Kerr’s ascent “once in a generation”


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Michael Kerr's ascent to Mayor has been marred by delays in the publication of results from the ECQ since Saturday's election Image: Newsport.

Former Douglas Shire Councillor and CEO, Terry Melchert, is viewing Michael Kerr’s expected mayoral victory as a “once in a generation” result for the shire.

Kerr has yet to be officially declared by the Queensland Electoral Commission (QEC), but he holds an unassailable lead and will succeed Julia Leu, who has led the shire since de-amalgamation from Cairns Regional Council in 2014.

Although unsuccessful in his own bid for a councillor spot in this election, Melchert said he was not at all disappointed.

“What has disappointed me are the delays in the publishing of election results and the poor performance from the ECQ hierarchy. While results have been provided from counting rooms across the state, the ECQ has been slow to update the public data and its presentation is far less detailed than in the past. This is why the premier is fuming and is calling for a total review of ECQ,” said Melchert.


In a media report, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was extremely critical of the ECQ saying “they’ve got one job” following numerous technical issues which delayed results.

“I’m disappointed frankly. I mean they’ve got one job and their job is to make sure that they can actually run an election so I’ll be ordering a review of that as to why it happened,” she told the Courier Mail.

Melchert, who has more than 40 years’ experience in Senior Local Government roles, said the proposed new-look Council and with Kerr at the helm, will allow for common views which will be extremely healthy for the shire.

“We will no longer have a situation where the environment will be at the expense of social and economic prosperity. Common views will come into play regarding environmental, economic and social issues.

"I expect to see better financial management, lower rate increases and measured development. In looking forward to what lies ahead are among the reasons why I am not disappointed I did not win one of the Councillor positions,” he said.

Melchert views Kerr as a good leader after observing him for some time.

“There are two excellent examples which display his leadership qualities. He has done an outstanding job with The Clink Theatre by taking it forward; and his work with Paws and Claws has been exceptional as it now has direction.”

Kerr, meanwhile, is patiently awaiting the ECQ to officially declare him the in-coming mayor of the Douglas Shire.

He has also preferred to be cautious by avoiding releasing any statements until the result is final.

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