Thursday, January 18, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

FOR OUR REGION Team Greg Williamson Announces Candidates For Local Election

Team Greg Williamson has this week announced its highly skilled lineup of candidates for the upcoming 2024 local government election, with the dynamic team expected to bring fresh perspectives and innovative solutions to the forefront of Mackay Regional Council.

Officially referred to as ‘Team Greg Williamson – For Our Region’, the group of eight candidates consists of Mayor Greg Williamson, Stephen Cutting, Peter Freeleagus, Cr. Michelle Green, Ash-Lee Johnson, Cr. Karen May, Joshua Thornton, and Neil Wallace.

Incumbent Mayor of Mackay Regional Council, Greg Williamson said that the team had the vision to take all residents forward to a brighter future, and the experience to deliver on promises and create a progressive, modern council.

“I’m immensely proud of the team we’ve brought together, and believe we cover a wide cross section of the community with the diversity and talent to represent all. I have faith in our ability to work constructively as a united front to achieve timely outcomes for our region,” Mayor Williamson said.

Eight candidates for the 2024Mackay Regional Council local election have aligned as Team GregWilliamson – For Our Region. L-R: Stephen Cutting, Joshua Thornton,Cr. Michelle Green, Neil Wallace, Mayor Greg Williamson, Cr. Karen May, Ash-Lee Johnson and Peter Freeleagus

Fresh Perspectives And Innovative Solutions

With representation across all 42 communities that make up the 7,600 square kilometres of the thriving Mackay Region, the team has a proven track record of providing strategies and planning to deliver projects that both sustain and advance the region to positively impact all communities.

“Community is at the heart of everything we do and all candidates offer safe and steady hands to guide our region through ever changing landscapes. My team will be focused on listening to the community on all aspects to form strategy, policy and deliver equitable outcomes over this next term,” Mayor Williamson said.

He said that the team would continue responsible financial management practices of the previous council and oversee the sustainable position of the $170M bank balance, borrowings of $60M and the requirement for coverage of 3 months of operational spending ($30m / Year).

“It’s vital that we continue moving forward and building on the progress made over the past few years.

“I’m also committed to following through on the projects I’ve helped bring to fruition, including the upcoming stages of the Mackay Waterfront and the Pioneer Valley Mountain Bike Trails.

“My team understand the rates and income basis for funding maintenance, community facilities, local infrastructure and improvement projects and the importance of ongoing growth to support operational and capital budgets.

“While also making considered and well-informed decisions and advocating on behalf of our constituents to address cost of living pressures that the council can influence,” Mayor Williamson said.

With their focus on positive and sustainable community outcomes, the team would be working collaboratively with State and Federal Government agencies to ensure grant funding, regional royalties, and contributions to community programs.

“As I reflect on the achievements of the past two terms, I am humbled by the progress we've made together. However, my commitment to the Mackay Region remains unwavering, and I am eager to embrace numerous opportunities that lie ahead. Together, we can continue to strengthen our community, ensuring its resilience, prosperity, and sustainability for current and future generations,” Mayor Williamson said.


Meet The Candidates

Mayor Greg Williamson: A fifth generation Mackay local, Greg has an unmistakable passion and enthusiasm for the region he has always called home. Currently serving his third term as elected mayor of the Mackay Regional Council, Greg brings several decades experience in the business, political, community, and defence industries. His focus is on continuing to deliver on projects and improve liveability and livelihood for residents and local businesses.

Stephen Cutting: With a genuine desire to serve the community and a career as a Professional Engineer and Consultant spanning over 40 years, Stephen will foster the harmonious alignment and professional operations of the Council team. He hopes to contribute to advancing the region for all residents by ensuring that facilities and services across the Mackay Region provide safe, sustainable, and liveable communities, where social amenities are provided for all.

Peter Freeleagus: Peter has spent many decades in the Central Queensland (CQ) Mining Industry, while at the same time, holding positions within Local Government including Councillor, Deputy Mayor and Mayor of the Belyando Shire Council and Councillor of the Isaac Council. He is passionate about everything the Mackay region has to offer and opportunities for future generations.

Cr. Michelle Green: Michelle was raised in Mackay’s Northern Beaches and was successfully elected as a Councillor in the 2020 election. She is a qualified Exercise Physiologist and has held leadership and training roles in the coal mining industry and was awarded the ‘Operator of the Year Award’ in the QLD Women in Mining Awards. She is a future-forward strategic thinker and is motivated to foster community and economic co-development and diversity and embrace jobs of the future.

Ash-Lee Johnson: Having worked with the Mackay Regional Council for the past nine years, Ash-Lee has extensive experience within management accounting, revenue, and treasury including financial governance and council’s investment portfolio. She is passionate about bridging generational gaps and eager to create a more sustainable and diversified regional economy, including within youth development and retention.

Cr. Karen May: Current Deputy Mayor, Councillor, and Mayor of the former Sarina Shire Council, Karen has extensive experience working within local government and 27 years as a business owner. A passionate community advocate, she dedicates her time and energy to supporting matters affecting community, residents, and organisations. She is passionate about the community’s social and economic development, and the sustainability of the Mackay Region.

Joshua Thornton: With qualifications in law and politics, Joshua is a dedicated advocate for the working people and businesses particularly through his various roles in the trade union movement. He’s committed to supporting the growth strategy of areas such as the Northern Beaches to ensure that opportunities and challenges are capitalised on for current and future residents. He is particularly focused on the liveability of the region for growing families.

Neil Wallace: Having spent 40 years in the insurance industry and many decades in community roles, Neil is a community-minded and compassionate candidate. His ethos of giving back to the community through service is evident in his active roles within Kutta Mulla Gorinna Special Assistance School, Rotary Club of Mackay North, Rotary Youth Driver Awareness program & Days for Girls. He is a strong advocate for organisations and creating sustainable change on a community level.

For more information about Team Greg Williamson, please visit the website or the Facebook page.

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