The elected council is made up of a Mayor and 10 councillors, which are elected by popular vote for a four year term. The last quadrennial elections were held on March 28, 2020.
Mackay Regional Council is an undivided council and therefore represent the whole council area.
Under the Local Government Act 2009, councillors are responsible for:
- Allocation of council's budget
- Participate in the review and creation of council policies and objectives
- Review council's performance of service delivery to the community
Mayor Greg Williamson - Mayor of Mackay Regional Council
Phone: 4961 9455
Mayor Greg Williamson has an undeniable enthusiasm for the region he’s always called home. Whether it be inspiring local sporting teams at their season launch or telling anyone who will listen that the Mackay region is the best place in the world to live, he speaks with unbridled passion when it comes to Mackay. A fifth generation local, Mayor Williamson was re-elected unopposed at the 2020 local government elections. Prior to that he’d returned to the mayoralty in 2016, having previously been mayor of the then Mackay City Council from 1991 to 1994 before amalgamation with the former Pioneer Shire Council. Following that first stint in the top job in the early 90s, he gained vast management experience in large businesses and brought that skillset back to the mayoralty. Mayor Williamson has a long history of service to the community, ranging from Rotary to the then Small Business Association and Mackay Tourism and more than 35 years of service with the Australian Air Force Cadets. Mayor Williamson has also been at the helm of the Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) as chair during Cyclone Debbie in 2017, the bushfires in 2018 and the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
Deputy Mayor Karen May
Phone: 0419 669 134
Cr Karen May’s vast local government experience, which totals more than 16 years, will hold her in good stead for her role as Deputy Mayor in the current council. The most experienced councillor on council, she was a councillor, deputy mayor and mayor of the former Sarina Shire Council. As mayor, she led Sarina through amalgamation with Mackay City and Mirani Shire councils in 2008. Cr May is a member of council’s Character and Heritage, Regional Arts Development Fund, Sarina Field of Dreams and Sustainability and Environment advisory committees, as well as the Combined Museums Reference Group. She also has extensive knowledge when it comes to infrastructure and is a member for the Transport and Drainage and Water and Waste Advisory boards. Cr May is a member of the Sarina Landcare Group and a council representative the Mackay Housing Company and the North Queensland Bulk Points Community Group for Hay Point, as well as the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal Engagement Group. She is a strong advocate for issues in our region and played a leading role in recovery from Cyclone Debbie and bushfires. As Deputy Mayor, she is a key support for Mayor Greg Williamson on the Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG).
Cr Martin Bella
Phone: 0419 793 479
Cr Martin Bella is serving his second term on council, having been re-elected in 2020. During his first term from 2016-2020, he earned a reputation for being straight-talking and a strong voice for rural landholders. He is especially a key advocate for residents in the southern part of our region, including Sarina, Sarina Range and Koumala. After being heavily involved in recovery in that southern region post Cyclone Debbie in 2017, he again helped lead residents in those areas during an unprecedented bushfire crisis in November 2018 and through the subsequent recovery. A former Queensland State of Origin and Australian representative in rugby league, he’s tackled his role as a councillor with plenty of passion. His expertise in sugar and beef provides council with a good insight into these industries. Cr Bella is a member of council’s Water and Waste and Transport and Drainage advisory boards and the Audit Committee. He also represents council on the Whitsunday Regional Roads Group and the Northern Alliance of Councils. Cr Bella’s career has included a vast range of roles, such as cane farming, grazier, mining, retail agricultural sales, construction and maintenance, sales, hospitality and transport and freight. He is a qualified physiotherapist and has owned and operated his own practice in Anzac Street, Sarina.
Cr Laurence Bonaventura
Phone: 0427 638 673
Cr Laurence Bonaventura, who is serving his third term on council, has plenty of experience and knowledge when it comes to our waste facilities and initiatives. During his first term in 2012-16, he held the Waste, Health and Regulatory Services portfolio. Waste, including facilities, projects and initiatives, remained an area of interest for him during the 2016-2020 term. Cr Bonaventura is a member of the Water and Waste and Transport advisory boards, as well as the Traffic and Regulated Parking Advisory Committee. He’s a member of council’s Community Grants Advisory and Mackay Waterfront PDA Strategic Advisory committees, as well as the Sports Expo and Sign-on Day Working Group. He represents council on the North Queensland Sports Foundation, Road Accident Action Group (RAAG) and the Rural Safety Working Group. Cr Bonaventura’s rural experience is wide ranging. Raised at Habana and still a resident there today, his entire working life before local government had been in sugar cane farming, earthmoving and construction. Cr Bonaventura also has an extensive history of involvement in the community, ranging from Habana and District Progress Association to St Vincent de Paul. He has a passion for bringing people together and rallying behind worthy causes.
Cr Justin Englert
Phone: 0439 611 580
Cr Justin Englert, serving his second term on council, has a passion for the regional economy, including tourism. He’s council’s representative on the Mackay Tourism board and is also a representative on the Mountain Bike Alliance. During his first term in 2016-2020, he was a key advocate for a mountain biking project planned for the upper-Pioneer Valley. Cr Englert is also a member of council’s Invest Mackay Event and Conference Attraction Program Advisory Committee and represents council on Crimestoppers. Before becoming a councillor, he had a thorough understanding of the workings of council, having previously been local controller for the State Emergency Service (SES). That experience is valuable in his position on the Mackay Local Disaster Management Group. He’s also completing an Advanced Diploma of Public Safety (Emergency Management). Cr Englert holds three trade qualifications, including industrial protective coatings, avionics fitter with the Royal Australian Air Force and electrician. Much of his community involvement has been through the SES as a volunteer trainer and responder, co-founder and facilitator of the PCYC Emergency Service Cadets in Mackay and co-founder of the SES Association of Queensland.
Cr Michelle Green
Phone: 0434 589 161
This is Michelle Green’s first term as a councillor on Mackay Regional Council but her second foray into local government. Her passion for local government began in 2016 when elected as a councillor for Muswellbrook Shire Council in the Upper Hunter Valley in New South Wales. She and her husband are Mackay born and raised and after travelling extensively have returned to the region to raise their children in the Northern Beaches. Cr Green is a qualified exercise physiologist, has a passion for active living, and is a member of the Sports and Recreation Advisory Committee and the Mountain Bike Alliance. She is a future-forward strategic thinker, motivated to promote economic diversity and embrace the 4th Industrial Revolution to enable our communities to evolve and thrive in a rapidly changing future. Cr Green sits on the Water and Waste Advisory Board, LAWMAC, Sustainability and Environment Committee and Invest Mackay Committee. She has extensive experience in the METS sector, having been a past winner of Operator of the Year in the Queensland Women in Mining Awards.
Cr Belinda Hassan
Phone: 0412 421 451
This is Cr Belinda Hassan’s first term on local government. She is a fifth-generation Mackay region local with a proven passion for supporting the community through both her professional work and volunteer efforts. The former manager of Mackay Funerals and Sarina Funerals is also committed to several community organisations, including Samaritan House Women's Domestic Violence Shelter, Zonta Club of Mackay, the Domestic Violence Resource Service/Mackay Women's Centre, is a member and past-President of the Sarina Lions Club, past-President of the Rotary Club of Mackay Sunrise, and previous volunteer member of Cancer Council Queensland, Mackay Region Suicide Prevention Network and Road Accident Action Group (RAAG). A top priority for Cr Hassan is for all residents to have access to activities and events that promote a healthy and active lifestyle, by providing equitable access and encouraging sporting, recreational and outdoor activities throughout the region. Since joining council, she’s been appointed to the Sport and Recreation Advisory Committee and the Sports Expo and Sign-on Day working group. She’s also council’s representative on the Diabetes and Obesity Project – Let’s Shape Up! Committee and St Vincent De Paul Housing Committee, as well as the Mayor’s DV Taskforce.
Cr Alison Jones
Phone: 0407 690 248
Cr Alison Jones has lived in the Mackay region for the past 40 years and is serving her third term on council. She has had a diverse professional career, including plant operator, stevedore, and meat works supervisor. She has also driven trucks at the mines and managed a drug and alcohol testing company. Post 2016, Cr Jones spent time working in the NDIS sector, advocating for people with disabilities. She has more than 32 years of volunteer experience, including executive positions with not-for-profit organisations associated with the NDIS and homelessness, as well as the indigenous, recreational fishing, and environmental sectors. As part of her current term, she holds roles across several committees within council, including Community Grants, Local Buying Foundation, Sports Expo working group and the Sustainability Advisory Committee. Council projects she is most proud of during that time include Bluewater Lagoon, redevelopment of the Lamberts Beach Lookout and Seagull Street Boat Ramp. She has also been involved in advocating for the Pioneer Valley Rail Trail, which is currently under construction. Cr Jones is passionate about supporting people of all abilities, our indigenous community members, including the indigenous business community, and has provided first-hand support advocating for the homeless in our region, including the Mackay Sleep Bus project.
Cr Fran Mann
Phone: 0418 819 680
Cr Fran Mann, a second-term councillor, has a passion for the region’s heritage and history. She is chair of the Character and Heritage Advisory Committee, as well as a council representative on the Combined Museums Committee. Cr Mann is also once again a key representative on the Regional Arts Development Fund Advisory Committee this term and a member of the Sarina Field of Dreams Advisory Committee. Cr Mann has a strong understanding of council operations as she worked in the finance program for more than nine years prior to being elected as a councillor in 2016. She is also a board member of the Mackay Housing Company, Pioneer Landcare Group and Sister Cities Mackay. As a long-term resident, Cr Mann attended primary and secondary schools in the Pioneer Valley and is a passionate advocate for all parts of our region. Prior to joining council as an employee, she had experience in a diverse range of industries and held roles in retail and real estate. She actively participates with many groups, including Zonta International and Friends of Morag McNichol Reserve.
Cr Russell Seymour
Phone: 0418 776 942
Cr Russell Seymour, a builder by trade, is serving his first term on Mackay Regional Council, Born and raised in the Pioneer Valley, he’s operated his building business in the region for more than 30 years. He decided he wanted a break from the building industry to focus on giving back to the community. Cr Seymour entered council to be a voice of the people, especially rural communities, and has pledged to be a “plain speaker”. He’s keen to promote the region's tourism industry, advocate for our local building industry, improve our roads and revitalise the Mackay City Centre. Cr Seymour is a member of council’s Community Grants Committee and the Sports Expo and Sign-on Day working group. He’s also a council representative on the Roads Accident Action Group (RAAG). A director of Wests Leagues Club for the past 18 years, he was involved in the recent rebuild of the new bowls green at that Walkerston club. He believes this is an example of the types of council and community partnership projects that can make huge differences throughout our region.
Cr Pauline Townsend
Phone: 0438 503 873
Cr Pauline Townsend, who is serving her first term on council, has strong connections with the business community. Much of her early career was in recruitment for the long-term unemployed. With additional experience in administration, sales and business development roles, including working with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland, she started her own small business consulting firm eight years ago. She’s also well-known through her volunteer and fundraising efforts, including her involvement in not-for-profit groups like Make-A-Wish Foundation, Rotary and the Engedi Inc Disability Accommodation Services and Nude Lunch committees. She loves that Mackay employed Australia's first ovarian cancer care nurse, an achievement made possible through the support of the community and the fundraising efforts of the Nude Lunch. Born and raised in Mackay, Cr Townsend has a passion for the region and its people. She is a council representative on the Visual Arts Advisory Committee, the Community Grants Advisory Committee and the Mayor’s DV Taskforce. She’s also a member of the Mountain Bike Alliance, the Mackay Waterfront Priority Development Area Strategic Advisory Committee, the Invest Mackay Event and Conference Attraction Program Advisory Committee and Sister Cities Mackay.