Manning our new Mayor
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.”
Cheers: Bob Manning celebrating with his wife Claire and supporter Gary James on election night