Councillor Jan Clifford will represent Division 1 for the fourth year running. PICTURE: Deborah Friend.
Councillor Jan Clifford will represent Division 1 for the fourth year running. PICTURE: Deborah Friend.

‘Humbled’ Clifford makes it four

IT WAS fourth time lucky for Jan Clifford who was declared Division 1 councillor for Whitsunday Regional Council yesterday afternoon.

In the official first preference count, Cr Clifford secured 49.87 per cent of the vote.

Division 1 candidate Jess Kelly was just over 250 votes behind with 37.1 per cent, with Mark Yore on 13.02 per cent.

Cr Clifford thanked the community for its support and assured residents she was ready to help support them through this “unsettling” time as the region feels the effects of coronavirus.

“I’m now the longest serving continuous councillor since amalgamation,” she said. “I’m very humbled by the faith that’s been shown by the voters in Division 1.

“I’m just anxious to get back to work after what’s been a very unsettling time. We need to get on top of everything and see how we can help.

“We’ll be looking at all sorts of things that we can do (that) are in our control and budget. We’re not a bottomless pit but I’m sure we will do whatever we possibly can do to support businesses across the region.”

The impacts of coronavirus have caused many businesses’ doors to close and Cr Clifford said making sure they were supported would be at the top of her agenda.

She also encouraged people to shop local where they could.

“It’s going to be challenging but as far as I know we’ve been given no financial assistance from either level of government so it’s going to be interesting to see what they come up with,” Cr Clifford said.

“It’s very difficult for everybody at the moment, and I’m cooking one day and buying in the next to support some of the restaurants around town.

“I encourage everyone to do what they can.”

Cr Clifford said her pre-election call to reinvigorate the region’s tourism market was more relevant now than ever but would take some reframing to help the region back on its feet.

Among ways this could be done, according to Cr Clifford, was a focus on the “intra state” market by attracting Queenslanders to come and visit once social distancing restrictions and travel bans were lifted.

Cr Clifford had a humble celebration courtesy of the Jubilee Tavern and ABC Distillery and encouraged the region to keep up the good work to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“So far we’ve done very, very well,” she said. “Stay positive, stay isolated and don’t break the rules.”


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