Willcox deals with ‘nemesis’
ANDREW Willcox has an elephant in the room when it comes to securing votes in Airlie Beach.
His name is Mike Brunker.
Cr Willcox, who wants to rise from deputy mayor to mayor in the next term of Whitsunday Regional Council, will be vacating his Division 6 seat to do so.
And former mayor Mike Brunker is standing in his stead.
For many attending a business lunch hosted by Cr Willcox in Airlie Beach last week, this sent shivers down spines.
Fish D’Vine co-owner Kevin Collins, whose venue hosted the lunch, was first to brave the topic, saying Mr Brunker was “all over social media, happy to stick it to Airlie Beach”.
“How are you going to deal with that?” he asked.
“He’s also saying he’s going to have his hand up your back – that you’re going to kiss the baby and he’s going to run the show – so how do you cope with that?”
“That’s a great question,” Cr Willcox replied.
“It’s my nemesis actually. I hear about it all the time.”
Cr Willcox said contrary to popular belief, “I have very little to do with Mike Brunker”.
“I’ve been to his place once and I actually went there that once because I was asked by people to tell him not to run,” he said.
Cr Willcox noted if elected to Division 6, Mr Brunker would only be one vote.
“(But) I know that’s the elephant in the room and I really want to address it,” he said.
“I’m my own man... and I’m here to run on my merits, on what I’m about and what I’m doing (and) I think it would be a gross injustice for me to get crucified because someone else from my town… is perceived to have done something wrong down here.
“I think there’s been too much looking back... I think we need to move forward and if he gets in and I get in I will certainly be telling him to move forward. The whistle needs to be blown.”
Cr Willcox also said he didn’t believe there was any truth to rumours about a plan to re-instate former Whitsunday Regional Council CEO John Finlay.
And he was firm on finding a way to end the northsouth divide, saying, “I don’t want to de-amalgamate, because I believe the more straws you’ve got in the milk, the more milk you can drink”.
FRANK TALKING: Andrew Willcox addressing the "elephant in the room" at a business lunch last week.