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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

New Mayor for Whitsundays

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WHITSUNDAYS’ new Mayor Julie Hall is hoping for a harmonious council, which will focus on delivering action for the benefit of the ratepayers.

She will fall back on her career in personal development, which helped people with their emotional, mental and personal health, helping them achieve their dreams.

Cr Hall said she would be a full-time mayor and hand her business over to caretakers, so she could give 100 per cent to running the council.

She believes in government for the people, starting from the grassroots of local government through to State and Federal politics.

“People pay them through their rates and taxes, so we have to govern for the people, not through a bureaucracy,” she said.

“I am absolutely ecstatic (on being elected mayor) and I’m looking forward to getting behind the desk and being a voice for the community – a strong voice,” she said.

Cr Hall said her first task would be to build a bridge between the community and council’s planning department, an issue she stressed during the election campaign.

She said the community had expressed dissatisfaction with planning issues and it was necessary to bring confidence back into resolving those issues.

“I have some ideas to bring to the table on how we can do that. I won’t outline them now, I’ll take them to a strategy meeting with the council.”

Cr Hall said, although she only got 20 per cent of the primary vote, compared to 30 per cent for Mike Brunker and 22 per cent for Al Grundy, the result was always going to come down to preferences.

“When you have six candidates, no one was ever going to get 50 per cent,” she said.

“Crs Brunker and Grundy did not ask for preferences, it was always part of my strategy.”

Although she was critical of sitting councillors during her campaign, Cr Hall hoped there would be no animosity and that all councillors could work as a team in a professional manner.

“We are not there to attack each other but to work for the community. We have to put differences aside and work together,” she said.

At her swearing-in ceremony, on Monday, Cr Hall said she intended to lead from the front with grace and dignity, with the values of respect, kindness, positivity and inclusion.

“Change is always difficult because it requires us to step outside of what we know and into doubt and fear of the unknown,” she said.

“This is where I extend my invitation and call on our executive leadership team and councillors to stand together and show the community, through your support of me, that we really do have their best interests at heart.  

“When we are supporting each other, and working together as a team, we are working for the community not against them.

“I am very excited for the future of the Whitsundays. With fresh new leadership comes fresh new vibrant energy and a fresh new opportunity to get the heart of the Whitsundays really pumping.”

As Cr Hall won the Mayor’s job in a by-election, she stays until the next local government elections, in March 2024.

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