Coun­cil­lor rises to chal­lenge

Paul Fran­cis looks back on achieve­ments

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Noel Thomp­son noel.thomp­son@cnbtimes.com.au

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.”

PHOTO: SUE HAR­RIS

EN­JOY­ING THE ROLE: Cr Paul Fran­cis with his wife Mia.

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