2020 ELECTION: Mayor confirms bid for re-election
SOUTHERN Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie has officially put her hat in the ring again, confirming her intention to run in the 2020 election.
The councillor had previously remained quiet about her desire to enter another term, but announced her campaign this morning.
In an election characterised by water fears, Cr Dobie said she would continue fighting for water security if re-elected in March.
"Our Council has had to address major shortcomings in infrastructure and carry-out much-needed repairs and upgrades to existing assets while delivering infrastructure for the future," she said.
"Our region has paid the dreadful price of inactivity over many years."
Listing water security as her number one priority moving into 2020, Cr Dobie said the current council had set in motion major projects necessary to building the water infrastructure needed.
"I want to continue that vital work - see these far-reaching plans develop and come to fruition for the benefit of our residents and businesses," she said.
"Water security is the key to the future success and prosperity of our residents and I will make sure we have the water security we need. This is my number one priority."
Cr Dobie also stated commercial and urban development as another one of her election priorities.
"I have worked very hard with my fellow Councillors and Council staff over the past four years, to stabilise Council finances, reduce the inherited Council debt by more than one-third and ensure rates increases at just 2%, are at their lowest level in decades," she said.
"It has been my privilege to be at the helm, guiding our region towards growth and sustainability. Right now, that is about seeking further investment from Federal and State Governments to fund opportunities for diversification of our economic base so that we are not so reliant on agriculture, which remains in the grip of the worst drought in living memory." Mayor Dobie said.
Other key objectives included council transparency, sustainability initiatives, and ongoing community engagement.
Cr Dobie hoped her leadership in times of struggle had shown the Southern Downs she was committed to the region.
"My strength is my leadership and I have brought that strength to our Council that now has a track record of delivering benefit to our community," she said.
"I have needed to be strong and decisive during recent bushfires, the drought and the water crisis; when doing what was needed to be done was essential to make sure our communities have access to water. I have stood up for the best interests of all members of our community.
"Such challenges will continue, and no-one least of all me in my role as Mayor, can afford to be complacent - there is much work still to be done", she said.
"Over the last four years, I have proven that I am up to those challenges."