Forming real connections through adversity

Shaun Radnedge, Mayor of Murweh Shire.

Shaun “Zoro” Radnedge, Mayor of Murweh Shire in Queensland, sits down to answer Local Government Focus’ questions.

LG: Tell us about your area: what makes your Council special?

Mayor Radnedge: The Murweh Shire’s biggest asset is our communities. When our communities have to come together, as we recently saw with the floods across our Shire a month ago, they pull together and look after each other. This makes the Council and the Shire’s residents a resilient bunch and forms a real connection between residents. This builds a special bond within the community—one that I’m proud to be a part of.

LG: Do you have a favourite part/aspect/attraction in the council area?

Mayor Radnedge: We are a go-to Queensland outback driving holiday destination, a reputation we’ve developed thanks to a long list of tourist attractions, too many to mention here. But I will say that from being the Bilby capital of Australia to our WWII Secret Base, we’re proud of all of them and all are a must see.

LG: How long have you been on Council, and why did you become involved in Local Government?

Mayor Radnedge: This is my third term on the Council. I was a councillor for four years, and this is my second term as mayor. I am involved in the local government because, after raising a family here, I wanted an opportunity to shape the future for future generations of Murweh of residents.

LG: Do you have another job? If so, tell us about it and how it contributes to your role/views as a councillor.

Mayor Radnedge: Yes, we’ve been in the butcher shop for 25 years, and it’s been an enormous learning curve. As a butcher, I’m very accessible and always up for chat. I interact with the community daily and hear their feedback, good and bad. It really helps to communicate with residents at the grass roots.

LG: What activities do you enjoy outside of work hours?

Mayor Radnedge: It’s busy with a retail business and mayoral duties, so when I do get some downtime, I like to spend it with my family. I love going to any social events within our community, especially any activities that interact with the community.

LG: What are the key challenges facing you and your Council?

Mayor Radnedge: The biggest challenge to the Shire is sustainability. We must attract future generations by making sure the Shire liveable and attractable and excellent place to raise a family and run a business.

LG: What innovative projects or policies is the Council working on?

Mayor Radnedge: Our next big challenge is working with government and insurance companies to make insurance premiums affordable and fair for Murweh residents and not burden them with additional costs during the current cost-of-living crisis.

LG: Tell us about a specific success you have had in Local Government.

Mayor Radnedge: In July 2023, we began campaigning against the injection of waste products into the Great Artesian Basin. We now have the backing of every Council in Qld, and it’s at the forefront of the media and even is being challenged in court if the government doesn’t act. It was Murweh Council that brought that forward.

LG: What is the best part about being a Councillor?

Mayor Radnedge: It’s being able to contribute, to listen to the community, and help make the Murweh Shire more liveable, inclusive, and family-friendly.

LG: What is the worst part?

Mayor Radnedge: The constant challenges of dealing with the State and Federal governments’ cost-shifting to local governments can be very frustrating.

LG: What do you hope to accomplish in the future?

Mayor Radnedge: To make our Shire sustainable and help deliver a good quality of life for all our current and future residents to enjoy the best part of South West Queensland.