Four new faces, five returning representatives and a Mayor elected to a third term – the new Cairns Regional Council was sworn in today at the statutory post election meeting.
In his address at today’s post election meeting, Mayor Bob Manning acknowledged the newly elected representatives – Rob Pyne, Amy Eden, Kristy Vallely and Rhonda Coghlan – and welcomed back councillors Brett Moller, Cathy Zeiger, Terry James, Max O’Halloran, and Brett Olds.
“Each of us who have been elected has an overriding responsibility to serve this Council to the very best of our ability – placing that responsibility before any personal or other interest,” Cr Manning said.
“This concept is fundamental to everything we do and the manner in which we act.
“If we are true to this fundamental principal, then we will have done our best for this region and its people, and we will look back over this term of Council with a great sense of achievement and satisfaction.
“If we do anything less than we will have betrayed the trust that has been placed in us.”
Cr Manning acknowledged the impact of the coronavirus and the responsibility placed on Council and councillors to help navigate a path to recovery.
“We must first focus on helping our community to negotiate this jumble, and then we must be ready to respond when the recovery phase begins,” Cr Manning said.
“This is not a work site that we can abandon, that we can walk away from, that we can exploit. Families, young children, the aged, look to us to do our bit and a bit more.
“My ask of you, and my promise to you, is that we, together, will not let our city and its people down.”
Cr Manning also remained optimistic about the city’s ability to recover.
“We will get through this challenging time, come out stronger as a community on the other side, and get back to business as soon as we can,” he said.
“At some point, hopefully not in the too distant future, we will “reset” and establish our targets for the balance of this term and that is a promise to the people of Cairns.”
Following the swearing in of the Council, Cr James was returned as Deputy Mayor.
The new Council also dissolved its Standing Committees and rescinded their terms of reference.
This included Standing Committees A, B, C and D, which were established in October 2019 to manage instances where the majority of Councillors had a perceived conflict of interest, and the Cairns Shipping Development Project Committee.
With the make-up of the new Council, the Standing Committees A, B, C and D are no longer required, as historical conflicts of interest would not affect a majority of the councillors.
Council’s first ordinary meeting is to take place on April 22 at 9am.