Re-elected Abigail Noli says Council financially “well placed” to weather COVID-19


Officially re-elected, Abigail Noli will head into her third term in Council in the midst of the coronavirus crisis and says the Douglas Shire is financially well-positioned to weather the storm.

Following six years in office, Ms Noli will be the most experienced member of elected Council and said she feels privileged to once again serve the Douglas Shire.

“I will continue to do so using the mantra of strategic decision making that results in long term and lasting benefits for the Shire,” she said.

“It has been a challenging six years coming off de-amalgamation; working a way out of a $5.2 million debt, new local laws, new planning scheme, new Council essentially; and at the same time producing record-breaking capital work programs year after year and receiving record-breaking grant approvals from both State and Federal governments.”

Ms Noli received 2944 votes (12.29%) narrowly beating out the next closest candidate, Natalie Johnson, who missed out on a councillor position by just 75 votes.

Ms Noli will join the newly elected mayor Michael Kerr, fellow re-elected councillor Roy Zammataro, and newcomers Lisa Scomazzon, and Peter McKeown, in Council chambers.

The four councillors will be sworn in on Thursday in a post-election meeting, and ready to get down to businesses Ms Noli said now is the time for budget deliberations.

“In 2020 Douglas is extremely well placed because of previous excellent governance-no debt, a balanced operating budget and all three financial ratios in exactly the right places.

“I say this because as a responsible councillor and under the current world conditions, extraneous projects will need to be put on hold, not necessarily cancelled, just moved to a different timeline.

“Therefore, the first and probably only real priority for this year is to weather the circumstances and come out at the end in decent financial shape. I know this is possible because I understand our current position and I know mitigation measures that can be implemented to see us finish the 2020/21 financial year once again in a positive position,” Ms Noli said.

The deputy mayor will be elected by the mayor and councillors during Thursday’s meeting and Ms Noli, who served as deputy for the past term, said she would be happy to hand the position to Lisa Scomazzon, who received the highest number of councillor votes during the election.

“Together she and the Mayor can lead the shire forward and good luck to everyone,” Ms Noli said.

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