BIG PLANS: Previous Member for Ipswich West Sean Choat is now running for a seat on Somerset Regional Council.
BIG PLANS: Previous Member for Ipswich West Sean Choat is now running for a seat on Somerset Regional Council. David Nielsen

Choat to be a man of the people

SEAN Choat has done away with party politics and will run as an independent in the fast approaching Somerset Regional Council election.

Of the 15 council candidates just six will be chosen to represent the Somerset region, which includes the five major townships of Esk, Fernvale, Kilcoy, Lowood and Toogoolawah.

The previous Member for Ipswich West, who now lives in Glamorgan Vale, said he would bring the same enthusiasm to local government which he held during his time in state politics.

Mr Choat said he aimed to focus on infrastructure in rural areas, building the Somerset tourism industry and improving communication between council and residents if elected on Saturday.

"No one is pulling my strings. I'm in to bat for each and every (resident)," he said.

"One of my goals is for all roads to be sealed. It's something worth focusing on. Just because people live in a rural area doesn't mean they deserve second best.

"In fact I think it's more important for people in regional areas, who often need to travel half an hour for bread and milk, to have quality roads."

Mr Choat said he was keen to make a real difference to residents on the ground if he were to be elected and believed Somerset Council needed to communicate more directly with residents.

"I want to get involved in community groups and give them a voice," he said.

"There's a perception that council isn't transparent and I think councillors need to get out and about and talk to residents.

"Meeting community members on the ground was my favourite part in my role as a State Member.

"We need a keen council. I want to be on the front line if I'm successful I want to mark my time in council as the voice of the people."

The council candidate said, although he wasn't confident in the lead up to the election, he would work "every hour" until then to ensure people knew what he was about.

"I hope people will give me a go and I think I can bring a lot of experience to the role," Mr Choat said.

"I won't let people down.

"That's the attitude I held in state politics and it's the attitude I'll have here."