STRAIGHT-TALKING: Andrew Willcox (inset) addresses the small crowd at the Prince of Wales Hotel.
STRAIGHT-TALKING: Andrew Willcox (inset) addresses the small crowd at the Prince of Wales Hotel.

Willcox for Whitsunday

THE thing that surprised Andrew Willcox most about the crowd at last Wednesday's "meet the mayoral candidate" event, was that "nobody asked for any big ticket items".

"All they wanted to know was what I was going to do to fix the problems of transparency and a toxic workplace with unhappy people in it," he said after the event.

"They just wanted to get the bulls***t sorted out and basically move on."

And Cr Willcox, currently the Whitsundays' deputy mayor, running for mayor, says "how you can fix a lot of this stuff is just management".

"It's not going to cost the ratepayers anything," he promised.

After regaling the small crowd at Proserpine's Prince of Wales Hotel with stories of his upbringing on a Bowen tomato farm and life as a married father-of-three, Cr Willcox spoke about his vision for Council.

He said he wanted Council's focus to be on looking after the community and encouraging responsible development.

He spoke about wanting to get the Collinsville Power Station up and running, wanting to advocate for a multi-cargo facility at Abbot Point and wanting to push for water security through projects such as the Urannah Dam.

When the floor opened up to question time, much of the discussion centred around the workings of the current council, with Cr Willcox urging people to remember his was one of seven votes.

When questioned on his ability to take advice and how he would handle the ongoing north / south division across the Council table and the shire, he said there were two types of people in this world, those who were naturally gifted and those who were prepared to ask for help.

"And I'm in the second category," he said.

As for the divisions, "the line needs to be drawn in the sand and let's move forward together," he said.

As the debate moved to the bar, Proserpine resident Bob Bennett said he thought Cr Willcox would be a "breath of fresh air", while fellow local Trevor Biggs said he thought Cr Willcox's responses had been "very fair and balanced".

"I'm just looking for a fair and a harmonious council and I think he's a candidate to be considered," Mr Biggs said.


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