New Mayor And Fresh Faces To Help Guide City

Transparency, engagement, and accountability, along with a commitment to a fostering a safe and vibrant regional city, will set the tone for Council’s next four years under new Mayor Amy Eden.

Mayor Eden was sworn-in at a Declaration of Office event at the Cairns Performing Arts Centre last night, securing her place in history as the city’s 36th mayor and only the second woman to hold the office.

She will be joined by returning councillors Brett Moller, Cathy Zeiger, Rob Pyne, Kristy Vallely, Rhonda Coghlan and Brett Olds, along with new faces Anna Middleton, Matthew Tickner and Trevor Tim.

Cr Eden said it was a great honour to take on the mayoralty and was committed to meeting the needs of the community.

“I’m deeply honoured to have been elected Mayor to help guide the future of our great city and I hope the community will give me and my Council the chance to make a meaningful impact,” Cr Eden said.

“I am looking forward to working with my fellow Councillors and congratulate them on their appointment.

“We have a great team – it is a diverse and representative group, with an even split of women and men, that has a wealth of knowledge and experience.

At today’s post-election meeting, Division 9 Councillor Brett Olds was appointed Deputy Mayor.

“I am honoured to be elected to this important position by my fellow Councillors and humbled by the trust placed in my abilities to serve as Deputy Mayor,” Cr Olds said.

“I am excited by the role, but it is going to be a tough gig and I will be looking for the support of the Mayor and the other Councillor as we move forward.

“We have to be cohesive and collaborative. We either succeed together or we fail, and failure is not an option.”

Cr Eden said she was committed to fostering transparency, engagement, and accountability.

“It is my fervent hope that with this refreshed Council, Cairns can begin reimagining itself – articulating its potential clearly and designing a future that we can all be proud of,” Cr Eden said.

“Imagine Cairns as a thriving and economically important regional city.

“A city with a beating heart, a safe, connected city that welcomes tourists and students, and attracts new residents, businesses and events, while offering opportunities for active lifestyles and healthy ageing.

“A city for today that is planning for the needs of tomorrow.

“Meaningful engagement, independent reviews and a willingness to accept where things may need to change, will all play a role in that.”

Cr Eden said that the city faced many challenges, which Council would address through a collaborative approach and a renewed focus on meeting the needs of the community.

“Over the past four years, I am proud to have been known as a hardworking councillor, never afraid to put my hand up and do what needed to be done or say what needed to be said,” Cr Eden said.

“I intend to be the even harder-working Mayor, committed to making this city the best it can possibly be, through a leadership style built on transparency, respect, collaboration and open channels of communication.

“But while I may love pink, I am not wearing rose coloured glasses. I know we have inherited a difficult task.

“We’ve inherited record high debt, depleted cash reserves and two of our city’s largest infrastructure projects (water and waste) are on the horizon.

“Many residents and businesses are still reeling from the devastation of Tropical Cyclone Jasper and the associated flooding, and there appears to be no end in sight to the cost-of-living crisis that is impacting everyone.

“Financial management and stability, community safety, water security, the housing crisis and future growth were all issues that you raised with me and my team pre-election, and these are complex issues which may take more than one term to address however I commit that my council will make a strategic start.

“We will begin by prioritising pressing issues and will start tackling them within the scope of our local government remit, and also through collaboration with State and Federal Governments.

“We will also get the basics right – responsible financial management and cost-effective delivery of essential services.

“We will deliver these services thanks to our 1300 dedicated and hard-working council staff who so willingly do so much of Council’s heavy lifting.”

Mayor Eden was appointed Chair of the Local Disaster Management Group with Cr Olds as Deputy Chair.

Council’s first Ordinary Meeting is to take place on Wednesday 1 May, at 9am.

The new Cairns Regional Council is:

Mayor: Amy Eden

Division 1: Brett Moller

Division 2: Matthew Tickner

Division 3: Cathy Zeiger

Division 4: Trevor Tim

Division 5: Rob Pyne

Division 6: Kristy Vallely

Division 7: Anna Middleton

Division 8: Rhonda Coghlan

Division 9: Brett Olds

/Public Release. View in full here.