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New Term For Toowoomba Regional Council

The first meeting for the newly formed Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) was held earlier today inside The Annex at the rear of City Hall.While social distancing guidelines kept Councillors spaced apart in the alternative venue, Mayor Paul Antonio ensured business was on track with the unveiling of new portfolio chairs and leaders.

The first item of business was the appointment of Deputy Mayor, and set a precedent by not offering the position to the top polling Councillor, Rebecca Vonhoff.

After a lengthy discussion, it was put to the vote with nominations for Councillors Vonhoff, Geoff McDonald, Carol Taylor and Bill Cahill (later withdrawn). Cr Geoff McDonald emerged with a majority, and confirmed as Deputy Mayor.

Councillor Geoff McDonald

He was congratulated by Mayor Paul Antonio. “Councillor McDonald is an experienced Councillor who is passionate about the community and has a strong commitment to continually improve the lifestyle, economy and global standing of the Toowoomba Region.”

The Mayor also thanked all the Councillors who expressed an interest in the role.

A motion to review the position in 2 years had been carried prior to the voting. The Mayor commented, “This will ensure more Councillors get experience in the role and will increase the leadership skills more broadly across our team of Councillors.”

“The portfolio structure will again align directly with the organisational structure. I will Chair the Economic Development Committee, assisted by the Deputy Mayor in my absence, or my colleagues from the relevant portfolio on a case by case basis,” Mayor Antonio said.

Councillor responsibilities:

Mayor Paul Antonio – Economic Development Committee Chair
Cr Carol Taylor – Infrastructure Committee Chair
Cr Melissa Taylor – Infrastructure Committee Portfolio Leader
Cr Rebecca Vonhoff – Water and Waste Committee Chair
Cr Nancy Sommerfield – Water and Waste Committee Portfolio Leader
Cr James O’Shea – Environment and Community Committee Chair
Cr Tim McMahon – Environment and Community Portfolio Leader
Cr Geoff McDonald – Finance and Business Strategy Committee Chair
Cr Kerry Shine – Finance and Business Strategy Portfolio Leader
Cr Megan O’Hara-Sullivan – Planning and Development Committee Chair
Cr Bill Cahill – Planning and Development Portfolio Leader

“Further refinement on Councillor portfolios may be made once discussions between these Councillors and relevant General Managers take place,” Mayor Antonio said.

“As we begin this term of Council we have a number of challenges we need to address immediately and I believe we have the right people around the table to do this. It brings me a great deal of excitement to welcome in four new faces.”

“Each of the new Councillors bring their own set of skills and experience to their portfolio areas and I look forward to working with them all over the next four years.

“It’s important to remember that being an elected member of this Region is an honour. The community has voted us in to look after their best interests and now that we’ve met for the first time, we can get on and do the job we’re expected to do,” Mayor Antonio said.

During the meeting, Council also set a date for a Special Meeting of Council to formally consider local economic relief options. This meeting will be held on Wednesday, 29th April 2020 at 10am.

For more information about Council visit

Submitted by:
Brendan Steinhardt
Principal Media and Strategic Relations
Stakeholder Engagement and Communications
Toowoomba Regional Council

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