Race continues for mayor

AN ESTIMATED 30-40 people attended a meeting at Peppers Coral Coast Resort last week, where the subject for debate was local government and the possibility of selecting a new candidate for mayor.

Whitsunday resident Anthony Maine was rumoured to be up for the task, but Mr Maine told the Whitsunday Times he was still not ready to commit.

"I was asked if I would stand. I didn't make that commitment [but I did say] I couldn't do it without the community," he said.

Mr Maine moved to the Whitsundays almost two years ago and said due to his relatively short period of residence here he was intent on "listening for a while".

"There's no immediate need for me to stand up and declare - I'm more interested in spending some time with key groups to see what they want," he said.

"Nobody should put their hand up to stand for mayor unless they've got a plan and that plan reflects what the people want. It's about listening to the people and seeing the issues that matter to them - and if I've got that support then I'll put my hand up and stand."

Mr Maine said the plan now was to hold a similar meeting in Bowen before Christmas and to talk to as many of the current councillors who would be willing to engage with him.

"I think if there's one word that's integral to the next election, that's 'change'," he said.

"In every measure this region is down. It has to be changed and changed quickly."

The only candidate so far for the mayor's position is Jennifer Whitney who is currently the Councillor for Division 3 which is the Proserpine area.

Current mayor Mike Brunker has still not confirmed he will be seeking re-election.

The council election is expected to be held in March 2012.

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