The world, and indeed the Moreton Bay Region, is a different place since Peter Flannery launched his campaign to be mayor of our region.
But the mayor-elect has hit the ground running, with a plan to support businesses and the community, and to lead the region’s recovery when the COVID-19 crisis eases.
His victory was confirmed by the Electoral Commission of Queensland on April 14.
“Our focus right now needs to be on the economic recovery of our region as we fight to come back from coronavirus. This issue has kept me awake at night,” Cr Flannery says.
“How do we support our community? Help struggling local businesses? And importantly ensure families bounce back stronger on the other side? I will personally make myself responsible for delivery for that body of work.”
The mayor-elect says everything is on the table, when it comes to getting Moreton Bay Region through these challenging times.
“That’s why we recalled councillors for last month’s special meeting, where I proposed to double the repayment of food licences by $500,000 as part of our initial $15 million stimulus package,” he explains.
“And I’m sure there’ll be unanimous support in the chamber among the new and re-elected councillors for us to go further.
“When we started this campaign, we didn’t know we’d be hit with the global pandemic that is COVID-19. So, locals have certainly made the right choice in electing an experienced councillor and a safe set of hands. That’s critically important at an uncertain time like this.”
Cr Flannery has vowed to be a mayor for all people, in all corners of this region - including those who didn’t vote for him.
“My door will always be open to residents, especially those with positive ideas on how we can improve our region into the future. This is a new era and a new team and a fresh start,” he says.
“It’s a 50/50 split in our chamber between experienced and new councillors, which I think is a perfect balance. I’m looking forward to working with some new people who’ll have new ideas.”
Cr Flannery says residents have told him loud and clear that council needs to go back to the drawing board when it comes to town planning.
“Planning has been an issue for this council historically. It’s been an issue trying to get the balance right between growth and sustainability. My mayoralty will change that. This is an opportunity to hit the reset button,” he explains.
“We know we need to deliver 88,000 new dwellings by 2041 to accommodate the growth that’s forecast for our region - and I believe that sustainable development is important now more than ever, as we try to kick-start our economy.
“We will be asking locals to tell us how they think that can happen and where that level of development should go. Whether residents want taller buildings to increase density and preserve greenspace, or if we grow our suburbs - that’s a discussion we need to have with locals so they have ownership over our planning going forward.
“I will be looking for someone in the chamber to take carriage of this substantial body of work, as it will be a 24-7 task to get this done as soon as possible in consultation with the community. We can’t afford any delays, and we need to get that right.”
Want more information about Moreton Bay Regional Council? Visit https://www.moretonbay.qld.gov.au/Home