Mayor Ron Dyne's sad adieu to council career
GYMPIE Region councillors had made a good team, despite their differences, Mayor Ron Dyne said yesterday.
Cr Dyne said councillors had been able to guide a new local government entity through the trauma of its creation.
And they had achieved "great outcomes" for residents.
"We've brought Gympie Regional Council through amalgamation better than any other council in Queensland," he said.
Cr Dyne was briefly overcome as he paid tribute to colleagues, state government representatives, staff and "finally, thanks to my darling wife.
"She's been a rock," he said, wiping tears from his eyes as he spoke of the partner he met in the Army and the original inspiration for his move into politics.
"Not a bad innings is it," Cr Dyne remarked with reference to their marriage.
"In this day and age it's quite an achievement."
"We weren't supposed to fraternise, but we overcame that," Mrs Dyne said with a smile."
"She had to get out of the Army so we could get married," Cr Dyne said.
Then came two children, a son in Melbourne and a daughter in Canberra with two daughters.
"They'll all be home for Christmas," Cr Dyne said.
Mrs Dyne confessed she is the reason her husband entered politics.
"He became a farmer and got a bit restless.
"He went to a Meet the Candidates night and came home saying there should be better candidates.
"I said, 'put your money where your mouth is."
"So it's all her fault," Cr Dyne laughed.
The mayor of South Burnett Regional Council, Wayne Kratzmann, MP David Gibson and Local Government Minister David Crisafulli put all other obligations to one side to attend yesterday meeting.
Cr Dyne thanked Mr Gibson for his "advice and counsel" and told Minister Crisafulli: "It has been a pleasure to work with you in your capacity as Local Government Minister, but also as a good bloke.
"Thank you to the CEO, directors and staff. Your efforts have made the council what it is today."
And he thanked Gympie Region residents for their support and inspiration.
"I never thought I would be given the opportunity to lead such a dynamic place as Gympie Region."
Cr Perrett responded to what he called the mayor's "untimely and unfortunate resignation.
"I recall being with you on the day you received that unexpected call from your doctor.
"We were out on a council inspection in the Mary Valley, bouncing around a rural paddock inspecting a matter which was to come before council.
"We were out of mobile phone service and you received a phone message when we returned to Gympie.
"That phone message was to deliver the news which would change so many aspects of your life.
"From that time you were first elected to the former Kilkivan Shire Council way back in 2000 to today as Mayor of Gympie Regional Council you have led with great humility and honesty (and) for every day you have served as mayor, I have served as your deputy.
"I have developed an unconditional respect for you.
"As you depart this role, you have enormous respect from within our community.
"There is no greater honour than this."
Mr Gibson said Cr Dyne had performed his duties "with dignity and fair play.
"Your leadership during the floods brought stability.
"To Dulcie and your family, 'Thank you for sharing him with us."
CEO Bernard Smith said he had worked with many mayors in 30 years of local government and "none has surpassed Ron.
"His positive and pro-active leadership has been exemplary.
"He's shown unwavering ethics and an ability to cut to the core of issues.
"He's been a great supporter of staff and the need for the organisation to evolve and change to serve the community."
Cr Rae Gate welcomed Cr Dyne's support for the art gallery, the library service, the Heart of Gold film festival and the aquatic centre.
Cr Mark McDonald was not present, as he is on leave pending major surgery.
Cr Dyne said he had tried to avoid resigning but it was not feasible to continue.
"Obviously it takes money out of the budget to have an election, but that's just one of the statutory things we have to do."
Speaking during the morning tea break, Cr Dyne said he felt "humbled the Local Government Minister is here today and took time out.
"Leading amalgamation was probably my greatest achievement.
"And keeping the promise to give Rainbow Beach a hall. It's a spectacular hall," he said.
Farewells to 'an absolute legend'
DAVID Crisafulli made a heartfelt promise to Gympie yesterday as he helped farewell one of local government's "favourite sons", the region's "father figure" and "an absolute legend."
The Local Government, Community Recovery and Resilience Minister attended yesterday's Gympie Regional Council meeting - the last for the year and the last for Mayor Ron Dyne.
Cr Dyne had just announced his departure from office due to terminal cancer.
Turning to the Mayor, Mr Crisafulli made it clear the flood-proofing of Gympie, or at least improving its resilience, was still on his personal agenda as Minister.
"I regard that as unfinished business," he said.
Mr Crisafulli expressed embarrassment yesterday about "blubbering" during his speech, but he was not the only one.
MP David Gibson also broke down as he thanked Mayoress Dulcie Dyne and the Dyne family "for sharing him with us."
Mr Crisafulli described his address to the council as "one of the proudest but saddest duties I've had in this role".
He congratulated Cr Dyne on steering the new Gympie Regional Council through the "horrible time" of amalgamation" and said he believed the community had "made the right decision" in 2008 when it elected Cr Dyne as the region's first mayor.
His against-the-odds victory put him in the driver's seat for the merging of the former Cooloola, Kilkivan and (part of) Tiaro shires.
"It was a challenge to run a shire 12 times the size of Kilkivan," Mr Crisafulli said.
"But you did it and you were one of the few to meet the challenge.
"Local government today is losing one of its favourite sons. Sadly, in time this community will lose its father figure.
"You leave a legacy this region will never forget."