39 year's service to Local Government

Cairns Mayor, Tom Pyne AM, shares the record with Sir Robert Sparkes as the longest serving current Local Government elected members in Queensland. Mayor of the former Mulgrave Shire, Tom Pyne was directly elected as the first Mayor of Cairns City Council following the amalgamation in 1995.

After 39 continuous years of service, including being the current President of the Local Government Association of Queensland, Tom plans to retire at the next Council election in the year 2000.

Joining Council in 1961 at the age of 26, Tom was elected Chairman, later to be changed to Mayor, in 1979. He was elected unopposed through to 1991. In 1994 his popularity and expertise were endorsed when he received 75 percent of the primary vote against two other candidates.

Elected President of LGAQ in 1997, Tom had been Senior Vice President since 1988. He is also Chairman of the Far North Queensland Electricity Board, a position he has held for several years. Tom Pyne was also recently appointed to Queensland's Centenary of Federation Committee.

"The new Administration Centre is a major achievement of the first City Council," Tom Pyne said. "It is never an easy task but people are now seeing the benefit. The previous situation, of paying rent and staff being scattered over five locations around the City, was not conducive to good management."

Tom Pyne is also very proud of the Esplanade Project saying it will be great for the future of Cairns.

"The best aspect is that through extensive consultation, residents decided what they wanted," he said. "It is a beautiful project."

Describing tourism as the 'power house' of the district's economy, the Mayor said that lobbying by the two former Councils to ensure Cairns became an international airport has seen the area never look back. Cairns is now Australia's fourth busiest airport. In the lead up to the 2000 Olympics, the City has positioned itself as a highly sought after training venue. The Canadian Swim Team has selected Cairns as an ideal location to acclimatise for Sydney. A new international standard pool will be completed by then.

A number of other teams have also expressed interest to use the City as their training venue. Tom Pyne was also responsible for coming up with the idea of residents having the opportunity to pay 50 cents per year to help finance preparations for our Olympic team.

Strong support by Cairns residents prompted him to take the concept Statewide. This project has now been embraced by Council and communities around the nation which augers well for a great performance by our team in Sydney in 2000.