Even though the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) has yet to formally announce Mr Rod Marti as the new Mayor of the Tablelands Regional Council, it’s all but a forgone conclusion with former Tablelands Regional Council (TRC) Deputy Mayor and mayoral contender Katrina Mellick posting on her Facebook page last week “Although the count hasn’t been declared formally by the Electoral Commission of Queensland, I think it is right that at this point I concede and allow the machinations to commence to ensure our Local Government can be up and running as soon as practicable.”
As of April 9, 2020, TRC mayoral nominee, Rod Marti had 48.02 per cent of the vote, roughly equal to the three other mayoral contenders combined.
Even though it was a difficult election campaign with social distancing measures implemented by the ECQ, Mr Marti believes that the hard work is now about to begin “This is going to be a difficult job, it was difficult without coronavirus, given the situation that the TRC was in. Now it’s going to be more difficult financially and from an organisational point of view,” he said
“The first thing council has to do is pass the 2021 budget, which is going to be a big hurdle,
“We must look at reducing costs, TRC has been putting up rates, spending money and putting on more staff and that’s not sustainable, we need to look at tightening our belt. At the same time, we now have the challenge of coronavirus as well.”
The swing towards Mr Marti has been seen by some as a protest vote against the former TRC “I think we now have a mandate for change within the council, losing Katrina Mellick and Kate Eden (Division 1 councillor) is a significant turn of events.”
The delegation of power to council officers had also been a battleground leading up to the election with Mr Marti saying it will be one of many topics that will be up for review by the new council.
“With the council that I will lead, everything will be up for review. We are going to be asking a lot of questions about a lot of matters”
Mr Marti said he would also like to congratulate all the nominees “I would like to thank all candidates who nominated, it was a great list of candidates and I would like to congratulate everyone who put their hand up.”
As of April 9, only two councillors had been formally announced by the ECQ, Kevin Cardew for Division 1 and Bernie Wilce for Division 6.
Due to delays from the ECQ, the TRC has a tentative plan to swear in the new council on Thursday, April 16.