Councillor profiles - Debbie Wisby Mayor Glamorgan Spring Bay Council

Article image - Councillor profiles - Debbie Wisby Mayor Glamorgan Spring Bay Council

Along 160km of Tasmania’s east coast lies the long narrow strip that is Glamorgan Spring Bay municipal area. It contains some of the most beautiful scenery in Australia and is home to three national parks, Freycinet, Maria Island and Douglas Apsley.

Quality attracts
Ever increasing numbers of tourists are attracted to the area because of our internationally renowned beaches, wineries, walnut orchards, quality seafood and historic architecture.

The combination of the natural landscape and the kind, generous and resilient communities makes our region a beautiful place to live, work, raise a family or retire.  

What I love about the area is the open spaces, the clean air, that you can find solitude on any local beach, the clear sky, the white beaches, the weather, the views, the friendships, the trust and most importantly the people who make our region so special.

Promote but protect what is special
I became a councillor in 2014 and was popularly elected as mayor in 2018.

I am very interested in encouraging innovative development that protects and promotes what is special about this region.  

I also own and operate a commercial wild catch fishing business with my husband Glen.  I have thirty years’ experience in business, including working with community groups locally as well as representing industry on Commonwealth and State Committees.  

My experience contributes to understanding the business of council and legislation, the importance of regularly engaging with community and the advantages of interacting with all tiers of government.

A laugh with the locals
Unfortunately due to medical reasons I am unable to participate in many physical activities however I enjoy watching my children play senior sport and the social interaction from this.  I enjoy having a chat and often a laugh with the locals at the wharf and the local watering hole.

Key challenges in our region include coastal inundation and erosion.  We have a small rate base with over fifty percent of our ratepayers being non-permanent.  

Having six small townships over 160km distance it is difficult and costly to provide the services and infrastructure required.   

Innovating to protect
Council is working with government agencies and communities in various locations to create masterplans that protect and promote our flora and fauna whilst encouraging economic growth.

We have many threatened species, both plants and animals, and it is our priority to ensure development is sensitive to protect what is both precious and special to our region.

Connecting with community
I am receiving positive feedback from communities that they feel more engaged and listened to.  This has been achieved by regular community connect sessions being held in each town.

The best part of being a councillor is being able connect with people and make a positive difference to them or their community.  
The worst part of being a councillor is juggling the many and varied matters that arise and keeping abreast of ever changing legislative requirements.

By the end of my term I hope I can look back and see my efforts on Council have contributed to positive outcomes for communities, more people feel empowered to speak up and get involved and there is increased trust in Council.