High-profile child protection and domestic violence advocate Hetty Johnston announced she is running for Mayor in South-east Queensland’s Logan City after the position became vacant for March 2016.
Logan Mayor Pam Parker steps down to retire at the end of this term and Ms Johnston’s nomination takes the number of Mayoral candidates to four. The other candidates are Logan City Councillor (Div 6) Luke Smith, former Federal Labor MP for Forde Brett Raguse and community organisation leader Ken Houliston
Hetty Johnston has a long history of campaigning and is well-known in Queensland for founding child protection group Bravehearts.
Logan City Councillor’s current treasurer Luke Smith is the only sitting Councillor in the mix of Mayoral candidates and says Hetty Johnston has made a remarkable impact protecting children but he is unsure if she is suitable for such a position in Council.
“Hetty has been a fantastic advocate and no one can take that away from her. She has been there for children in need but I don’t know how she will go in this new role as Mayor,” Cr Smith said.
“It’s up to the people to determine how suitable Hetty will be for Mayor but it’s important to remember that in order to lead you need to know how council works, we cannot take time to learn how to run a city,” he said.
“After the election we need to hit the ground running.”
Logan community group Gotta Love Logan founder Cathy Deleon said even though Hetty had no experience as Mayor, people like her were natural born leaders.
“I think Logan is excited to have a female running for candidacy like Hetty Johnston who won Queenslander of the Year which makes her just as good a candidate or better than the others,” Ms Deleon said.
“Ken Houliston is also running for Mayoral position without having Councillor experience,” she said.
“Hetty has the community at heart, people know her which makes her a viable option.”
Gotta Love Logan is a grass-roots organisation who is looking to work closely with the next Mayor just as they have with Mayor Pam Parker.
“One of the biggest issues we have in Logan is the stigma we’re suffering from where children growing up in Logan are treated as second class citizens,” Ms Deleon said.
“Mayor Pam Parker has done a great job changing this and we just need to build off her work,” she said.
Cr Smith said the issues the next Mayor needs to address is such things as the NBN roll out, public transport issues and employment.
“Mayor Pam Parker has left a great legacy, we just need a visionary leader to replace her,” Cr Smith said.
“May the best man or woman win,” Ms Deleon said.