Fraser Coast Regional Council Mayor, Chris Loft.
Fraser Coast Regional Council Mayor, Chris Loft. Valerie Horton

Mayor's message: Looking forward to a prosperous new year

CHRISTMAS is the season when we are all together like family. It's a time to relax and reflect on our achievements of the past year and look forward to the future.

Here on the Fraser Coast, 2017 has been an extremely busy year with a lot of changes.

Council is forging ahead with major projects and more are in the pipeline to bring increased business opportunities and jobs for people for years to come.

There has been a big emphasis on capital works with $67 million allocated to infrastructure projects.

Council provided $1 million towards sinking the ex-HMAS Tobruk in Hervey Bay to create a dive site to stimulate the region's tourism industry.

In Maryborough, the city achieved RV Friendly status and Mary Poppins-themed pedestrian crossing lights gained local, state, national and international media attention including Disney sharing the project on the official Mary Poppins Facebook page.

Council welcomed new CEO Ken Diehm in June. He has been integral in the development of the staff change management plan which is focused on transforming the workplace culture to a positive and productive environment. Our council is lucky to have such dedicated employees and I thank them for their hard work throughout 2017.

In July, council delivered a budget with a rate increase of 1.53 per cent, which was under the consumer price index. We're aiming for no increase in 2018.

Council is also creating greater links with Wide Bay Burnett Regional Organisation of Councils and, at the recent Economic Development Growth Forum in Maryborough, Wide Bay mayors discussed priorities to pursue together.

Importantly, council is listening to residents, visitors, business and industry to provide the services they want and need to build a better Fraser Coast.

My hope is that you all have time to relax and reflect over the Christmas break and the new year brings an abundance of happiness and good fortune to you and your family.

I look forward to a harmonious and prosperous 2018.