of Isis Central Sugar Mill and Member of the Bundaberg District Health Council.
In 2009 Bill was awarded an OAM for his service to the Childers community and the Wide Bay Region. He is also a Life Member of Apex which is an award that holds special significance for him.
Bill has always prided himself on being able to "see outside the box" and to recognise opportunity.
He endeavours to bring this perceptive side of his abilities to the Bundaberg region through his seat on Council and to help develop strategies, create opportunities and foster job creation to advance the great potential of the Bundaberg region. He has a strong focus on ensuring ratepayer funds are distributed fairly but efficiently and effectively.
Councillor Isis Shire Council 1985 - 1993
Mayor Isis Shire Council 1993 – 2008
Cr Wayne Honor - Division 3
Phone: 0488 539 224
Portfolio: Parks & Gardens
Wayne is Councillor for Division 3, covering an area of 3,749 square kilometres in the hinterland of the Bundaberg Region. Wayne holds the portfolio of Parks & Gardens. Wayne spent four years as a Councillor in the previous Kolan Shire Council, working in the area of Community Services and Finance.
Wayne is actively involved in the community taking on many active roles on committees such as Chair of Lake Monduran Advisory Committee, Gin Gin Subgroup of Local Disaster Management and Council representative on the Bundaberg Landfill Facility Community Consultation Group, Community Conservation Advisory Committee and Reef Guardian Council. Before becoming a Councillor he was involved in a number of community committees including schools and agriculture.
His interests include community, art, sustainable farming practices as well as developing a Droughtmaster Stud cattle herd with his wife. He enjoys Clay Target and Small Bore rifle shooting. Wayne is keen to build on the achievements of Council to date and looks forward to contributing to the further development and prosperity of our culturally and geographically diverse region.
Cr Tracey McPhee - Division 4
Phone: 0437 896 592
Portfolio: Community Services
Tracey is well-known as the owner operator of local award-winning café, Alowishus Delicious.
Along with her husband Michael and their children Ally and Gabriel, Tracey has lived in Division 4 for the past 8 years.
Through a strong belief in the future of the Bundaberg Region and the value of small business, both as a community service and as a vehicle for job creation, Alowishus has expanded to three locations over the past several years.
This expansion has resulted in recognition including Chamber of Commerce ‘Business of the Year’, Country Wide ‘Business of the Year’ and Australia Day ‘Community Spirit Award”.
Tracey has built her reputation on hard work, leadership and community focus. As a passionate community minded business woman Tracey has been involved in employment programs, high school mentoring and buy local campaign #lovebundy and in her personal time she serves on the Bundaberg Regional Youth Hub, St Joseph’s Catholic primary school board and volunteers for numerous local organisations and charities.
As a councillor Tracey aims to represent the Bundaberg Region and Division 4 by focusing on prosperity for both business and residents. She has special interest in reducing youth unemployment by fostering relationships between students and industry, providing career pathways and increasing employability of students on graduation.
Inspired by her late father, Steve Ward, who was awarded a Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship for his dedication to community service, Tracey proudly carries the family commitment to the local community.
Cr Greg Barnes - Division 5
Phone: 0488 539 123
Portfolio: Airport, COVID-19 recovery & Disaster Management
Greg was first elected to the former Burnett Shire Council in March 2000 and re-elected in 2004. In 2008 he was elected to the new Bundaberg Regional Council and subsequently re-elected in 2012. He has been assigned the Airport, COVID-19 recovery & Disaster Management Portfolio.
Greg has a strong affinity with the wide range of issues affecting the region and especially within his divisional townships of Bargara and parts of Innes Park. Through his portfolio, he is focusing on opportunities to remedy the region's high unemployment rate by supporting the implementation of efficient and effective economic development strategies and initiatives. He is also committed to enticing another airline to service the needs of the regional community and to explore options for routes beyond the Bundaberg/Brisbane service and additional FIFO services for the resource sector.
Greg has considerable experience in the regional tourism industry having owned and operated a dive shop & charter boat business prior to entering local government. He has also served as President of the Coral Coast Chamber of Commerce & Tourism for 16 years, the Chair of Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism for four years and on a number of other local Boards and Committees.
Cr Tanya McLoughlin - Division 6
Phone: 0437 925 584
Portfolio: Waste & Recycling
Tanya enjoys living in Division 6 where she and her husband Chris have resided for 14 years raising their family and actively participating in the community.
As a small business owner at Burnett Heads for 11 years, Tanya gained a deep appreciation for everything the Bundaberg Region has to offer and the value of business, both small and large, in contributing to jobs and community lifestyle.
Tanya has always found that helping others has been a meaningful and satisfying part of her life. She enjoys a special focus on outreach programs that support youth and the homeless. In this capacity Tanya works with Impact and has assisted in re-establishing the Burnett Heads Youth Group.
Community causes that provide positive outcomes for socially disadvantaged people or support for organisations like the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Share the Dignity campaigns are initiatives for which Tanya can always make time. Like many mothers across the Bundaberg Region, Tanya enjoys interacting with local schools through P&C events or tuckshop service.
Tanya feels that community focussed celebrations like the Burnett Heads Lighthouse Festival and events achieved through Sport and Progress Association initiatives are important in strengthening a strong sense of community no matter where you live in the region.
Tanya’s community interaction over an extended period has provide a clear view of the issues that need resolution across the region. With the Bundaberg Region enjoying substantial growth, Tanya, as part of the Council team, is committed to ensuring essential infrastructure is built and maintained to keep pace with regional expansion.
Fixing drainage issues, upgrading vital connector roads, a considered approach to extending sewerage services and enhancing lifestyle infrastructure in local parks, foreshores and recreational areas are all high priorities for Tanya to advocate.
Cr Vince Habermann OAM - Division 7
Phone: 0437 951 285
Portfolio: Sport & Recreation
Vince is local to the core with both sides of his family having settled in the Bundaberg Region in the 1800’s. Vince is married to Donna and they have 2 young adult daughters. Vince previously served as the Division 4 councillor from 2012-2016 and is honoured to be elected as the Division 7 councillor.
Vince has gained extensive experience in a number of other fields throughout his career, including also as a public servant, accountant, sports journalist, electorate officer for then State Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey and teacher’s assistant.
He has also been involved for decades as a volunteer for many community, sport, church and school organisations. In 2008, he was awarded an OAM for Service to Sport and Service to the Community of Bundaberg. In 2007, he was chosen from throughout the State as the Queensland Cricket Volunteer of the Year.
Some of his community service involvements include for 15 years on the Bundaberg Relay For Life Committee, including 3 years as Chair Person, and for the past 6 years as a Leukaemia Foundation Light the Night Ambassador.
Vince is committed to helping others and he looks forward to being a passionate representative for Division 7, working hard to achieve the best possible outcomes for all, doing everything possible to support local businesses, providing maximum assistance to sports and community organisations and helping make our region a better place in which to live, work, play and invest.
Cr Steve Cooper - Division 8
Phone: 0428 040 719
Portfolio: Organisational Services
Steve is Councillor for Division 8.
Steve has been a resident of Bundaberg for over 40 years and a resident of Division 8 for 15 years. Steve is well known for his long association with the hardware business having previously operated an outlet in Bundaberg for 25 years.
He has also been actively involved in various branches of local Rotary, with his most notable achievement as a Group Study Exchange Leader to Canada and America. He took a team of young local professionals to experience similar professions and culture in these countries. Steve was also awarded the highest recognition available to a Rotarian, a Paul Harris Fellowship Award for exemplary service to Rotary.
His long and valued service with the Rotary organisation has provided him with a great level of community connectivity and the opportunity to engage with people from all backgrounds, not only in the Bundaberg Region but on a broader national and international level.
He is well credentialled to serve his community as a strong and knowledgeable representative for his division and as a member of a Council team dedicated to the growth and prosperity of the Bundaberg Region.
Steve truly believes that the experience he has gained from his achievements in Rotary, along with his determination to serve has provided him with the tools to be an informed advocate around the Council table.
Cr May Mitchell - Division 9
Phone: 0437 885 384
Portfolio: Health, compliance and enforcement
May has lived in Bundaberg since 1994 and with her husband and family has been a ratepayer in the current Division 9 area for over 25 years.
May’s extensive local government experience commenced in 1982, holding positions at Mt Isa City Council, Thuringowa City Council (Townsville), Bundaberg City Council and Bundaberg Regional Council where, up until her recent election, May held a senior role in Council’s revenue area.
As an elected member of Council, her goal is to serve the local community and surrounding areas as a proactive representative with a passion to improve the lifestyle and liveability of the Bundaberg Region.
May is a staunch supporter of further developing outdoor and recreational opportunities for families and residents across the region. As a Council representative who will always listen to the concerns of residents and give residents a voice, May is committed to working with her fellow Councillors and Council staff to achieve plentiful and well-designed outdoor spaces, pathways and bikeways.
As a Councillor who is well aware of the potential of the Bundaberg Region, May welcomes initiatives that will drive a resilient local economy. This can be achieved where agriculture, manufacturing, residential and commercial development and tourism opportunities are embraced yet complement one another.
She is motivated to encouraging a diverse range of industries to see Bundaberg or its regions as the location in which they want to establish and invest.
Cycling and outdoor fitness are some of May’s leisure pursuits and she is a member of Coral Isle Cyclists Inc. She has also held positions in Neighbourhood Watch, been a Toastmasters member and a non-executive board member of Community Lifestyle Support Ltd (Disability and Community Services).
Cr John Learmonth - Division 10
Phone: 0438 546 297
Portfolio: Arts, Culture and Events
John is a local, born and bred in Bundaberg. He is a proven hands-on and proactive person having accumulated decades of leadership skills. John attended Walkervale State School and completed his education at Bundaberg State High School. He entered the workforce locally completing his trade as a Fitter and Turner with Qunaba Mill.
John and his family developed and continue to own the Southside Central Shopping Centre. Through his past ownership of Learmonths' Foodworks, John employed and trained hundreds of staff, both young and old with many being offered their first job and experience of the workforce. The business benefited from his strong and focused business management and the loyalty and dedication of staff and was successful in receiving many National Awards.
He has been involved in a voluntary capacity in many clubs and associations including BMX and swimming and most recently as Commodore of the Bundaberg Sailing Club. He also enjoys pursuing involvement with Sporting Shooters Association, RSL Club and City Fit Gym. In his role with the sailing club, John has been the founder and driving force behind the club’s successful annual Music Festival as well as overseeing the annual Club Regatta which attracts many boating visitors to the Club and Bundaberg region. John has been fortunate to receive various recognitions including Australian Sporting Boats' Sailor of the Year.
He is delighted that his career path allows him to utilise the management and communication skills he has gained along the way.
John enjoys being a member of the Council team promoting outcomes for his division and the wider Bundaberg region.