So.. here is a little about who I am.

I am of a certain age 🙂 , married to Darryl and we have four grown up children – Deborah, Alan, Elizabeth and Priscilla.

Darryl’s family have been five or six generations in the Rockhampton region. His dad was Alan – who worked at the railway as a plumber, his mum was Beryl (who made legendary sponge cakes) and family members have been active in Cricket and Hockey forever!

I was born in Toowoomba, had a bit of a messed up childhood (what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger) and eventually ended up at the Capricornia Institute of Advanced Education (now Central Queensland University) studying to be a Primary Teacher.

Darryl and I married in 1978 (which gives my age away a bit 🙂 )

Since that time, I have been a teacher, a full time mum, a Child Care Director and a perpetual student. And Mayor of Rockhampton for eight years.


I have my original teacher’s diploma and four other qualifications in education and history, including two degrees and a Masters in Education Studies.

I am an active member of my church, a keen gardener and I will read just about anything I can lay my hands on.

And I am convinced that we all have something to offer.. and that we need to be willing to do the offering!


I was elected Mayor of Rockhampton City in 2000.

During my eight year term I began to address long-term problems with roads and water mains and services.

And brought the budget back into surplus.


Project such as the Gracemere Industrial Area, the ‘food bowl’ and the weirs on the Fitzroy River and engagement with the mining community were projects lead by Rockhampton Council.

I championed amalgamation and regional co- operation.


I did not contest the election in 2008 believing that a new Mayor would give the newly amalgamated council the best chance.

By early 2012 it was obvious that the amalgamation was not going well and so I answered the call from many in the community to nominate in 2012.

I found a bitter and divided community which was reflected at the council table.

The budget was in serious deficit and debt had risen from $84 million at amalgamation to $220 million with several multimillion dollar items ordered but not yet paid for at the time I was re- elected.

The newly elected Newman Government had promised a vote on deamalgamation. And the rest is history.

In the last four years I have stopped the ever upward rise in debt and have actually paid four and a half million dollars down.

I’ve returned the budget to a comfortable Surplus and the strength of our finances now is evidenced by the fact that we were able to sustain the financial shock of Marcia with only a 1.9% Rates rise.

I put the topic of the Fitzroy Weirs back on the agenda, allocated funding to finish the work at Gracemere – both residential and industrial, and I have begun a major renewal programme in the CBD of Rockhampton with new technology and jobs firmly at its heart.

I believe it’s important for Rockhampton regional council to be very focused on its own economic health at the moment.

The best thing we can do for the wider region is to step up as the Regional Capital.

I’m asking for your support at the election on 19 March.

While I don’t aspire to match Rex Pilbeam’s 30 years of service to our community  I believe my 12 years experience is useful 🙂


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  1. AMELIA SCHULZ says:

    Hi Margaret,

    I just wanted to offer a few words of support. My fiancé, Levi Burrows, was so excited when he read that you were running for mayor again. He worked with you several times during your last stint in office, and you often gave him opportunities to sing at various events around Rockhampton. Your interest in, and support of the arts is a very important issue for us. You had his vote from day one.
    I remained undecided until yesterday. Working at Cafe Bliss has allowed me to spend some time with all of the candidates now – our cafe seems to attract them I guess! When you came in yesterday, even though I managed to mess up your coffee (my apologies again!) you were so kind, talkative & lovely. I’m of the opinion that if you’re running for a position in which the people are going to vote, you need to be nice to everyone – from the people who help with your advertising to the girl who serves your coffee. You’re the only candidate I have come in to contact with who treated me with respect, and you’ve got my vote.
    Thank you for being a lovely person, and the only candidate I’ll consider voting for. Best of luck!
    Amelia Schulz

    • Margaret says:

      amelia.. sorry it has taken so long to respond.. long story..but wordpress ate my comments page for a while!
      Thankyou so much for your kind words.. haven’t been in for a while.. the pre-poll has started over at North Rockhampton.. so I am there a few hours every day.. desperate for good coffee 🙂

      and say hi to Levi for me..

  2. Dear Margaret
    I am very excited and so very happy that you are running for Mayor. During the 4 months we worked together on the CQ Mining Growth Project in 2004 – 2005 whilst you were the Rockhampton Mayor, I got to witness first hand the outstanding and utmost professionalism that you applied to your position as Mayor; and the sincere heartfelt care that you have for the Rockhampton Region and its people. You have very high standard qualities that I look up to and you are more than capable of managing the significant complexities and high level responsibilities that comes with the position of Rockhampton Regional Mayor. You have my 200% support.
    Sincerest regards Sharyn Grant

    • Margaret says:

      Sharyn.. so nice to hear from you.. ahh the Mining Growth Project.. busy days.. but we really achieved a lot and the region is still getting the benefit of your efforts..! Thanks Sharyn

  3. Laura McPherson says:

    Hi Margaret,

    What can be done to improve competition in the airline sector, flying in and out of Rockhampton airport. Why do Jetstar no longer fly to Rockhampton? Surely something can be done to entice them. We’re suffering here under duopolistic conditions.

    Best Regards,


    • Margaret says:

      Airlines are notoriously hard to influence. When Ansett when down we managed to get a start-up.. Alliance – to fill the gap before Virgin finally came on board – but it was tough going. I need to chat to the Airport management to see what options we might have..

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