The Mayor and ten councillors are the elected members representing the ten divisions that comprise the Bundaberg Region. The current Council was elected in March 2016 with new elections scheduled for March 2020.
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: Environment & Natural Resources
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 Environment & Natural Resources. 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 Helen Blackburn - Division 4
Phone: 0438 599 175
Portfolio: Governance, Sport & Recreation
Helen Blackburn (nee Stubberfield) was born and bred in Bundaberg and is passionate about the region in which she raised her family. Helen served in the Australian Army proud to have earned an Australian Service Medal in recognition of her service to her country. After some time living and working in Brisbane and Sydney, Helen returned to Bundaberg, recognising it as a desirable place to raise her young family. Helen is a qualified counsellor and psychotherapist and has worked in community-based organisations such as Lifeline, Bundaberg Area Sexual Assault Service and Bundaberg Area Youth Service.
Working in corporate Australia in senior management roles with multi-national companies such as Telstra and Optus, Helen ended her corporate career with OptiComm in the dual roles of State Sales Manager and National Marketing Manager. Helen has attained a wealth of experience gained through her professional development while working with large organisations. During this time, Helen served as the secretary to the Urban Development Institute of Australia Bundaberg Branch and was instrumental in assisting with the association's inaugural committee.
The last 10 years in corporate Australia were spent working in the development industry, specifically in technology - fibre to the premises. Helen holds diplomas in Project Management and Business Management and is currently a small business owner.
Helen has a wealth of experience in working with local councils (specifically in their land development departments) and a comprehensive understanding of community based initiatives along with a detailed knowledge of corporate Australia. This blend of abilities enables her to think locally but envisage the bigger picture.
Cr Greg Barnes - Division 5
Phone: 0488 539 123
Portfolio: Tourism & 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 Tourism & 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 Scott Rowleson - Division 6
Phone: 0438 543 258
Portfolio: Waste & Recycling
Scott has called the Bundaberg region home since 2002. In that time he has had placement to other areas of Queensland to pursue career advancement and knowledge. Scott believes that living in other areas of the country has served him well when it comes to having an open mind about how we do things in this region.
He has worked with many people from many backgrounds, mostly in the retail management area.
Scott has been an advocate for local community groups and associations since he arrived in Bundaberg and he still believes that many of these groups are the fabric that the community needs to operate on a daily basis.
Scott is also a strong advocate for growth and development and will always work hard to make sure our region is growing to its full potential for the betterment of all. He is a proud division 6 resident and will always put its residents first, along with all others who live here in the best region in Australia.
Cr Ross Sommerfeld - Division 7
Phone: 0488 539 256
Portfolio: Planning & Development
Ross was born and raised in Bundaberg and is married to Linda and together they have three adult sons and six grandchildren.
Ross practised in Bundaberg as a Licensed Consulting Surveyor for over 20 years, employing up to 19 staff. He was instrumental in the development of the region from 1985 until 2004 when he sold his firm, Ross Sommerfeld Surveys Pty Ltd, to two of his senior employees. The firm still operates today as lnsiteSJC.
Ross was involved with the major retirement villages, Coral Cove Estate and many of the subdivisions of that era as well as being responsible for the setout of Bundaberg Plaza Shopping Centre, the Auswide Bank building and the Tallon Bridge.
Elected to Council in 2008, Ross has held the position of Planning and Development Chair while representing Division 7. Ross has been instrumental in facilitating the Council Open for Development incentive programme, as well as overseeing the preparation of a new Planning Scheme for the Bundaberg Region. Ross also chairs the Sister City Advisory Committee within Council.
A typical day at Council sees Ross heavily involved in discussions with the Development Industry or travelling throughout the region speaking with local families and businesses about development opportunities.
Outside of Council, Ross has spent many years coaching and managing Wide Bay Juniors to State Cricket Championships. A Life Member of ATW Cricket Club, Ross is currently President of Norths Cricket Club.
Ross is very passionate about the region and is a devoted full time Councillor wanting to see the region prosper and is happy to engage with anyone with a query or suggestion. In his limited spare time, Ross enjoys a day at his 25 acre hobby farm in Moolboolaman near Gin Gin.
Cr Steve Cooper - Division 8
Phone: 0428 040 719
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 Judy Peters - Division 9
Phone: 0417 778 091
Portfolio: Community & Cultural Services
Judy was first elected as a Councillor to the Bundaberg City Council in 1994 holding the Community Services portfolio until 2008. Elected in March 2008 as a Councillor for Bundaberg Regional Council representing Division 9 with the Community and Arts portfolio, unopposed in 2012 and re-elected in 2016 with the Community and Cultural Services portfolio.
Judy is currently the Queensland President Australian Local Government Women’s Association having held a number of executive positions with ALGWA Qld since 1995 and was made a Life Member in 2014. Appointed as the local government representative for Queensland Heritage Council 2016 and regional representative of BUSHkids Queensland in 2018.
As the Patron to Bundaberg Pensioners League Inc, Bingera Football Club Inc, Bundaberg Woodworkers Guild, TS Bundaberg Navy Cadets and Bundaberg Players Inc she has a broad connection to her community. Judy holds a Diploma in Local Government - Administration, Diploma of Business, and an Advanced Diploma of Community Sector Management. She is a Justice of the Peace (Qualified) with 25 years’ service.
Judy has both public and private sector knowledge with both strategic and operational responsibilities for customer satisfaction, stakeholder engagement, business performance and positive outcomes. Having owned and operated Bundaberg Shipping Services for 11 years, dealing with domestic and foreign going cargo vessels from the Port of Bundaberg and holding the position as a Director and then Deputy Chair of Bundaberg Port Authority for 14 years she is very aware of the economic value industry brings to the community. Judy is people focussed and believes in assisting others to aspire and achieve their goals.
Cr John Learmonth - Division 10
Phone: 0438 546 297
Portfolio: Health & Regulatory Services
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.