Mayor leads new economic committee in City Hall overhaul
UPDATE: Mayor Paul Antonio has overhauled the city's civic leadership by assigning new portfolios to each councillor at today's first meeting of the new council.
Cr Antonio will head a new Economic Development standing committee to focus on key projects including the Melbourne to Brisbane inland rail project; the Toowoomba Enterprise Hub and economic prosperity for the greater Toowoomba region.
Cr Carol Taylor has been named deputy mayor and will return as chair of the infrastructure committee. She will be assisted by new Councillor James O'Shea.
- Cr Carol Taylor - Infrastructure Committee chair
- Cr Nancy Sommerfield - Water and Waste Committee chair;
- Cr Chris Tait - Planning and Development Committee chair;
- Cr Geoff McDonald - Environment and Community Committee chair;
- Cr Mike Williams - Finance and Business Strategy Committee chair;
- Cr James O'Shea - Infrastructure Committee portfolio leader
- Cr Bill Cahill - Water and Waste Committee portfolio leader
- Cr Anne Glasheen - Planning and Development portfolio leader
- Cr Joe Ramia - Environment and Community portfolio leader
- Cr Megan O'Hara Sullivan - Finance and Business Strategy portfolio leader
Cr Antonio said the community had rewarded sitting councillors by returning all seven who stood back into office and he had based his portfolio allocations on the experience and performance the team had shown in the previous term.
"The people of this region have endorsed the work and direction of this Council by voting all of the previous Councillors back into office," Cr Antonio said.
"I too am endorsing that work by keeping many of the portfolios the same.
"There have been some changes such as allocating a second person to the Infrastructure Services portfolio in recognition of the workload undertaken by Cr Taylor in the previous term and her new responsibilities as deputy mayor in this term.
"It is my ambition that this term of Council will build on the momentum of the previous four years, remain open for business, but importantly, engage with our communities about the legacy we are leaving for future generations.
Cr Antonio said the largest change would be the creation of the new economic development committee.
"It has been my experience, dealing with investors in the past term, that, particularly in international contexts, the office of the Mayor brings significant weight to discussions and has the potential to positively influence outcomes," Cr Antonio said.
"The portfolio structure will again align directly with the organisational structure. I will chair the Economic Development Committee assisted by the deputy mayor in my absence, or my colleagues from the relevant portfolio on a case by case basis."
12.05PM: Cr Carol Taylor has been chosen as the Toowoomba region's new deputy mayor.
Cr Taylor, who received the most votes out of the councillor candidates, was nominated by Cr Nancy Sommerfield with the nomination seconded by Cr Bill Cahill.
11AM: The Toowoomba region's new council has been sworn in at an official function outside City Hall today.
Mayor Paul Antonio was sworn in as mayor 34 years to the day he was elected to Millmerran Shire Council.
He was joined by seven returning councillors and three new faces - James O'Shea, Megan O'Hara Sullivan and Joe Ramia, who returns after four years out of local government.
Councillors will meet inside City Hall at 12.30pm to vote on who will be the region's next deputy mayor.