Gympie Mayor Mick Curran says claims of a voting bloc lead by himself are ‘absolute malarky’.
Gympie Mayor Mick Curran says claims of a voting bloc lead by himself are ‘absolute malarky’.

Mayor: Team Curran claims are ‘absolute malarky’

WHEN it comes to claims of a “Team Curran” voting bloc the man alleged to be its head has an easy summary for the idea: “it’s absolute malarky”.

In his last week as mayor before the election is declared incumbent mayor Mick Curran said this week council decisions were made by individuals making up their own minds.

“I would welcome somebody to do a full assessment of the voting results across this term of council.”

“Such an assessment will categorically prove there is no Team Curran.”

Mr Curran says his first full term as the mayor has “gone very well”.
Mr Curran says his first full term as the mayor has “gone very well”.

With eyes on re-election for a second full term Mr Curran is happy with how the past four years have turned out.

“I think the term’s gone very well,” he said.

“When you look at the investment we’ve had in infrastructure right across the region we’ve done well.”

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This includes (to name a few projects): the River Walk, the Youth Precinct, the Rattler, upgrades at the Goomeri and Gympie libraries and Smithfield and Upper Mary streets, water treatment services in the Mary Valley, road improvements at Tagigan, Anderleigh, Noosa and Coonoonngibber roads.

The Youth Precinct is one of many projects the council has delivered in the past four years.
The Youth Precinct is one of many projects the council has delivered in the past four years.

He said it was a vast change from previous years.

“Having grown up here I can only think of four major infrastructure projects that have been delivered for the region before this term of council: the Civic Centre, the Pavilion, the new sewerage treatment plant, and the all-abilities playground.”

And unemployment had dropped too, from 10 per cent in 2015 to less than 7 per cent.

Mr Curran said his focus continued to be on what was to come.

“Is our organisation perfect? Absolutely not.”

“Some people in the community concentrate too much on the negative and continually gaze in the rear view mirror.

“I intend to remain positive and continue looking forward.”

But he does expect the election to be haunted by at least on of the council’s more controversial projects: the Rattler, and it’s multimillion-dollar blow outs.

The Rattler is expected to be an issue this election.
The Rattler is expected to be an issue this election.

“But you must remember the council collectively voted to see the Rattler project completed,” Mr Curran said.

“Council is in a legal process with the engineering company that supplied the specs that provided a scope for the repairs to the rails and bridges.”

“That matter is progressing.”

And was there worry about being toppled from the mayoral seat by opposing candidates like Glen Hartwig or Tim Jerome?

“Make no mistakes – come the election all candidates should be treating the election period like a job application,” he said.

Division 2 councillor Glen Hartwig is contesting Mr Curran for the mayoral seat.
Division 2 councillor Glen Hartwig is contesting Mr Curran for the mayoral seat.

“What I would do is urge our residents to assess the work performance and the merit of the candidates.

“I believe this campaign will show our community who the best person is for the job.”

He does agree the Rattler’s blow outs will be an issue at the election.

As for another hot topic – the collapse of Ri-Con contractors owing more than $3.6 million to subcontractors – Mr Curran said it was “disgraceful”.

“The legislation introduced by the State Government isn’t sufficient to address this issue.”

The collapse of Ri-Con Contractors (directed by John Jenkins) leaving Gympie subcontractors unpaid was not something to be fixed at the council level, Mr Curran said.
The collapse of Ri-Con Contractors (directed by John Jenkins) leaving Gympie subcontractors unpaid was not something to be fixed at the council level, Mr Curran said.

Mr Curran said insurance and criminal charges were other options on the table.

“In this case it’s easy to lay blame with councils.

“We’re targets for everything.

“But if you’re a subcontractor to a builder on a home construction and that builder went bust, as a subcontractor would you be blaming the house owner?

“There’s quite obvious shortcomings in the state legislation which need to be fixed.”