COUNCILLOR Sue Whelan is the fifth person to put up her hand for the position of Queanbeyan City mayor.
She is up against incumbent Tim Overall, Brian Brown, Jamie Cregan and councillor Ann Rocca. Cr Whelan has served on the council since 1983 but feels she now has the experience to play a bigger role in local politics.
"I think it's time to give people a choice, I've got plenty of experience and a vision of the city," she said. "I think we've concentrated on a lot of the work in the CBD, it looks great but I want to look at the whole city. There's exciting times ahead."
Cr Whelan said she wanted Queanbeyan to have the facilities to satisfy a growing city but still retain its country charm and heritage values. "The community has given us their vision for the City and it is up to the council to deliver on that vision," she said. "The vision of a vibrant regional city that is welcoming to all is one that I have been promoting for a number of years.
"To achieve that vision Council needs not only to improve the CBD but also to look at our regional shopping centres as well as our residential areas. Improved transport facilities are a must and this must include improved public transport and access to Canberra."
One of Cr Whelan's strengths is her extensive experience working with former mayors David Madew, Frank Pangallo and current mayor Overall. She has taken the position of deputy mayor three times during her tenure and said some of her greatest achievements as councillor has been the town's indoor pool, new library premises and recognition of Queanbeyan's heritage values. "We are probably the only city in the world that helped build a national capital so we have things like the workers' cottages," she said. "We differ to Yass and Goulburn who have these huge buildings."
Cr Whelan said she brings a different perspective to the table. "I first joined council when I was 29-years-old, I was a young mum and felt there wasn't enough representatives for young women, there were a lot of older people on the council and I wanted to bring a young view," she said. "Women bring a different view and I think I bring that to council. I'm married to a Queanbeyan person so I know where the community came from and where it can go. I want to look at Queanbeyan as a community, its past and its heritage. We're turning 175 next year compared to Canberra that's only turning 100 years old."
Cr Whelan will announce her team in the next few weeks.