Sunshine Coast Mayor bows out with salutary warning

Mark Jamieson is stepping down after 12 years as Sunshine Coast Mayor and seven years at the helm of Queensland’s local government peak.

Mark Jamieson

Cr Jamieson announced last Friday he will step down in March to put his private life first.

“I have decided that it is time to put my family and my personal interests first,” he said.

“For this reason – and this alone – I have decided not to contest the next election for Mayor of our great Sunshine Coast Council on 16 March 2024.

“I know this may come as a surprise to some people, but there comes a time when we all reevaluate our priorities – and recognising the importance of our nearest and dearest has to be Priority Number 1.”

Parting words of advice

Cr Jamieson said he had never shied away from pushing hard against other levels of government regardless of who was in power to get the best deal for his community and his region, and said he remained a staunch advocate for keeping party politics out of local government.

“If there is one piece of advice I will offer to our residents is that when it comes time to vote for your next Mayor in March next year, remember it is too great a risk for the future of our Council and our region to place your trust in someone who is aligned in any way with a major political party.

“Or someone who simply craves the position, limelight and attention.”

Reflecting on his career, he said his proudest achievements included seeing transformational investment in infrastructure, including an international broadband submarine cable network and the establishment of a solar farm at Valdora.

Under his leadership Council also recognised a climate emergency, saw Elton John play two concerts and helped secure the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics.

Stewardship of LGAQ

LGAQ Chief Executive Alison Smith thanked Cr Jamieson for his stewardship of the association, with a  special mention of his advocacy for justice for a group of former councillors whom he argued had been the victims of overreach by the state’s Crime and Corruption Commission.

Alison Smith

“Mayor Jamieson’s leadership has helped reinforce local councils as the level of government closest to their communities, at the same time as ensuring the LGAQ is heard and listened to in the corridors of power.

“He helped spearhead significant campaigns to improve accountability inside the Crime and Corruption Commission, he helped highlight the unworkable and damaging councillor conduct provisions that needed to be reformed, made sure communities and councils were heard during the Covid response and natural disasters, and sounded the alarm on the housing crisis.”

ALGA president Linda Scott also thanked Cr Jamieson for his outstanding career in local government and long and effective service to councils at a local, state and national level, including as a champion for Queensland’s Olympic bid.

“On behalf of Australia’s 537 councils, I sincerely congratulate Mayor Jamieson for his outstanding contribution to and leadership of local government,” Cr Scott said.

Under the terms of the LGAQ Constitution, Mayor Jamieson will complete his tenure as President of the LGAQ 90 days after the 16 March 2024 elections.

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