Green steps back into mayoral role

Former Warwick Shire Mayor Bruce Green – new mayor of the City of Port Lincoln SA – with his wife Julie.
Former Warwick Shire Mayor Bruce Green – new mayor of the City of Port Lincoln SA – with his wife Julie.

AFTER being full-time mayor of the former Warwick Shire Council for six years until 2000, Bruce Green is ready to launch into a second local government career as mayor of the City of Port Lincoln, in South Australia.

While it is not uncommon for local politicians to move across the country and represent a second council area, it is rare for two people in the one household to lead adjoining local authorities.

Mr Green received 2594 votes, while long-serving Port Lincoln mayor Peter Davis received 1899.

In the adjoining and smaller District Council of the Lower Eyre Peninsula, Mr Green’s partner and sitting Mayor Julie Low was the leading candidate at the close of vote counting on Saturday.

Candidates needed a quota of 200 and Ms Low received 609 votes – 444 ahead of her nearest rival before the distribution of preferences.

Mr Green said the mayor of the district council would be elected by councillors so it was unclear if the two leaders would, in fact, come from the same household.

Southern Downs residents might suggest that with only 4493 formal votes (48 per cent of the roll), Mr Green would be in charge of a much smaller local authority than Warwick.

Much smaller in size, yes, but the City of Port Lincoln has a population of 15,000.

“Port Lincoln (city) is bigger than Warwick (town) but Warwick (shire) had all the rural areas whereas the rural areas at Port Lincoln are in the district council area,” Mr Green said.

There are many differences between local government in Queensland and South Australia.

Voting in local government in South Australia is optional.

“Those who did vote made a conscious, deliberate, decision to vote,” he said.

“There were no donkey votes and a low informal, I don’t mind voting not being compulsory.”

His role in South Australia is part-time, two to three days, a week whereas the job was full-time in Warwick.

“The job in South Australia is not as well remunerated,” he said.

Mr Green said in South Australia, the State Government had a greater say in regional planning issues.

“The State Government has a hands-on approach to planning and takes major projects out of the hands of local government.”

As he considered whether to stand for mayor, Mr Green wondered if his candidature might impact on his partner.

“The prospect of two mayors in the one house didn’t phase the voters. Julie is a talented performer and they voted on her strengths and ability, not on who she is in partnership with.”

Mr Green has been elected for a four-year term.

Since moving to South Australia eight years ago, he managed Southern Australian Seafoods, an abalone aquaculture business, for three years, was business advisor for the Eyre Regional Development Board and, for two years, research and development manager for the Destiny Group, a land and ship abalone aquaculture enterprise.

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