LISTEN: Unity is new Whitsunday mayor’s biggest priority
THE Daily Mercury's Chris Lees spoke to Whitsunday Regional Council's new Mayor Andrew Willcox.
What do you think was the reason for the change?
Clearly the residents were ready for change. I ran a very positive campaign focused on positive solutions and the best way forward for our region.
I think that's what endeared me to the people.
What is that best way forward?
I ran on the principle that my number one priority was unity. There's too much north versus south, the rift hasn't been amended since amalgamation, so I want to take care of that.
Come Monday we all get sworn in. I'm going to spend the next two weeks concentrating on building a team with the councillors that will set the tone for the next four years.
Then we'll start getting down to business, our first meeting is on April 27.
Do you think that positivity with council will help everyone?
It starts from the top, it's all about leadership. If we project a positive image from the top of council that will... become infectious with our community.
Apart from unity, what will you be doing as a mayor?
I'm big on economic development, so within the first 30 days I'll be developing an economic development strategy for the whole region.
That will bring together business, the council and the new economic development agency, and I think that will help heal our whole region as well.
Is there anything else you want to add?
We have a fantastic tourism industry in the Whitsundays. I plan to be an active contributor to that. I also want to develop tourism across the whole area, not just the Airlie Beach area.