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Tom Gilmore OAM remembered for contributions

FORMER Mareeba Shire Mayor Tom Gilmore OAM has passed away aged 77, it was announced today.

Mayor Angela Toppin said Mr Gilmore will be remembered for his significant contributions to the region.

“Tom will be remembered for being a true gentleman who was dedicated to his family, friends and our community and our thoughts and prayers are with Sally and his family at this time,” Cr Toppin said.

Mr Gilmore was elected as the National Party member for Tablelands in the Queensland Legislative Assembly in 1986.

In 1992 he was appointed as Shadow Minister for Minerals and Energy, a portfolio he held until the Coalition took over the government in 1996, at which point he became the Minister.

He served as the Mayor of Tablelands Regional Council from 2008-2012 and became Mayor of the Mareeba Shire when it de-amalgamated in 2014; he remained Mareeba Shire Mayor until his retirement in 2020.

“Following his retirement, Tom was recognised for his service to local government and to the community of Mareeba Shire by being awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the 2020 Queens Birthday honours list,” Cr Toppin said.

“We will remember him for his lifelong dedication to the expansion of the local economy, his advocacy to improve roads and transport linkages, and the importance he placed on the creation of jobs for our youth.”

Mareeba Shire Council recently unveiled the Tom Gilmore Mareeba Aviation Industrial Precinct at the Mareeba Airport in recognition of the significant contributions he made to the development of the airport and Mareeba Shire.

“Tom advocated for funding that saw the completion of the $23 million upgrade to the Mareeba Airport in 2019,” Cr Toppin said.

“This catalytic investment in infrastructure is recognised as one of the most significant events in the history of Far North Queensland regional aviation.

“The upgrade has accelerated economic diversification of the Mareeba Shire and the broader region, and it is recognised that growing aviation capacity will enhance Mareeba’s existing position as a regional supply and service hub for the mining, cattle, agricultural and tourism industries.”

Cr Toppin said Mr Gilmore led Council through the “very vulnerable” time after de-amalgamation.

“The Queensland Treasury Corporation’s prediction was that Council would soon be in financial difficulty, however, it was through Tom’s dedication and experience that he and the Councillors turned this prediction around to make the Shire the sustainable and viable one it is today,” Cr Toppin said.

“Tom will be sorely missed, and we would like to relay our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.”

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Kids cook up storm at PCYC Mornington Island and Local businesswoman wins Queensland Rural Women’s Award.

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