Farmer steps up to the plate as council candidate
SINCE late last year Scott 'Hook' Henschen has been an observer from the public gallery at the monthly council meetings.
Now, the third generational farmer from Ironpot is aspiring to be part of the formal decision making in the South Burnett after announcing he will stand up to run for Division 6.
Hook said it had been a gradual build up to officially put his hand up for the role.
"Division 6 and the South Burnett have never been in a position like this before with extended drought," Hook said.
"We will need to make decisions that have never been made before as we face up to the economic, social and environmental challenges.
"When the drought turns around, as it will, we want to be in a better position to move forward with local jobs, rural and tourism industry and infrastructure," he said.
As an experienced cattle grower and mixed cropping farmer, Hook said his wealth of knowledge about the local community would be of great benefit to him and the community if elected into the role.
"There's the core issues of government, including roads, rates and rubbish.
"But, for division 6, I would add water, health, financial management, fire management, feral animal management.
"Plus I would be demanding a greater share of federal and state funding for community infrastructure grants for mobile phone black spots, sports, health, the arts and the environment.
However, Hook said he was open to ideas in the lead up to the election.
"There's no 'I' in team," he said.
"I am all about working as part of a team.
"That's for the whole community of Division 6, the wider South Burnett and the whole of council.
"Council have done some wonderful things, there's no doubt about it.
"Can they improve? Of course they can.
"If you don't think there's room for improvement, then you shouldn't be in council.
"Like in every day life or business, you should always strive to better yourself and I love to challenge myself," he said.
Hook attended Kingaroy State High School before travelling throughout Queensland where he gained a deep understanding of farming and grazing in different parts of the country.
When he returned home, he put his knowledge into action on his successful contract harvesting and cartage operation at Ironpot.
He is known throughout the South Burnett for organising the annual Reef 'N' Beef Extravaganza, which raises thousands of dollars for local charities.
Hook is also the president and fire warden of the Ironpot Rural Fire Brigade, the Ironpot Hall and Team Ironpot.
Residents could also know him as the vice-president of the Burrundowan Race Club and former president and captain of the Kumbia Cricket Club.
As the drought continues, Hook said there needed to be some tough decision made and wanted to be a strong pillar of support to the community through the dire times.
"I'm not a newcomer, I have been educated here, a wonderful family, a wonderful core group of community and friends and that's what the whole Burnett is like.
"At this point in time, I am not going to say I am going to do this or do that.
"I will be down the track, of course, because there are so many things that are important and that's part of being a councillor.
"I am looking forward to attending the upcoming meet and greets.
"I am open to suggestions, ideas and comments as well as constructive criticism.
"We have to take that on board.
"You are put there to represent the people in your division and I want to represent the people of Division 6," he said.