So you want to be a coun­cil­lor

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

With the date for elec­tion of a mayor and four coun­cil­lors for the new Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil now an­nounced, I feel it is nec­es­sary for the com­mit­tee overview­ing the tran­si­tion from CRC to DSC to or­gan­ise two meet­ings. The two meet­ings needed are: [a] To firstly as­sist peo­ple who aspire to be­com­ing a coun­cil­lor, to make them aware of what the job en­tails, what is ex­pected of them, what the work load will be, what gov­er­nance skills they re­quire, what knowl­edge is needed, how they should be study­ing to un­der­stand how the coun­cil works, un­der­stand­ing meet­ing pro­ce­dures, be­com­ing aware of the ne­ces­sity for con­sul­ta­tion with the pub­lic, know­ing how bud­get­ing is planned, be­com­ing aware of how to deal with the me­dia etc etc. Such a meet­ing may de­ter some po­ten­tial can­di­dates from nom­i­nat­ing, but on the other hand, it may en­cour­age oth­ers to nom­i­nate. Such a meet­ing called ‘‘So you want to be a Coun­cil­lor’’ needs to be pub­li­cised and an in­vi­ta­tion given to all in­tend­ing to stand, to at­tend such a meet­ing. [b] The sec­ond meet­ing that is re­quired is a pub­lic fo­rum, whereby each of the can­di­dates who have nom­i­nated for the bal­lot, be in­vited to: (i) stand up and in­tro­duce them­selves, talk about their skills and ex­pe­ri­ences and de­scribe why we, the gen­eral pub­lic, should vote for them on elec­tion day; and (ii) be pre­pared to an­swer ques­tions from the floor. I am aware that the tran­si­tion of­fi­cer, Mr Ge­off Tate, is work­ing very well and peo­ple ap­pre­ci­ate his role and the plans com­ing to fruition. How­ever, there is a gen­eral feel­ing in the com­mu­nity that peo­ple are con­cerned about who the can­di­dates will be and how well they will do this most im­por­tant job in our new coun­cil. I think the Tran­si­tion Com­mit­tee needs to take on the role of or­gan­is­ing the two meet­ings sug­gested. If this is not part of their role then maybe you as the Edi­tor, with help from some mem­bers of the com­mu­nity, should be pre­pared to ini­ti­ate the sug­ges­tions above. It is vi­tal that we as­sist po­ten­tial can­di­dates prior to nom­i­na­tion and then im­por­tantly, en­lighten the pub­lic about the can­di­dates they will be vot­ing for. The pas­sion and com­mit­ment by all con­cerned in the lead up to the vote to dea­mal­ga­mate, needs now to be har­nessed to en­sure we have a tal­ented, hard­work­ing coun­cil to get the DSC "on track" for an in­de­pen­dent and pos­i­tive fu­ture. This new coun­cil will over­view one of the most im­por­tant seg­ments in ther his­tory of the DSC, so we must get the four most tal­ented and com­mit­ted coun­cil­lors with a vi­sion­ary and con­cil­ia­tory mayor. ex­cited to rep­re­sent this re­gion in a Coali­tion Govern­ment. I look for­ward to be­ing an ’en­abler’ when it comes to im­ple­ment­ing some of the very pos­i­tive ini­tia­tives and projects that have been de­vel­oped here over the last three years. I prom­ise you that I will con­tinue to cel­e­brate the suc­cesses of our re­gion, high­light the chal­lenges we face, iden­tify vi­able and work­able so­lu­tions, en­cour­age in­vest­ment, and be a strong and pas­sion­ate ad­vo­cate for those groups and in­di­vid­u­als who need my sup­port. Your as­sis­tance will help me de­liver more for the Far North and en­able the Coali­tion to restore hope, re­ward and op­por­tu­nity for all Aus­tralians. If you have any lo­cal is­sues you feel need at­ten­tion, please con­tact me on 07 4051 2220 or email war­ren.entsch.mp@aph.gov.au. Thank you again Le­ich­hardt, I won’t let you down.

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