Thursday, February 1, 2024
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
After 25 years in office, Councillor and Former Mayor Michael Brunker is hanging up his hat and retiring from positions in local government.
With a career spanning advocating for massive industrial proposals to vouching for the little man at regular Council Ordinary Meetings, Brunker’s influence and hard work have left an indelible mark on the Whitsundays region.
Brunker started his adult career following in his father’s footsteps, working as a diesel fitter with the Collinsville mine.
Then, in 1994, he made the leap into local politics, running for Councillor for Collinsville, in an effort to oppose the plan to close the Collinsville Council Depot.
Having won the election and successfully combatted the depot closure, Brunker decided to progress his local government career further and campaigned for the role of Mayor of the Bowen Shire Council in 1997.
Having secured his first term as Mayor, he lead the Bowen Shire Council as it amalgamated with other local governments, to form the now Whitsunday Regional Council, and continued to be Mayor for over 15 years.
Brunker unfortunately lost his first and only Local Government election in 2012, running for a second term as Mayor of the Whitsunday Regional Council, however he returned to his seat as Bowen Divisional Councillor in the 2016 Local Government elections.
He has continued to hold this seat for two terms, until his political retirement in 2024.
A highlight of his career has been advocating for the 16,000 hectares at Abbot Point which was deemed a State Development Area in 2008, allowing the Port of Abbot Point to be established as a large-scale industrial development, which now has an export capacity of 50-million tonnes of coal per year.
Mike’s Local Government career is a testament to a local standing up for locals, of strong advocacy and dedication to his community.