Mount Isa Mayor Joyce McCulloch has announced she will run with her councillors as a team in the council elections on March 28.
Cr McCulloch now joins David Fletcher as two confirmed candidates on the mayoral ballot paper
Here is the full transcript of Samantha Campbell's interview with the Mayor where she made the announcement.
How do you feel about your first term in council?
"I am very excited because I feel like we have achieved a lot in four years. I feel very honoured to be mayor and achieve projects and things that we've done in our organisation but also in the community. its not an easy job, but in today's world, what job is? I've loved every minute of it, there have been times that it has been difficult particularly because we have had to make some critical and hard decisions that weren't easy to make. Me personally i have learnt so many lessons along the way and especially about communication. what is the best way and how to communicate that critical message to community and that has been a massive learning journey."
What have you achieved in four years?
"We have a large list. One of them being the Splashez Aquatic Centre, that was a very critical one of the community, because there was a lot of dissension around this asset. So we certainly improved the community relations with the new management team, we've improved the overarching infrastructure in the pool and there is still more works to come. We have done the skate park, the Family Fun Park.
"We have done some art projects including two new murals and the reinvigorated mural in Miles Street and we have supported the overflow of George McCoy Caravan and RV Park.
"I am very proud of the $35m upgrade to the city waste treatment system and the recycled effluent water and changes to the waste management facility; the implementation of the waste levy triggered a lot of activity in that area.
"We have done a lot of works to the CBD upgrade, started works to the medium strips and beautification of the city and I am very proud of the recent completion to the Animal Management Facility.
"We have been focused on the existing infrastructure in Mount Isa and communicating with locals as to what they want to see in their community. We completed the isa street bridge, The air conditioner upgrade to the Civic Centre and Library, upgrades to Buchanan Park and the Entertainment Centre, we have facilitated works with the Race Club, we have done a lot of work at Outback at Isa.
"We have done a lot with the tourism and the implementation of the new Tourism Strategy."
- What is something you feel you could have done better in your four years?
"I think working on how to communicate so that the whole community is on par with decisions of council. I have learnt so many key things on how to better communicate and we are implementing a lot of those learnings now, but if I have known that from the start - but you learn all the times, there were a lot of things that i could have done better and I am very open to that and critical of myself because that the way you learn and can get better."
- Do you regret the way the way council handled the water utilities charge issue?
"Once again it goes back to communication and I think we could have done a better job of rolling the communication out prior to it, however at the same time council was put in a very difficult decision. I think the consequence of a certain court case put council into a position that they were not ready for."
- Why did you want to re-contest for mayor?
"Because there is still unfinished business and so much to roll out to the community to make it liveable. We've done exceptionally well in this council as in reducing debt that council had and I think what needs to be recognised is that all council's are chartered to have a 10 year financial forecast. So what our desire is that the forecast is a lot better off then when we picked up on it.
"To put it simply we still have a lot of unfinished projects to implement for the community to make it liveable. I am a mum, a wife, a business owner as well and I think I have proven that in the many years that I have been in Mount Isa how invested I am in the place, it's done genuinely. I am not the least bit political and people know that, I am doing it from a different platform and its about the community."
- What would you like to see done in the next term of council?
"A focus on tourism.
"A lot of what is in the tourism strategy, which is launched on February 20, has some really exciting stuff, like the like the development of the Lake Moondarra Recreational facility and associated activities with that and one thing I am really loving in the border project, which is about having a stop at the Queensland and Northern Territory Border with beautiful signage and commentary of what is expected in both states, just a beautiful rest stop and have got support from government.
"Then of course the motor sports complex and to push that along."
-Why is your current council running as a team?
"Because we have worked as a real team, when we came in we decided that it was about the community and we have worked well even through those very difficult decisions. We have a great deal of respect for each other around the table, even though a lot of us have different thinking. I just think er have proven to work well as a team, we are not there for anything but the community and that shows itself in the way council has conducted itself in the last four years."
- how was the decision made to be run as a team?
"It was just a given. It was funny because as you know we can from two different teams and now its like nope we are sticking together because each councillor brings something different aspects around the table."
-How do you feel being judged as a team?
"I think we will cope really well, we have already had that for four years and i think we know what to expect and we all have each others back. because we do support how each other has conducted themselves with council. Because they have been there for the community, not themselves."
- Do you think running as a team could hurt your chances of getting back into council?
"That's a difficult question to answer, because if we thought that, we wouldn't run as a team. I think we are very happy with the work we have done in four years, we have been very happy working together and it isn't a consideration for us."
-Complaints about council's travel expenses, Are they justified?
"Most definitely, certain people have complained about it and highlighted it, other people understand that to ensure Mount Isa is kept a regional hub, you can't just stay in Mount Isa you've got to get out there and fight for Mount Isa. and myself and any councillor or council employee that's been away we absolutely have and that just shows in the funding we have been receiving, the positive relationships we have now developed and got with a lot of external bodies. We are looking at having some major conferences in Mount Isa and that wont happen if you're sitting in a chair in your office."
-How have you handled criticism?
"If it is fair and just criticism thats okay because it makes you step up and do our job better and we are happy to ask why and have discussions about it, but I think what is unnecessary is the very personal attacks. If someone has an issue with someone go speak to them, use the proper forum, but the narcissistic way that some people have chosen is not on, its not acceptable."