Mount Isa City Councillor George Fortune considered as a Mount Isa Water Board representative

NOMINEE: Kalkadoon elder Ron Page pictured with councillor George Fortune, who is the council's preference to sit on the water board.

NOMINEE: Kalkadoon elder Ron Page pictured with councillor George Fortune, who is the council's preference to sit on the water board.

MOUNT Isa City Council has chosen George Fortune as their representative on the water board. 

But Minister for Water Supply Mark Bailey still has to formally approve Councillor Fortune’s position. 

Bureaucracy and formalities despite the council’s preference made earlier in the year means former deputy mayor Brett Peterson remains on the board as the council’s representative. 

Cr Fortune said he anticipates knowing in time for a scheduled Mount Isa Water Board function next week whether or not he has been approved for the position. 

He acknowledged there would be “conflicting” viewpoints as a councillor and as a water board member.

It would be a “balancing act” he said he could manage.  “I’m compelled to be part of the board that regulates the water supply in the city...as a board member I’m expected to uphold the integrity of the board,” Cr Fortune said. “(But) as a council representative I believe they need to balance expectations from the community as well.” 

When reminded of community unpopularity the water board has faced due to issues such as water filtration difficulties in recent years, Cr Fortune’s response was; “(there are) processes and procedures in place to negate risk. 

“I’m confident with the processes in place and the people that are in positions to maintain services. I’m confident the challenges can be overcome.” 

Mount Isa mayor Joyce McCulloch said it could be “a bit of a process” for water board representatives to be approved by the state government, which was why Mr Peterson remained in the role.  

However the announcement for Cr Fortune to step into the position should be “pretty much in the wind now”, she said. 

“George has had the previous four years experience as a councillor which does help, but he has extensive knowledge on the way water and water infrastructure works,” Cr McCulloch said. 

Cr Fortune represented the board’s interests and not the council’s while sitting in water board meetings, the mayor said.  

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