Dempsey to run again: ‘We’re at a crossroads’
BUNDABERG Mayor Jack Dempsey has announced his intention to stand again for the region's top job during the March council elections.
Cr Dempsey yesterday told the NewsMail the region was at a crossroads and he was committed to getting on with the job of "building Australia's best regional community".
Cr Dempsey swept to power in 2016 in a landslide victory.
He said there there was unfinished business to consolidate the achievements of the past four years.
"In this term we laid the foundations and in the next four years we need to get on with the job of building Australia's best regional community," the former state MP said.
"I'm especially proud that we now have a united Bundaberg region. When amalgamations were forced on us 11 years ago many people felt they had lost part of their local identity.
"As Mayor I've made a point of visiting every part of the Bundaberg region, listening to residents and responding to their concerns."
Cr Dempsey, who was the Member for Bundaberg from 2006 to 2015, outlined some of the major projects completed and on the cusp of commencement.
He was the police minister in Campbell Newman's government from 2012 until 2015.
"It's been a major achievement to rein in projected debt while continuing to invest in much-needed infrastructure such as the outstanding Multiplex facility and our state-of-the-art Rubyanna wastewater treatment plant," he said.
"Streetscape improvements at Burnett Heads, Elliot Heads and Gin Gin, and a major upgrade to the Childers Pool, highlight this regional approach to infrastructure investment. "Council is now well-placed to leverage federal and state government grants for ongoing improvements.
"The council administration has responded effectively to the challenges of local government reform in Queensland, meeting or exceeding all the requirements around good governance.
"We've had a clear focus on regional development to diversify our economy, attract investment and create jobs. This work needs to continue.
"We're now at crossroads in terms of our future.
"There are significant projects on the cusp of commencement, including implementation of the 10-year Flood Action Plan, CBD revitalisation, sugar industry transition and development of the Port of Bundaberg."
He said he would continue to advocate for the Bundaberg region. "As a former parliamentarian I have the skills and knowledge to negotiate with state and federal departments and ministers," he said.
"I never take a backward step when it comes to advocating for the Bundaberg region.
"I'm not a member of any political party.
"I always act in the best interests of the Bundaberg region and will continue to do so."