Cr Abigail Noli confirms she will run again as Councillor

Published Wednesday 27 January 2016

After her two year term as Councillor, Cr Noli’s says her decision to run in the upcoming 2016 Council election is one without “ulterior motives.”

Cr Abigail Noli was elected as Councillor two years ago and reported at the time that her decision to run was based on the fact that she could not complain about decisions being made “if I sit back and do nothing”, admitting she had very little political experience at the time.

Two years on and Cr Noli says she has been committed to the task as Councillor during this short period, stating she has immersed herself and gained a good understanding of many aspects of the role as a Councillor.

With her decision to run again, she said her commitment to taking in knowledge as well as “working as hard as possible” will help her take the Douglas Shire successfully into 2020 as a re-elected Councillor.

“Every aspect of Council that I was involved in I privately studied thoroughly and endeavoured to make the best decisions for the long term benefit of our beautiful place where we live,” she said.

Regarding business and economic development, Cr Noli doesn’t think Council should play a direct role in business development.

“In the simplest terms, we don’t buy shops to employ people.  A Council must advocate and facilitate a healthy environment so that it indirectly promotes the desire to invest financially, personally and time-wise in an area,” she said.

In demonstrating her point, Cr Noli stated that if Federal Government is providing a service, for example NBN, then a Local Council should advocate as strongly as possible to receive that service.

“A Council must also provide the basics of a great place to live; infrastructure, clever future plans, financial stability, good town planning, a liveable community, a healthy and protected environment.

“If a Council can do its job in these areas then I firmly believe that business development is inevitable because there will be faith that it will succeed and all types and sizes of business can survive,” she said.

The Port Douglas Waterfront has been a contentious and confusing issue over many, many years; not only for various key stakeholders but the general community, who have very little understanding of the issues at hand and lack of access to knowledge and information detailing those issues.

Cr Noli believes that the Port Douglas Waterfront development should be looked at like any other development in the region, stating that over the years the public has had fair input into what is required and desired concerning the Port Douglas waterfront.

“If it is good for the long term benefit of the Shire then I am happy, roughly speaking. Taking into account what long term benefit of the Shire entails is specific to the development in question of course.

“If a Council takes that as a basis to start and applies other areas of logic mixed with the long term benefit of the Shire, then any development decided upon should most likely be the best outcome possible,” she said.

The Mossman Botanic Garden MBG project has been of great interest to Cr Noli and she has supported the project prior to her being elected as a Councillor.  While she acknowledges the potential the MBG project has to offer the region, she is clear that the project must be self sufficient.

“My role as a Councillor is to assist its [MBG] growth and development but without it hindering Shire development.  I anticipate that the MBG Committee will call on the Council for various issues of assistance in the future and each point must be covered individually in due course.

“I will very willingly support the project, but bearing in mind that, because it is a private sector idea or enterprise, it must be essentially self-sufficient and self-fulfilling,” she said.

Other projects Cr Noli has played an active role in as Councillor over the past two years has been the Mossman Aged Care Facility and the initial relocation and potential new relocation of the Paws and Claws (P&C) facility.

“The Aged Care Facility is now a reality.  I believe that eventually the Nursing Home committee would have achieved their aims, but it would not have happened in only two years if we had not been so supportive in all senses”, she said.

Stating that P&C is a subject very dear to her, she said seeing them in new premises is more important to her than people might think.

“The current Committee is extremely hard working, dedicated and effective but they wouldn’t be there if I hadn’t stepped in to save P&C before they were elected,” she said.

Cr Noli stated that she was approached in 2014 by the founder of P&C and members of the community who had expressed their concerns about the health of the association.  Initiating steps for emergency funding through Council, she said the search for appropriate land for new premises and a suitable Committee were her initial achievements.

“As much as it is important that P&C find a new home, we must also be cognisant of our residents, maybe now we have found a perfect site,” she said.

It is no surprise to residents, business owners and visitors to the Douglas Shire that internet connectivity and the NBN roll out is something Council must be advocating for, as a matter of urgency, and Cr Noli believes this to be the case.

“[It’s] an important concern of modern life and business and Council must try to advocate for the best position possible.  I am very happy that the Douglas Chamber of Commerce has stepped up also to fulfil their role in advocating for this issue. Working in conjunction makes for a stronger case,” she said.

Constituents have a right to know that good Councillors are working with good Councils. Regarding the current Douglas Shire Council Administration, Newsport asked Cr Noli if, as a Councillor, she was satisfied with the current Council Administration as it now stands.?

“Yes, very happy.  This of course doesn’t mean that we have no room for improvement.  Realistically speaking, we have had two years to start everything again and it’s been a huge job, sometimes even I forget the ground that has been covered.

“There is room for streamlining, but overall things have been very successful,” she said.

One of Cr Noli’s priority issues for the Douglas Shire over the next four years and one that she was unaware of before being elected, is the issue of domestic violence.

“There is no easy or quick fix and it has been a great disappointment for me to discover that our Shire has a need to address this issue in some manner. I would like to pursue this further and indeed I have been.

“It has become apparent that there are short and long term solutions and I want to follow up on the feasibilities of each one for our specific requirements,” she said.

Cr Noli said two years ago she wanted to be elected as Councillor to improve the place where she was born and loves. She emphasises her involvement with the community and involvement on numerous Committees as well as a 100 per cent attendance at Council Meetings, as major achievements reflecting her accessibility over her two year term.

As an elected Councillor in 2016 taking the Douglas Shire successfully through to 2020, Cr Noli said she will continue with everything she started with.

“Honesty, integrity, a logical way of thinking, thoroughness and a genuine desire to do good.  This time however, I have something more to offer,” she said.