WINNER: Meet the newest face to secure her seat on council

AFTER the election voting closed on March 28, Kiriste Schumacher sat down with her family for a home cooked meal as she anxiously waited for the results to flow in.

At 11pm Kiriste and her husband Wayne were finishing off some champagne to celebrate the end of her campaign, successful or not, when her phone started buzzing.

Once she checked the results, despite only 20 per cent of the votes had been counted but the results showed a competitive edge over incumbent Division 4 councillor, Terry Fleicshfresser.

However, she said it wasn't until the next day she felt she was in a good position to win a seat on council.

"The first numbers looked good and I actually thought I might have a shot at this," Mrs Schumacher said.

"I didn't want to get ahead of myself though because only a small portion had been counted.

"On Sunday it was driving me crazy, so I got ready to mow my yard as it's my favourite thing to do to clear my head.

"As I was walking outside, my phone started going crazy again," she said.

"People were saying the numbers were looking better and I needed to check it out.

"I had a look at the results and then still went out and mowed my lawn."

Tamara, Evan, Kirstie and Wayne Schumacher at Wine and Swine at BaconFest 2019. Photo: Laura Blackmore
Tamara, Evan, Kirstie and Wayne Schumacher at Wine and Swine at BaconFest 2019. Photo: Laura Blackmore Laura Blackmore

She secured her spot representing division 4 by winning a majority of the votes, holding a strong 40.5 per cent lead ahead of Mr Fleischfresser.

Since being declared the successful candidate, Mrs Schumacher said she was still in shock by the support from the community.

"I was actually blown away," she said.

"I know this our chance for change and I'd like to thank my community for backing me.

"My win belongs to you and I will do all that I can to represent your best interests.

"I'd like to thank and acknowledge all candidates, in particular the former division 4 Councillor Terry Fleischfresser for your contributions and commitment to our community."

Looking ahead, Mrs Schumacher said she hoped to tackle the big issues facing the region in the coming years.

"While positivity has underpinned my campaign, I have been working over these past months to understand the issues and concerns in my community and across the region.

"I will continue to build on this issues log, and it is my intention to get back to everyone who has given me their time during my campaign, with a response to the concerns they have raised with me.

"Community engagement is a priority for me," she said.

"I will be bold and ask the questions that need to be asked because I value diversity in thinking and encourage respected debate and discussion.

"We must challenge ourselves, to think of our children's future, what change will they see, what progress will we have made."

She will be joined on the 2020 South Burnett Regional Council by returning councillors Rosylyn Frohloff (Division 1), Gavin Jones (Division 2), Danita Potter (Division 3) and Kathy Duff (Division 5).

The Mayoral and Division 6 positions are yet to be cleared by the ECQ.

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