Brisbane councillor Margaret de Wit has been elected as the new Local Government Association of Queensland, tipping Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O’Connell in a secret ballot.


Cr de Wit won the election to become the first female President of the Association in its 116 year history, and will serve for a four year term.


“I am passionate about fighting for the needs of local government,” said Cr de Wit.


“Councils do it tough - they don’t get a lot of recognition for the work that they do and there are many issues that need to be addressed, like funding cuts and the loss of grants and subsidies.


“We do realise that the state government has a big job to do in cutting debt but it’s my job now to fight for the needs of councils and taking it to the Premier when he is looking at budgets.


Cr de Wit was fast to put to bed any possible specific allegiances, saying she was more than happy to deal with either Federal or State Governments to achieve her goals for the LGAQ.


“I have very good working relationships with the Premier, Treasurer and the Minister for Local Government, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be knocking on their door if I’m not happy with what we are getting from George Street,” Cr de Wit said.


Cr de Wit is also Brisbane City Council’s (BCC) chairman of council. She has been the Brisbane City councillor for the Ward of Pullenvale since 1997, and has held senior portfolios in BCC ranging from leader of the opposition (prior to the election of Campbell Newman in 2004) to chairman of infrastructure when Cr Graham Quirk became Lord Mayor.