Donna is no stranger to government
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.”
Douglas Shire councillor candidate Donna Graham