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News from Mackay

25 March, 2024

Mackay Mens Dinner Group.

The January report had been held over as it came in too late for the January issue.

The January Dinner

Peter welcomed John and Louise Doolan from Townsville and the ladies who were present in good number.
Rex’s reflection was one “The Truth about Giving”: we can never outgive God.
Mick said Grace and dinner was served.
Our speaker was our current president, Peter Sheedy, who is running for Councillor in the local elections.
Peter has been a CANEGROWERS Manager for almost 31 years at Ingham, an accountant, a Justice of the Peace, member of Rotary, Pioneer Valley Mens Shed, Mackay Prostate Support Group and his next assignment is standing for the Mackay Regional Council.
Peter is a fourth Generation local with his great-grandfather running a dairy and a carrying business. Two of his uncles server in the Great War.
Peter’s dad was born at Mount Morgan and went to the Cattle Creek sugar mill and later the Marian mill. The boys followed Dad as accountants in the sugar industry and for Peter that began a strong career in cane.
Retiring to Ooralea in 2018, Peter nurtured a desire to serve the community through the council. He sees a powerful need for the council to have financial stability and to use resources wisely, rather than ever-increasing debt. Road infrastructure needs to be addressed, with the use of coal royalties to provide for solutions to regional planning and growth. The sugar industry needs a voice on council.
Peter then took questions: He is an Independent candidate.
Frank Doolan rose to give a vote of thanks to Peter, with Frank marvelling at Peter’s energy and drive.

The February Dinner

At this gathering Peter Sheedy welcomed everyone including three priests and our guest speaker, Laurence Bonaventura. He then asked for a period of silence for Kevin Casey. Kevin was a valued member and the Dinner Club will send flowers to his widow.
Des said Grace and led us through the Patron’s Prayer before Rex brought a Reflection:
“Don’t worry, God will take care of you.”
After dinner was served Graham introduced our Speaker.
Laurence thanked the club for the invite. He outlined his family’s journey from Italy in 1914 when his grand-dad came to Australia and his father moved to Mackay in 1938. He and Kerry, his wife of thirty-three years love BBQ’s at the harbour, especially with the grand-kids.
Laurence is a Cowboys supporter, has been a farmer, a businessman in construction and for decades involved in community support. His passion was sparked by the Catholic Youth Movement that motivated involvement with St Vincent de Paul and two trips to World Youth Days.
In 2012 he sought to meet the needs of the community by becoming a Mackay Region councillor and was mentored by Councillor Kevin Casey. Laurence considers the “Teams” strategy has hindered progress. As an Independent he needs to make a difference however ‘teams’ ignore independents and take control with numbers instead of voting on the merit of ideas and situations.
Grants and the region’s growth rate is quite low so rates would rise to pay off the debt.
As Mayor, Laurence would be inclusive, building trust so the councillors work together for the residents. He would use the best skills of the councillors, listen to good advice and set up roles to spread the workload, build their skill levels to be out in the community as spokespersons for their constituents.
Laurence thanked us for listening and invited questions.

We wish both Peter and Laurence success in the coming elections.
Our next dinner is March 25th 2024