Councillor rises to challenge
Paul Francis looks back on achievements
Paul Francis A councillor can achieve very little as an individual and it is only as an independent part of a team that anything can be achieved.
TEN years ago, Paul Francis decided to take on the challenge of representing his community.
The Monto Shire Council held a by-election after the resignation of Roy Marbach, and contesting the election were Peter Sharp and Paul Francis.
Cr Francis led in the count but it was too close to call and it would be 11 days before he was officially elected and sworn in.
Cr Francis said at the time that he was extremely grateful for the support the voters had shown him.
He has represented the people of Monto until today and continues to be a councillor living in Moonford.
“I had actually first been elected to the council in July of 1998, also at a by-election,” he said.
“In 2004 I contested the mayoral election but lost and stood again in the 2005 by-election.
“My actual service as a councillor is now over 15 years and I received a 15-year Certificate of Service at the Local Government Conference in Mackay during October.
“That certificate is now holding pride of place above the desk in my office.”
Cr Francis said the most significant change during his time as a councillor was the amalgamation.
“The council is now a much larger entity and as such tends to be more cumbersome in its responses to community issues,” he said.
“However, the team of councillors is doing its utmost to be an effective conduit between the council and the community.”
Cr Francis said the council decisions he was most proud of were the purchase of industrial land on Gladstone-Monto Rd, the construction of a washdown bay in Eidsvold – fully funded by QGC, the replacement of the Rocky Creek causeway on Monal Rd, the construction of the Wingfield crossing on Old Rawbelle Rd and successfully applying for Royalties for Regions funds to replace the Splinter Creek Bridge at Bancroft.
“However it is important to realise that a councillor can achieve very little as an individual and it is only as an independent part of a team that anything can be achieved,” he said.
“I certainly recognise and thank my fellow councillors for their support.”
ENJOYING THE ROLE: Cr Paul Francis with his wife Mia.