COUNCILLOR Gary Simpson has been appointed as the new Deputy Mayor at the recent Whitsunday Regional Council meeting.
Councillor Al Grundy proposed Councillor Simpson and the motion was then carried 5-2.
Prior to this appointment, Councillor John Collins proposed Councillor Mike Brunker for the role, but that motion was lost 3-4, with Mayor Julie Hall also voting against.
Councillor Jan Clifford voted against the appointment of both deputy mayors.
Deputy Mayor Simpson said although he ‘had his suspicions’, he was mostly unaware Councillor Al Grundy intended to put his name forward.
“I’m just as qualified for the role as anybody else, but I do always like to do the right thing because we’ve got to help the majority of people as best we can,” Cr Simpson said.
“Maintaining the liveability and affordability of the region, as well as allowing it to grow and prosper, is important to me.
“We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world and we need to maintain that.”
Deputy Mayor Simpson says he looks forward to working with Mayor Julie Hall on uniting the Whitsunday region and lessening the ‘them vs us’ attitude.
“When I first started, there was an unspoken rule that if the Mayor was from the north then the deputy was to be from the south and vice versa but, since we’ve been rotating the deputy mayor every 12 months, that hasn’t been the case.”
Mayor Julie Hall said she was excited by the appointment.
“I’m really excited that Councillor Simpson is our new Deputy Mayor, it gives us a southern deputy and a northern mayor, so it brings unity into the region,” she said.