Man­ning our new Mayor

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - PAUL MIL­TON BUT­LER

NEW Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil Mayor Bob Man­ning has promised to work equally with all coun­cil­lors re­gard­less of his Unity team win­ning the ma­jor­ity of di­vi­sions.

Mr Man­ning, who ousted pre­vi­ous mayor Val Shier with an over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity, was also in­stru­men­tal in the elec­tion of six Unity can­di­dates out of 10 to coun­cil.

He has vowed to work with in­de­pen­dent Di­vi­sion 10 coun­cil­lor Ju­lia Leu and give the Dou­glas re­gion a stronger voice un­der his lead­er­ship.

“Whilst Unity may have a ma­jor­ity on the floor of coun­cil, the idea is for coun­cil to work as a team and to make de­ci­sions in the best in­ter­ests of coun­cil as a whole,” he said.

Mr Man­ning said the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Waterfront Mas­ter Plan to help in­vig­o­rate the fi­nan­cially de­pressed Dou­glas re­gion would be a pri­or­ity.

“This is a crit­i­cally im­por­tant project for Port Dou­glas,” he said.

“And while I haven’t been able to read the re­port, it is on my list of pri­or­ity ’things to do’. But as we said dur­ing the elec­tion pe­riod, we will ini­ti­ate an im­me­di­ate and open re­view of this project.

“Once the post-elec­tion meet­ing has been held (the swear­ing in of the new Coun­cil) we will move to com­mence this re­view.

“I would ex­pect to have a com­mu­nity rep­re­sen­ta­tive in­volved in this re­view and it will be openly re­ported to the Port Dou­glas com­mu­nity.”

Mayor Man­ning said he would also re­place the 49 co­conut trees chopped down by coun­cil near Four Mile Park in March with ma­ture spec­i­mens.

“And there will be a re­view of coun­cil’s man­age­ment prac­tices to en­sure this does not hap­pen again,” he said.

The amal­ga­ma­tion of the for­mer Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil with Cairns is also an is­sue that still deeply di­vides a large sec­tion of the com­mu­nity and the new Mayor said coun­cil will work co­op­er­a­tively with the State Gov­ern­ment to in­ves­ti­gate de-amal­ga­ma­tion.

“If the decision is made by the State Gov­ern­ment to de-amal­ga­mate and if this is sup­ported by the res­i­dents of the for­mer Dou­glas Shire, then the CRC will work to give ef­fect to this decision,” he said.

“In the mean­time, the CRC will do all it can to make the amal­ga­ma­tion work.”

He said he would have dis­cus­sions with the se­nior man­ager to bet­ter un­der­stand the chlorination of the lo­cal water sup­ply be­fore mak­ing any de­ci­sions.

“The main con­sid­er­a­tion is that the coun­cil is able to earn the con­fi­dence of the com­mu­nity in terms of how it op­er­ates at both a coun­cil and an op­er­a­tional level,” he said.

“This will be a ma­jor con­sid­er­a­tion in terms of how the coun­cil works in the fu­ture.”

Photo by FRAN­CIS BREN­DAN

Cheers: Bob Man­ning cel­e­brat­ing with his wife Claire and sup­porter Gary James on elec­tion night

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