Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow.
Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow. Leighton Smith

MAYOR'S DESK: Two very big calls pay off big time for Rocky

From the Mayor's Desk, Margaret Strelow.

THURSDAY was People's Day.

As you will recall, the council made the decision to take control of the Rockhampton Show 10 months ago.

We simply could not repeat the silliness of last year that saw rides and show bags at one location and everything else at another location.

At the time, I made the public announcement that the council would step in over an existing community committee and take control of the show I knew it was a big call.

And then we had over 23,000 people through the gates on Thursday alone.

Rocky show.
Big crowds turn out for the 2019 Rocky Show. Allan Reinikka ROK130619arockysh

The decision has been vindicated. Huge, huge kudos to Tony Cullen, Cr Ellen Smith, Rod Green, Peter Curtis, Zac Garven and 100 volunteers.

Thursday will also be remembered as 'People's Day' in this community because it is the day that Adani received the sign off that will let the company commence construction of the Carmichael Mine.

We are to be primary beneficiaries of the jobs the mine will create.

During the course of Thursday I received a number of phone calls from Adani's senior management as they expressed their appreciation for both council and community support.

They committed again that they will deliver on their promises to us.

And each caller recognised that I had personally stuck with them and advocated for them, even when the chips were falling against them.

As did Michelle Landry and Senator Matt Canavan.

It was a big call.

Day of action / Go Galilee Basin. Margaret Strelow, Michelle Landry and Deb Frecklington.
REGION RALLY: Margaret Strelow, Michelle Landry and Deb Frecklington are front and centre at the Day of action for the Go Galilee Basin campaign in Rockhampton. Allan Reinikka ROK240519aaction6

My support for Adani put me at odds with a political party I had proudly served for over 25 years.

I regret the rift, but not my decision.

One day someone needs to do a serious documentary that exposes the extraordinary slur campaign against the Adani company.

Adani faced a barrage of vexatious legal attacks and lost time while they waited for court dates. And then political shenanigans came to play.

I have had my fair share of attacks too. Some visible (particularly recent attacks) but others are more subtle.

No doubt this will intensify over the next few months as people position for the council election in March.

But just like the decision on the show that has proven to be justified - I am absolutely convinced that the call to back Adani will pay dividends for our community.

It was a true People's Day.