19 March, 2019
Mareeba Shire to remain undivided
AN official decision has been made on the petitions which asked that the Mareeba Shire Council move to a divisional council model.
The petitions were submitted at a council meeting last month by Kuranda local Jax Bergersen, which were for electoral divisions to be created for the Kuranda and Julatten areas respectively.
Councillors were given the opportunity to review the documents and make a determination as to whether it would be in the best interest of the shire.
The councillors voted unanimously in favour of remaining an undivided council.
Mareeba Shire Council Chief Executive Officer Peter Franks presented a report at last Tuesday’s council meeting outlining the reasons why council have made a recommendation to remain undivided.
Mareeba Shire Council Mayor Tom Gilmore was strong in his support of keeping the current council model unchanged.
“I have worked on three councils, two of which were divided and one which was undivided,” he said.
“And in my personal experience I am strongly of the belief that an undivided council delivers the best governance for this shire.”
Cr Gilmore said while he can see why a divisional council is an attractive idea in theory; he stated that he believed it would be a Pyrrhic victory if it went ahead.
“What you will often find in a divisional model is that an individual councillor will find themselves isolated and unable to influence other councillors on issues pertinent to their area,” he said.
“I think that’s why doing it as a group (undivided council) is so beneficial.
“An undivided council ensures that if you want to be re-elected as a councillor, you better know the people and the issues they are experiencing throughout the entirety of the shire.”
“We are lucky to have a group of fine councillors currently on the Mareeba Shire Council who work very well together and I look forward to continuing my work alongside them as members of an undivided council.”