Mark McDonald is fighting for his third term on Gympie Regional Council this election.
Mark McDonald is fighting for his third term on Gympie Regional Council this election.

McDonald: Every councillor’s going to be on notice

WHEN it comes to getting re-elected, Division 1 candidate Mark McDonald is under no illusion about what the terms will be.

“I believe this (coming) four years every councillor’s on notice,” he said.

In 2017, Mr McDonald said the council was “wringing the rag out” when it came to its rates/spending balance. It is a view he has not shifted on.

Mark McDonald.
Mark McDonald.

“Whether they’re new or whether they’re old, this four years is going to be really firm fiscally and then, we’ve got our responsibilities to the community. So how much can we wring out of that rag?”

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His concern looks prescient; the Qld Audit Office this year changed the council’s long-term sustainability level from a lower risk to a moderate risk, indicating it is on increasingly shaky ground.

“We’re not in bad shape by any stretch of the imagination; but given our commitments to the community, they have to be paid for. “

Mr McDonald said he was “disappointed’ by the inability to deliver a long-promised jetty to Tin Can Bay.
Mr McDonald said he was “disappointed’ by the inability to deliver a long-promised jetty to Tin Can Bay.

He was “hurt” and “disappointed” that, in the shadow of questions over the council’s spending, his Tin Can Bay jetty was not delivered.

“It’s been 20-plus years in the making … I will challenge every councillor that comes in that when we review the corporate plan to make sure the jetty stays in there and we look for the funding. I’m getting tired of going back to the community and saying ‘I’ll be pushing for it for the next four years’.”

This council had been “far more difficult” to work with than others, he said.

“There’s no doubt there’s been a division there,” but he would “not concede there’s ever been a voting bloc”.

The incumbent Gympie Regional Council during its last ordinary meeting before the 2020 election, March 4 2020. From left: Glen Hartwig, Dan Stewart, Bob Fredman, Deputy Mayor Bob Leitch, Mayor Mick Curran, Mark McDonald, Mal Gear, Hilary Smerdon and Daryl Dodt.
The incumbent Gympie Regional Council during its last ordinary meeting before the 2020 election, March 4 2020. From left: Glen Hartwig, Dan Stewart, Bob Fredman, Deputy Mayor Bob Leitch, Mayor Mick Curran, Mark McDonald, Mal Gear, Hilary Smerdon and Daryl Dodt.