Determined to serve

Tom Sharp. Photo by Susie Cunningham.
Tom Sharp. Photo by Susie Cunningham.

THE new Mayor of Scenic Rim is the fourth generation of his family to serve on a local government Council – one could almost say he was born to lead.

At the time of publication, ECQ has yet to declare the position, however Tom Sharp has a lead of ten per cent over the closest candidate, Deputy Mayor Jeff McConnell.

Tom’s father, Geoff Sharp, served as a Beaudesert Shire Councillor for 20 years and his grandfather, James McDonald Sharp was Chairman of the Beaudesert Division from 1949–1957.

Tom’s great great grandfather, J T Burnett, served as a councillor and founding chairman of Normanby Shire (Harrisville).

Tom said when he was growing up, the family conversations were all about what was happening in Council.

“We dined out on Council news at breakfast, lunch and dinner,” he said.

“I’ll never forget the building of the Gorge Road, and that was a story that was told to me by Russell Hinze.”

“Russell was the Chairman of Albert Shire Council at the time, my grandfather was the Chairman of Beaudesert Shire Council and it was a huge political storm, just like Canungra bypass is right now.”

 “It took a long time to build that road and find the money and it wasn’t sealed at first, but they were the sort of things that resonated.”

Former Beaudesert Shire Councillor Geoff Sharp with son and new Scenic Rim Mayor Tom Sharp.

Obviously proud of his son, Geoff Sharp said Tom’s commitment to the local community has been evident throughout his life.

“It was obvious to me that he had that feel for the district and what was happening,” said Geoff.

“I’m not surprised now – the baton’s been passed and its been passed very successfully.”

Christensen concedes

Outgoing Mayor Greg Christensen conceded defeat after two terms and offered his congratulations to Tom following the March 16 vote.

Third time lucky

When Sharp first ran for Mayor in 2016, he came fifth out of five candidates with 15.4 per cent of the first preference votes, compared with a confident 46.88 per cent at time of print in the 2024 election.

Sharp said he could not have done it alone.

“I had a visible and active team, full of energy,” he said.

“I got out, I doorknocked, went anywhere and everywhere I could to meet and greet people and supporters were also out there spreading the word.”

Sharp, who has essentially been on the campaign trail since before the 2016 local government elections, said he had built invaluable relationships.

“In 2016 I knew nothing about elections but stood and had a crack and had a belief and a passion, learned a lot, met some amazing people and they were the foundations,” he said.

“I think that commitment to serve the people, to run three times, resonated with the people. People don’t often run three times.”