Thursday, March 21, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

NEW MAYOR Ry Collins Expected To Be Announced This Week

Mayoral Candidate Ry Collins steamed out in front as soon as the count began on Saturday, becoming the clear leader and commanding the most votes within the community.

As of the time of writing, 79.64 per cent of the votes had been counted by the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ), with Collins claiming 47.52 per cent, Phil Batty 25.35 per cent, Peter Hood 14.54 per cent and Richard Evans 12.60 per cent.

Within the coming days, postal votes will be counted and preferences allocated, with Collins expected to declare shortly after.

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Ry Collins and his wife Mel have been celebrating this week. Photo credit: Norina Jane

New Face At The Helm

Following Saturday’s Local Government Elections, the Whitsunday Regional Council is about to welcome a new leader, Ry Collins, who is currently holding a significant lead, his Mayoral tenure expected to be announced within the week.

Previously known for his integral role as Chief Executive Officer of Bowen Gumlu Growers Association, Collins has a wealth of knowledge in advocacy, liaising with Minsters and sitting on boards.

He is looking forward to bringing these skills and experience to his new role as Mayor.

At just 44 years old, Collins is the youngest of all the Mayoral Candidates, and will be one of the youngest Mayor’s in the region’s history.

“My skills are current and active,” he said.

“From advocacy to working on state-wide issues – I have been doing all of this already and I’ve got a lot of horsepower, a lot of drive to get up every morning and fight for our region.”

Excitement was definitely in overdrive for Collins and his team of over 20 volunteers on polling day last Saturday, with many of them out in the hot sun for over 10 hours.

“I can’t thank the volunteers enough, some of them have been with me the whole time and inspired me to keep going,” he shared.

“The results we’ve seen have been a lot to do with the volunteers, having the right people contributed to the result.”

After voting stations closed, Collins went to Whitsunday Christian College to witness the count, and by 9pm that evening they “started to see some really good numbers”.

Sadly, however, with every winner there are those who are unsuccessful.

The closest candidate was Phil Batty who led his campaign with passion and dedication.

“Thank you to the people that voted for me and the people that helped me, I kept my integrity and the result is what it is,” Mr Batty said.

Candidate Richard Evans also led his campaign with integrity and passion, determined to help create change within the community.

He now requests the community “stop complaining” about the systemic issues within Council.

“You had the opportunity for accountability and change and you rejected it for the status quo,” he said.

The first Council meeting which will be officiated by the new Mayor is due to take place on April 27.

In the lead-up to this Collins will receive a week’s direct training and will spend time getting to know his new role.

He is “looking forward to spending time with all the Councillors and empowering them in their roles” and meeting with the CEO of Council to find out how he can best support him.

During his first 100 days, Collins will be “meeting with stakeholders and developing a level of prioritisation around issues”.

His focus will be on advocating for flood-proofing on Hamilton Plains, environment compliance, creating action plans and timelines and electing a new Deputy Mayor.

Fundamentally, Collins wants to make sure Council is accessible and has a strong internal culture, which will sure to have positive effects on the entire community.

Ry Collins is expected to announce as Mayor of Whitsunday Regional Council over the coming days. Photo credit: Norina Jane

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