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MARK EDWARDS COLUMN , MAY2024


Congratulations to Shane Rendalls, who has been elected as the new Division 5 Councillor for Redland City Council.

His contact details are Phone: 3829 8604 (mobile not available at time of writing) and Email: Shane.Rendalls@redland.qld.gov.au  

For our Stradbroke and Coochiemudlo residents they have seen the return of their incumbent Councillors. 

There are three new counsellors that make up part of the new Councillor body. 

Following the swearing in ceremony, their first general meeting elected Councillor Julie Talty as the Deputy Mayor with seven counsellors voting for her and four against. 

Unfortunately, even though Mayor Jos Mitchell knew that Cr Talty had the numbers before the motion was moved, she elected to vote against her. 

This could be viewed as a continuation of underlying hostility between the Mayor and the majority of councillors. 

I view this as a “rookie” mistake. Knowing that her vote would not have changed the outcome, she should have supported voting for Cr Talty which would be viewed as taking the moral high ground and establishing a cooperative spirit. 

Fortunately, from my extensive dealings with the majority of councillors, I believe they will put personal issues aside and work as a team with those who wish to do so. 

The first few weeks of the new council has been dedicated to induction training and workshops including the annual budget the 2024/25 2025 financial year.

Unfortunately, the council’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) has tended her resignation and this will result in a loss of great financial expertise, which will be difficult to replace in the short term.

After an election, that is the time when tough measures can be taken in relation to budgets and particularly revenue raising. 

It is easier to deliver a tough budget for the community when the next election is four years away so it will be interesting to see what the budget entails when it is handed down in June.  

I would not expect the general rate to do anything other than increase regardless of election campaign sentiments. 

At the time of writing, the next General Meeting of council is on the 18th April and whilst the agenda is light on substance, it will be interesting to watch the dynamics of that meeting. 

The ability to watch the General Meetings be live-streamed on YouTube brings the community easy access from their own computer or device without the hassle of attending in person.

As we move closer to the next state election there will be an opportunity for focus and scrutinise the performance of existing MPs and what new contenders will bring to the table. 

This month I met with David Crisafulli (Leader of the State Opposition) and the LNP Candidate Rebecca Young on Russell Island. 

They were here for a special private interview with The Friendly Bay Islander which you will read about in other areas of this May publication and our front cover.

I was heartened to learn that David and Rebecca have visited our Islands many times and we are clearly on their radar. 

They appreciate that infrastructure and services need to be better delivered and in a focused and meaningful way. 

There are responsibilities for Local Government but also responsibilities for our State Government when it comes to our islands, such as transport, funding, grants etc. 

I was impressed that both David and Rebecca shared their vision for a better Queensland, but also their willingness to not only learn more about our islands communities and how to help. 

It’s hard for the general public to relate to any politician when the engagement is through a third party medium such as the media. 

I have met with David on many occasions over the years in my councillor role and I have found him to be genuine and honest, which is also something Rebecca is as well. 

As a councillor I have met with many elected members from Prime Minister down and on the whole they have a calling to serve. 

I will be writing to leaders of other parties and hope they too will visit our islands and meet with me to discuss our of our islands future.


DAD UPSET

MARA STRANSKY MISSES OUT ON OLYMPIC SELECTION DESPITE MAJOR AWARDS AND WINS

Russell island’s favourite daughter, Mara Stransky, has missed out on selection for the Australian team for the Paris Olympics this year.

It is a decision that has shocked the sailing world, as Mara was last year voted Australia’s Top Sailor.

The decision also follows on from some very high performances in major sailing events all around the world.

It appears Mara’s place is to be taken by Zoe Thomson from Western Australia, who just happens to be coached by one of the Olympic selectors.

Andrew Stransky, Mara’s dad, certainly let his thoughts known on the selection process when he ‘unloaded’ online in a statement, that he has since withdrawn.

Andrew’s now deleted Facebook post claimed Australian Sailing Team had placed undue pressure on Mara, whilst comparing a string of Mara’s results to Thomson’s.

Dad said in his deleted post: “The AST heaped the pressure on Mara, compounded by the fact Zoe’s WA coach is one the three Olympic selectors.

“Mara never complained; she just trained harder.”

He said Zoe’s results in several key events in the past 12 months were ‘way behind’ Mara’s performances.

“Mara also dominated Sail Melbourne, and defended her Australian Championship title,” Dad Andrew said.

Apparently Zoe Thomson along with Elyse Ainsworth achieved a ‘baseline performance’ from some specific events that Sailing Australia identified as the ‘most important’ for Olympic selection.

However, these events are ‘kept confidential’.

Mara Stransky, it has been stated, has beaten Thomson in particular at numerous events over the years, but for some reason did not achieve the ‘baseline performance’ from the specific and secret events identified by Sailing Australia.

Apparently being the Australian Champion isn’t good enough for Olympic selection.

(Some information from this story was obtained from the Courier Mail - Ed)




• Mara Stransky with her Australian Top Sailor award


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