Com­mu­nity at the heart of coun­cil work: Noli

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

CON­TIN­U­ING OUR WEEKLY SE­RIES, SAT DOWN WITH DEPUTY MAYOR ABI­GAIL NOLI

WHILE coun­cil projects are a never-end­ing cy­cle, ac­cord­ing to Coun­cil­lor Abi­gail Noli the past 12 months have been pos­i­tive not just be­cause of the work done but be­cause more projects are fi­nally be­ing com­pleted.

“I think what we’ve had is we’ve had a lit­tle bit more of fi­nal­i­sa­tion of projects. The first two years … we got a lot of things un­der­way but not a lot of that fi­nal­i­sa­tion,” she said.

There are plenty of projects to pick from – var­i­ous suc­cess­ful De­vel­op­ment Ap­pli­ca­tions, the open­ing of the Scrap Shack, the Moss­man River flood cam and the Zika and Dengue erad­i­ca­tion tri­als, among oth­ers.

She wouldn’t claim a par­tic­u­lar project she was proud of, be­cause ev­ery­thing was im­por­tant, and her role in the coun­cil team was equal.

“I like to be­lieve that I have been im­por­tant in ev­ery de­ci­sion made and ev­ery­thing that we’ve achieved.

“Also, many ideas come from the pub­lic. What coun­cil does is re­fine these good ideas and then im­ple­ment them.”

Be­ing a part of the coun­cil is an in­valu­able way to work to­wards what she ad­mit­ted was the im­pos­si­ble task of cre­at­ing a “per­fect com­mu­nity”.

“In try­ing to achieve this per­fect com­mu­nity – which ob­vi­ously can never be achieved – it doesn’t mat­ter how big or how small the project is, it’s all im­por­tant.”

One role she rel­ishes is help­ing smooth the way for a healthy cul­ture of clubs and so­ci­eties – and with strong mu­sic, visual arts and per­form­ing arts scenes and plenty of sports clubs in the shire, her work is cut out for her, but as she said it’s part of the fun.

“These are the es­sen­tial parts of a com­mu­nity, and if you can make peo­ple feel good in a com­mu­nity in where they live, then you’re go­ing to be build­ing the best shire in Aus­tralia.”

There is a spe­cial is­sue Abi­gail will pur­sue – home­less­ness. “We don’t run the hous­ing busi­ness but I want to make sure if coun­cil can ever of­fer as­sis­tance or make things eas­ier, I want to make sure we do that.”

Abi­gail said the re­al­i­ties of hous­ing, and learn­ing that some high school stu­dents went with­out shocked her.

“And I thought, how’s that in my com­mu­nity? How’s that al­lowed? What can we do to change that, how can we as­sist? We can ad­vo­cate and we can fa­cil­i­tate.”

The same goes for do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in the com­mu­nity.

“We have to look at do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and home­less­ness in the com­mu­nity. Be­fore I was a coun­cil­lor I didn’t re­ally re­alise the depth and per­haps many peo­ple wouldn’t. So I think it should be brought to the pub­lic’s at­ten­tion.”

Pic­ture: SCOTT TIB­BALLS

DSC Deputy Mayor Abi­gail Noli said she grew up on the Moss­man River, a spot she said she knows and cares about, as in­deed all of the shire

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