Donna is no stranger to govern­ment

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Madi­son Wil­liams

COUN­CIL­LOR can­di­date Donna Gra­ham is no stranger to the work­ings of coun­cil with close to eight years of lo­cal govern­ment ex­pe­ri­ence un­der her belt.

Ms Gra­ham worked in lo­cal govern­ment in Mel­bourne and North­ern NSW be­fore she took up the po­si­tion of man­ager de­vel­op­ment and en­vi­ron­ment on the Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil.

She left her po­si­tion at the end of last year to run as a coun­cil­lor in the up­com­ing March 19 elec­tions.

“I was be­ing ap­proached by a range of dif­fer­ent peo­ple, so that was a real mo­ti­va­tor,” she said of her de­ci­sion to run for coun­cil.

Ms Gra­ham has worked as a Bar­ris­ter at the pri­vate bar, the gen­eral man­ager of Rag­ing Thun­der Ad­ven­tures and owned and op­er­ated her own busi­ness.

She be­lieves that her ex­pe­ri­ence with the tourism and busi­ness sec­tor has given her the knowl­edge to lead the shire into a smarter, sus­tain­able plan­ning and de­vel­op­ment phase.

“I be­lieve the peo­ple need some­one in coun­cil who has a strong back­ground in tourism and busi­ness, which I do,” she said.

“I think we’re at a fairly crit­i­cal time for the com­mu­nity. We’ve got the two most sig­nif­i­cant strate­gic prop­er­ties in the shire, be­ing The Reef Ma­rina and the Sher­a­ton Mi­rage, ba­si­cally un­der­go­ing or about to un­dergo re­de­vel­op­ment at the same time.

“What hap­pens with those and how well they’re done will have a mon­strous im­pact on not just Port Dou­glas but on the shire as a whole.”

With the draft plan­ning scheme set to be re­leased for pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion soon, Ms Gra­ham says now is the time to elect a coun­cil that will set the shire up for suc­cess for the next 10 to 20 years.

“We’re about to get the new draft plan­ning scheme, and the lo­cal laws are be­ing re­viewed,” she said.

“So the plan­ning scheme and lo­cal laws are the frame work that dic­tates what will and won’t hap­pen from a de­vel­op­ment and con­struc­tion per­spec­tive, and what peo­ple can and can’t do in the shire.

“That only hap­pens once ev­ery 10 years and we have a re­ally unique, crit­i­cal op­por­tu­nity to get those things right, so for me, hav­ing a voice with a strong tourist back­ground on coun­cil is re­ally im­por­tant.”

Pic­ture: MADI­SON WIL­LIAMS

Dou­glas Shire coun­cil­lor can­di­date Donna Gra­ham

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