Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

THERE weren’t any ward di­vi­sions marked out for the new shire elec­tions, but the re­sult of the vot­ing looks as if a ma­jor­ity of ratepay­ers thought there were.

And the per­sis­tent ru­mours of po­lit­i­cal group­ings de­spite pro­fes­sions to the con­trary by the can­di­dates add to the im­pres­sion that the coun­cil elec­tion had some carry over from the past – not ex­actly the clean slate, the break with the past, etc etc many peo­ple were hop­ing for.

But the lack of ward di­vi­sions has an up­side in that ev­ery coun­cil­lor is now ac­count­able to the elec­torate as a whole.

It means that at the next elec­tion at the end of this short­ened term the vot­ers will get a chance to pun­ish coun­cil­lors they deem to have failed to act suf­fi­ciently in their best in­ter­ests.

It is still pos­si­ble to be op­ti­mistic about the prospects for a co­he­sive coun­cil out of those elected this time.

The up­side is that they are well ed­u­cated and in most cases po­lit­i­cally ex­pe­ri­enced peo­ple, sev­eral with a deep un­der­stand­ing of the prior coun­cil’s af­fairs.

But even be­fore their de­lib­er­a­tions be­gin there is an im­per­a­tive to sort out the new shire’s thorny head­count prob­lem and the mat­ter of how much money is in the kitty. We’ll know this last one around the end of the month.

Mean­while, con­grat­u­la­tions to may­or­elect Ju­lia Leu on her huge win and to all the coun­cil­lors who have taken on the chal­lenge and hard work of rep­re­sent­ing us.

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