Mayor needs to deliver on projects
THERE’S no doubt Townsville City Council Mayor Jenny Hill will be looking forward to putting 2018 behind her.
She had to settle a defamation case with mining magnate Clive Palmer and Team Hill was fined by the Electoral Commission for breaching electoral disclosure laws.
Then cracks in her squad began to show when rebel councillor Paul Jacob split from the pack and became the sole oppositional voice in council.
Cr Hill did escape lightly from her U- turns on the funding of the Adani airstrip and on stage two of the Haughton pipeline project, which she initially said she didn’t want, before uniting with the rest of the city leaders in support of it.
But the biggest sign of trouble in paradise was the sudden departure of her high- achieving and well- respected CEO Adele Young.
Cr Hill will likely take a break and take stock over the festive period but the mayor will have her work cut out for her in 2019.
A year ago, Cr Hill launched her 2020 Vision for Townsville, which was a bold plan to transform the city on a strict pre- election deadline.
There’s no denying Townsville residents are fatigued with the bevy of plans and reports done in this city without seeing any results.
For the council, 2019 was supposed to be a year of ribbon cuttings and sod turnings which would see Cr Hill gallop home at the polls in 2020.
But with the CEO, the key driving force behind many of these projects, gone Cr Hill will need to choose her next leader carefully and quickly.
Already key members of the community are concerned about the future direction of the council.
Cr Hill will need to send a strong message that her council is on track and set to deliver, or opposition candidates will start coming out of the woodwork and preparing to pounce.