AFTER nearly a decade on the Isaac council Dale Appleton is packing up and moving back to the Clermont bush.
The move comes after Mr Appleton made the decision to focus on expanding his family organic beef business.
The cattle producer and fourth generation Appleton in the Clermont district will work across seven properties including Bulliwallah, Yarmina, Beelarong, Craven, Islay Plains, Tango, and Star Downs. Although Mr Appleton now runs up to 40,000 head of cattle on around 195,000 hectares, he comes from humble beginnings.
Finishing school in Year 9, Mr Appleton began his grazing career in his early twenties with a 526 hectare property bought from his uncle.
The well-known and respected Clermont man said although he started small, the beauty of the beef business was the constant possibility of expansion.
"That's the great thing you can do in this life, you can start small and keep expanding,” Mr Appleton said.
"There are great opportunities in the bush, you just have to make it work.
"I've always believed where there's a will, there's a way.”
Back when Mr Appleton first started in the beef business his thoughts were far from politics. It wasn't until he was much older, his parents became ill and he wanted to be closer to town, that he thought of throwing his hat in the ring and giving back to his community. After more than eight years on council, Mr Appleton said it had been an honour to serve Isaac's rural and remote communities.
"My proudest moment with council is seeing 28 kilometres of bitumen go on the Clermont-Alpha Road in a major win for our communities,” he said.
"I'm proud of the relationships I've built with fellow councillors and staff over the years.
"But the biggest thing I want to say is the respect I have for the mayor, for putting faith in me to be not just a councillor but deputy mayor.
"I never thought I could run a meeting or do public speaking, but she gave me the opportunities and the confidence. "I have the highest regard for Anne (Baker) and I still do, she is a great leader and she's genuine.”
With Mr Appleton due to finish up on September 30, Isaac Regional Council mayor Anne Baker said his last day would be a sad day for council and Isaac communities.
"I have enormous respect for Dale and he leaves behind a lasting legacy and big boots to fill,” she said.
"What has always struck me about Dale is his dedication to rural and remote communities, strong business sense, and salt-of-the-earth approach to life.
"He is a humble community leader, a tireless worker and has been a valuable asset to the council team.
"We will greatly miss him at the table, he has worked incredibly hard on behalf of his division for better rural roads and liveability.”
DALE APPLETON'S TIME ON COUNCIL
Elected as Division 1 councillor on May 14, 2009.
Deputy mayor from 2012 to 2016.
Represented the region as a member of AgForce, Mistake Creek Progress Association and the Clermont Saleyards Ccommittee.
Mr Appleton's resignation is effective from September 30, with a by-election to be held within the following 12 weeks.
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