Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Is Local Government For You?

I pen this story as we are 12 months out from the Local Government elections, and I would like to encourage community members to consider putting their hand up to become an elected representative of Mackay Regional Council (MRC).

Over the past 19 years I have had the privilege to serve our community. Firstly, at Sarina Shire Council where I held positions of councillor, deputy mayor and mayor and then at MRC as councillor and deputy mayor.

Some of the most enjoyable parts of my role is assisting community members achieve their goals. Whether it is fixing a pothole, mowing a park, staging an event or art exhibition, or attending a community meeting. When it all comes together you can assist people to make this happen and that’s a great outcome.

One of the most memorable moments that will stay with me is when as mayor I had the pleasure of performing the citizenship ceremony for the very first time and attending many other citizenship ceremonies over the years. Announcing the Australia Day recipients’ and attending the awards certainly highlights what great people we have in our community.

Internally participating in policy development that enhances our customer service and our service delivery is also a rewarding part of the role. Contributing to the development of the  corporate plan and the strategies that enable goals to be achieved is an especially important part of a councillor’s role. Working with all sectors of our community to help deliver our region’s vision and enabling the region to grow into the best region in Australia to live, work and play.

I have been extremely fortunate to be involved in projects such as the Sarina Sugar Shed, Waterfront redevelopment, relocation of the Visitor Information Centre, the Northern Beaches Community Hub and the Pioneer Valley Mountain Bike Trail.

The role also comes with challenges and one of the hardest challenges to overcome is making sure you don’t let your own personal bias detract you from good decision making. Listening to the community and not interrupting people when they are trying to explain to you their issue is also especially important.

If you would like to know more I would encourage you to reach out to your local representatives both current and previous who would be keen to share their insights into the role. Now is the time to start to consider nominating.

Cr Karen May

Deputy Mayor

Mackay Regional Council

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