Candidate raises hand: Disability access top of list
MARK Yore has announced he will run for the Division 1 council seat, and although a lot has changed since his last shot at the seat four years ago, he hopes he could use all that he has learned to make Airlie a more accessible and equitable environment.
Mr Yore originally moved to the area in 1965 before a varied career as a marketing manager for Whittaker Macnaught Financial Planning as well as an adviser to former Senator Sue Boyce.
Since first running for the seat in 2016, Mr Yore says he has undergone many personal changes that have forced him to look at the region in a different light including a full leg amputation due to disease.
"Adapting to a disability hasn't been easy, but I can walk, and I can drive and I'm thankful every day that the problems I have are minor compared to many others," he said.
"If you look at cruise ships and visitors that come ashore, we have a percentage of people who stay on board because they have mobility issues.
"I would like to do a proper study of Airlie and look at it from an accessible point of view."
As a former resident of Shute Harbour, Mr Yore said the current restoration works were high on his agenda if he was to be voted in.
"The majority of people (at Shute Harbour) honestly want somewhere where they can pick up bread milk and papers and pretty much be left alone," he said.
"We got money to replace something that was pretty much falling down anyway, but we haven't really thought about why we're putting buildings up.
"We need to sit down and go 'OK, let's think about things before we do them'."
Improved pedestrian crossings in Airlie Beach, a basic mooring at Airlie Creek and a convention centre that could double as a cyclone shelter were also among the suggestions Mr Yore had for Division 1.
"Why we don't have a convention centre in Airlie Beach is beyond me," he said.
"We have a fantastic opportunity to dump a huge number of visitors into the area in times when we do have low demand."
Mr Yore also emphasised that tourism would be a large part of his approach to council with a particular focus on keeping the whole Whitsundays region united in their decisions.
"Airlie lives and dies on tourism, and it's not just Airlie, the people who live in Jubilee Pocket, Shute Harbour and Cannonvale- it's very hard to find people who aren't at least one or two steps from the tourism industry.
"The idea is that we can hopefully make the changes we need to because if you look down the main street at the moment it's depressing to see number of buildings that are empty.
"We need to think about how we grow the area, we don't think about the fact that if you don't grow you die.
"Unless we get to a sustainable population there won't be a KFC here."
"We have some great places here, awesome restaurants and places to stay, but we need to do better."
Mr Yore also said he played a large role in pushing for the division changes and believed the amended boundaries provided a more equal reflection of the community.
The Whitsunday Regional Council Election will take place on March 28.
Mr Yore will be running for the seat currently held by Jan Clifford, who announced she would also be recontesting the seat earlier this month.