While amalgamation is not on the cards for one of Northern Tasmania’s smallest councils, Flinders mayor Annie Revie wants to bring more collaboration.
Elected the new mayor of Flinders in the local government elections, Mrs Revie said she believes her passion for the community is what helped her across the line.
“I stood on the basis of leadership and team work and part of that is more engagement with the community...I polled 65 per cent of the vote for mayor, which I think says a lot about my campaign,” she said.
Mrs Revie is a former school principal of West Launceston Primary School and Punchbowl Primary School but moved to Flinders Island in 2015 after her daughter Mharie Revie, head of Northern Tasmania’s State Emergency Service, bought a house there.
She said collaboration and teamwork were high priorities on her to-do list – particularly building community connection, but also collaboration with other councils.
“We don’t think we would want to amalgamate with any other council, it doesn’t make sense to have a council based in Tasmania – we’d never get anything done on the island,” she said.
However, despite her views on amalgamation, Mrs Review said Flinders Council had an established relationship with West Tamar and wanted to be part of the local government scene in Tasmania.
She said the council has a resource sharing arrangement with West Tamar Council, with the two sharing equipment and some planning resources.
Flinders Council has two main challenges, according to Mrs Revie, and they are population and tourism.
“We live in a beautiful part of the world, we have the best fishing, cycling and walking trails, beaches; you name it, we’ve go it,” she said.
“But we want to ensure our tourism growth is controlled; we don’t want it to get out of control,” she said.
The island council wants to attract visitors to ensure economic growth but the council has its work to do to ensure that growth is sustainable and reflective of its brand.
Similarly, population will be one of the main issues on the new council’s mind, with a slight increase the goal.
“We would like to see a small increase in population, but people get scared that we might attract a lot,” she said.
The island’s population sits at 920, with the goal to increase population to 1200.
Mrs Revie said some of the island’s business people, or tradespeople, were getting older and the island had a challenge to recruit and retain young people.
However, she said she believed her team of councillors would address the challenges as they appeared, and the future looked bright for the island.
“We have a lot of things happening, a few developments, and tourism has increased, thanks to the festivals we hold each year,” she said.
Flinders Island council is made up of Mrs Revie, mayor, and Sharon Blyth, alongside councillors Peter Frank Rhode, David Williams, Rachel Summers, Aaron Burke and Vanessa Grace.
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