24 April: In response to COVID-19, perhaps the greatest challenge ever faced by the region, the Post-Election Meeting of the new Council term was held yesterday for the first time via teleconference.
In response to COVID-19, which was described by Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen as perhaps the greatest challenge ever faced by the region, the Post-Election Meeting of the new Council term was held yesterday for the first time via teleconference.
A Welcome to Country was phoned in by Indigenous Elder Aunty Geraldine Page and Cr Christensen acknowledged the region’s traditional owners as well as members of the community unable to attend the meeting due to COVID-19 restrictions.
In his opening address, Cr Christensen congratulated Division 3 Councillor Virginia West, Division 4 Councillor Michael Enright and Division 6 Councillor Duncan McInnes on their re-election and welcomed newly elected Councillors Derek Swanborough (Division 1), Jeff McConnell (Division 2) and Marshall Chalk (Division 5). He also acknowledged the contribution of Nigel Waistell, Nadia O’Carroll and Rick Stanfield during the previous Council term.
All Councillors were invited to make an opening address.
The meeting saw the election of Cr Duncan McInnes as Deputy Mayor, Mayor Greg Christensen as Chair of the Local Disaster Management Group, Cr Jeff McConnell as Deputy Chair of the Local Disaster Management Group and the establishment of the Ordinary Meeting schedule for the remainder of 2020.
During the meeting, Cr Christensen said the Scenic Rim Community Plan, developed in 2011 and updated with renewed community input in 2018, would continue to provide the strategic reference point to guide Council in serving the region.
“Our Scenic Rim Region has progressed a long way over the previous four years. In spite of record floods, drought and bushfires our economic and social fabrics grew stronger,” he said.
“In common with many other locations, our region is now facing perhaps its biggest challenge as the current COVID-19 pandemic and response unfold.
“As a result of the current situation, I envisage that a fully renewed regional economy, social fabric and employment landscape is likely to take a number of years.”
Cr Christensen said that priorities for the new Council would be its strategic settings for the first Budget of the new Council term. He reiterated his previously expressed view that Council should focus sharply on constraining rates and charges to mitigate short-term financial stress across the region during the current situation and support targeted infrastructure development to accelerate opportunities for recovery.
“Councillors - our work is before us - it is time to embrace it with energy and enthusiasm,” Cr Christensen said.
“I look forward to working with you productively over the coming months and years as together we strive, alongside the communities we have been chosen to represent, to create a bright future for the region.”
An audio recording of yesterday’s Council meeting is available at https://youtu.be/Fxt22hpDK0w . Users may experience some issues with the sound quality.
The meeting dates for the remainder of 2020 are as follows:
- 11 and 25 May
- 8 and 22 June
- 6 and 20 July
- 3 and 17 August
- 7 and 21 September
- 12 and 26 October
- 9 and 23 November, and
- 14 December.