Community & Business

14 December, 2023

Mareeba gears up for 2024 poll

MAREEBA Mayor Angela Toppin has confirmed she will re-contest her position in the 2024 local government election.

By Robyn Holmes

Mareeba gears up for 2024 poll - feature photo

To date, no one else has put up their hand to vie for the position which may give Mayor Toppin a second term without any competition.

“My first term as Mayor has been busy but productive and, of course, I feel that there is more to accomplish,” she said.

“A council is only as strong as its individual councillors, we are fortunate to have committed members serving.

“My goal is to always lead with integrity and transparency - I believe in grassroots organisations and letting my actions speak louder than words.”

Mayor Toppin said among things she was most proud of was council’s Parks and Open Spaces Strategy and Action Plan and its progress on upgrading the town’s water network.

“We have undertaken the massive task of water management and conservation with the upgrade and repair of the ageing water infrastructure throughout the shire area,” she said.

“The most important overarching consideration and focus is the financial security of our shire - fiscal security is integral for a strong future.”

Only three of Mareeba Shire’s six councillors have formally confirmed they will re-contest their positions in 2024.

Cr Mary Graham said she would advise the community before Christmas, while Cr Locky Bensted and Deputy Mayor Kevin Davies said they planned on making formal announcements in January.

“I have personal and work commitments that have to consider before I make a decision to re-contest the next election,” Cr Davies said.

Cr Danny Bird says he is definitely up for a second term of office, remaining “very passionate” about the future of the shire and enjoying representing and engaging with the community. 

He said his focus would be on “core issues of roads, rates and rubbish” and trying to keep costs affordable while ensuring the organisation remained financially viable. 

“We also need to continue to advocate to the State Government for a clear, lasting, positive solution towards combatting youth crime, and grow our Industrial Park by creating an area of smaller blocks, so they are more affordable to smaller businesses,” Cr Bird said.

Cr Mario Mlikota also confirmed his intention to seek another term as councillor, and hinted he might have aspirations to contest the Mayoralty at a future election.

He said his motivation was always centered on serving the community.

“I care about people and I care about community. Having the continued desire and conviction to serve and contribute to others has guided me in life’s journey thus far - being a high school teacher for 40 years is testimony to that,” Cr Mlikota said.

“Being a councillor is a position of trust - residents put their trust in you to deliver the best possible outcomes for them. I believe I am a voice of reason and bring to the table a wealth of life experiences.

“If elected I would be a voice for all but a puppet of none. It has been an honour to have served the residents of this shire for the past four years and it would be a privilege to serve again for another four.”

Cr Lenore Wyatt is excited about the chance to run again in 2024.

“I love my job,” she said.

“I really love being part of the decision makers that help shape the direction of the shire.

“I am very happy with what we have achieved over the (nearly) last eight years I have been a councillor and would love to keep the momentum happening all across the shire, especially in the areas of public art and sustainability.”

Cr Wyatt, who is also the chair of the Local Tourism Organisation established this year, said she believed there should be a strong focus “our core business of roads” and improving the council’s processes by finding efficiencies, “just as we have done with the Parks and Open Spaces strategy”. 

“I am passionate about my role and am proud to be a councillor and I am proud of all the things I have managed to see happen and help achieve as part of this job,” she added.


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