Cr Damien Tessmann will take over the SBRC's $70 million Roads portfolio
September 27, 2012

The South Burnett Regional Council will undergo a portfolio reshuffle to align itself more closely with the State Government’s “4 Pillar” economic strategy.

Mayor Wayne Kratzmann will take over portfolio responsibilities for Economic Development and Tourism; Cr Damien Tessmann will relinquish Economic Development and take over the Mayor’s Roads portfolio; and Cr Deb Palmer will cede Tourism to the Mayor but retain all other parts of the Community Portfolio.

Other councillors will continue in their existing portfolios without change.

Today the Mayor said the changes were necessary and would deliver efficiencies in how Council does business with the State Government.

“Council is about to announce an exciting plan to elevate economic and tourism development to be the flagship of the region,” he said. “These portfolio changes are being made in anticipation of this announcement.”

The State Government has identified tourism as one of its four pillars of economic development and the Mayor said the SBRC is positioning itself to take advantage of any State funding that becomes available.

The changes are expected to be confirmed at Council’s October meeting.

This afternoon Cr Damien Tessmann said he’d discussed the portfolio swap with the Mayor and agreed economic development and tourism matters were probably better handled by the Shire’s leader than a divisional councillor.

“In his role, the Mayor is privy to many top-level discussions that cover these areas – discussions a councillor generally wouldn’t be part of. So it makes sense to put these into the Mayor’s work basket.”

Cr Tessmann said that while he regretted the changes meant he wouldn’t now be taking up a position on the Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce executive or helping the Burnett Inland Economic Development Organisation frame a new constitution, he was looking forward to the “challenging” Roads portfolio and overseeing $70 million of flood repairs to the region’s road network this financial year.

He said his biggest accomplishment in the Economic Development portfolio over the past six months was ensuring that $330,000 was set aside in this year’s Budget to upgrade ageing facilities at the Yallakool Tourist Park.