Mark has been the Mayor of the Sunshine Coast Council (the fifth largest local government in Queensland) since April 2012, having been re-elected for a second term on 19 March 2016 with 76% of the vote on a two candidate preferred basis.
Mark is leading a transformational agenda to reshape the Sunshine Coast economy, strengthen community programs and support and build on the region’s already outstanding environmental credentials.
This includes driving a major regional infrastructure program that is arguably the most innovative mix of public and private investment opportunities in Australia.
Mark’s leadership performance as Mayor is evidenced by:
- He has delivered five consecutive surpluses, consistent unqualified audit reports and Council has achieved the highest QTC financial sustainability rating of any Council in Queensland.
- The region has been independently rated as having the second strongest performing economy in Queensland and is experiencing some of the highest levels of business confidence in the last four CCIQ-Westpac Business Confidence surveys.
- The Sunshine Coast now has an unemployment rate of 4.8% – lower than the Queensland average and more than half what it was when Mark was first elected as Mayor. Youth unemployment has also declined by more than 5%.
- Council has acquired and now manages one of the most extensive municipal conservation estates in south east Queensland and achieved national recognition for a number of its environmental programs.
On 20 October 2016 Mark was elected by his Mayoral and Councillor colleagues from across Queensland as President of the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ).
Since his election as President, Mark has been able to deliver:
- a strategic review of the five commercial entities owned by the LGAQ and a blueprint for a fully integrated commercial operation that has a sharper focus on the needs of Queensland councils;
- a reinvigorated approach and fresh advocacy plan for the LGAQ to better position local governments in the 21st century; and
- a major win with the Federal Government in resolving long standing issues associated with the management and eligibility arrangements for the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.
Prior to his election as Mayor in 2012, Mark enjoyed an extensive career of 29 years in chief executive and senior leadership roles in media and publishing, with strategic and operational responsibilities for customer satisfaction, staff development, business performance and shareholder growth.
Mark is also active across a range of representative and not-for-profit organisations reflecting his personal ethos to not only do well but do good.
Mark has brought his leadership and passion for the community to many such roles including as:
- Director of the Council of Mayors South East Queensland
- Director of Pacific Area Newspapers Publishers Association
- Director of the Sunshine Coast Helicopter Rescue Service
- Member of Rotary Clubs of Hervey Bay, Toowoomba East and Rockhampton Sunrise
- Patron of Sunnykids, the Beacon Foundation, The Friendship Force of the Sunshine Coast and the Sunshine Coast Sports Federation
- Vice Patron of the Maroochydore Surf Life Saving Club and Surf Life Saving Queensland
Mark is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In 2008, Mark completed an Executive Leadership Program at Harvard University in the United States.
Mark was recently awarded the University of Southern Queensland’s 2017 Community Service Alumni of the Year.