Saturday, 15 August 2020
Tussle for top positions in first council meeting

Cr Duncan McInnes was elected as Deputy Mayor of the Scenic Rim at the Post Election meeting on Thursday.

While Mayor Greg Christensen retained the chairmanship of the Local Government Disaster Management Group, new Councillor and former SES Co-ordinator, Jeff M cConnell, was elected as Deputy Chair.

The outcome for the election of the two Deputy roles was far from a foregone conclusion.

In a meeting which Cr Christensen chose to run by phone hook-up, the announcement that he would open the floor to nominations for Deputy Mayor, was quickly followed by his nomination of Cr Virginia West.

The nomination was seconded by Cr Michael Enright and accepted by accepted Cr West.

Cr Jeff McConnell then nominated Cr Duncan McInnes. This was seconded by Cr Derek Swanborough and accepted by Cr McInnes.

Cr McInnes won the vote 4 to 3.

A push by Cr Christensen to take up a recommendation by the CEO that the Deputy Mayor be automatically appointed as the Deputy Chair of the Local Disaster Management Committee also failed to win favour.

Cr McInnes recommended Cr McConnell for the role due to his experience as SES Controller and in disaster management.

Cr Christensen, backed by Crs Enright and West, argued that experience in the role of disaster management was not  as necessary as experience in leading a meeting.

“My observation on this role is in providing chairmanship and not trying inject control in particular areas of expertise. The feedback and observation that I’ve received as Chair is having had a broad business background in leading disaster response across a wide range of settings has helped bring a very strategic focus to the role rather than trying to dictate operational control,” Cr Christensen said.

However, Cr Swanborough successfully moved to have the recommendation changed to enable the Councillors to vote on the appointee and nominated Cr McConnell. The nomination was seconded by Cr Marshall Chalk. He was elected unopposed.