Mayor enters new political arena

Election. Circular Head Mayor Daryl Quilliam is ready to take on the next challenge, vying for a seat in this year’s Murchison election.

The long-standing mayor will challenge Independent Member for Murchison Ruth Forrest, who has held the position with the Tasmanian Parliament Legislative Council unopposed since her election in 2005.

Cr Quilliam was first elected onto Circular Head Council in 1980. In 1987, he had a six-year hiatus until 1993 and in 2000 was appointed deputy mayor, sustaining this position for seven years until in 2007 he was appointed mayor.

Should he not gain the Murchison vote, Cr Quilliam will celebrate 10 years as mayor in October, a role which he has cherished.

With a passion for politics, Cr Quilliam says he has considered this move for some time and was motivated by community feedback.

“I feel I have a lot to give in the wider area,” he says.

“If elected I think I have something to give to not only Circular Head but the rest of the Murchison area.”

Cr Quilliam says there are a number of issues on his priority list including forestry, aquaculture, mining, jobs and tourism.

Late last week, he expressed his frustration with the tactics of groups lobbying to have the Tarkine placed on the World Heritage List after a Tarkine Action Group meeting was held in Melbourne.

“I just feel that people in our area ought to have a say with things like the Tarkine, not Hobart or Melbourne. Why launch something in Melbourne, why not the area that it affects?

“I know that local people don’t support the Tarkine becoming a national park. People from along the north-west coast have used the area for many, many years and I have always been a supporter of keeping it as is.

“If it becomes world heritage there is no guarantee that it will remain open to people in the future. It is certainly a big issue for me.”

He said training and education for the agricultural sector, especially youth, is also a top priority.

Should he be elected, Cr Quilliam will resign from his post at Circular Head Council, a difficult decision to make.

“It’s certainly going to be different,” he said of the prospect.

“It would take a little while to get used to. I have loved every minute of working on council.”

With plans to take a leave of absence throughout April during the election period, Cr Quilliam says this is to avoid “confusion” between the two political roles.

“I am only interested in being an independent, not a member of Labor or Liberal,” Cr Quilliam says.

“For me personally, I just hope I’m able to give back to the community, what the community has given to me over the years.”

He also has plans of retiring from Roberts Limited at the end of the year, something that he will do six months earlier if elected.

The Murchison election will be held on Saturday May 6.

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