Cairns and Tropical Gardening with Rob Pyne

Cairns Politics on Council

Cairns Politics on Council

Champion of the Underdog » Cairns Politics on Council

Cairns Council Elections 2024

Cairns politics is heating up as a Melbourne Cup field nominates for the March 2024 local government elections.

Of course many say there is no politics in local government. However, there is and you will see this on steroids in the two months before polling day.

The Conservative Cairns Unity Team has held the numbers on Cairns Regional Council for the last 12 years. They have dominated Cairns Politics. When Mayor Bob Manning retired, Unity used their numbers to appoint their own man as Mayor, Terry James.

The Progressive side of politics is represented by the Community First Team, who are campaigning on housing, the environment and public transport. Denis Walls is this team’s candidate for Mayor.

Cairns Councillors

There are currently 9 Cairns Councillors. There are 5 from Cairns Unity – Moller, Neal, Vallely, O’Halloran and Coghlan. There are also 4 Independents – Pyne, Zeiger, Eden and Olds.

Crs Olds and Zeiger - proudly Independent.
What is the phone number for Cairns Regional Council?

The customer service telephone number for Cairns Regional Council is 1300 692 247.

Cairns Mayor Election

On election night most eyes will be on the Mayoral position. There are a number of candidates running for the position of Cairns Mayor they are:

Cairns Mayor Candidates

Cairns Politics and Amy Eden (Team Eden)

Amy Eden

Amy Eden will be running for Mayor with her “Team Eden”. This exciting new team is completing recruitment and Cr. Eden would become Cairns second female Mayor if elected.

Eden fought to ensure residents right to use cash at Council venues and has been referred to as “Our Voice” by frustrated members of the public gallery.

Denis Walls (Community First)

Cairns Politics and Dennis Walls
Denis Walls

Denis Walls has lived in Cairns for 33 years and is a former education manager and university teacher. He is married to Stella and they have two adult sons. Dennis leads the Community First Team.

He is an active community member with extensive political, social and environmental experience. He has also been privileged to serve our local community through roles including former President of Edge Hill Scouts, soccer coach, President of Cairns Community Radio, a newspaper columnist and radio broadcaster, Spokesperson for Save Trinity Inlet and the Cairns Wetlands Park, President of CAFNEC, Spokesperson for Save Taylor Point and the Jack Barnes Boardwalk.

Dennis says, “For too long we have been let down by councillors more interested in secrecy, conflicts of interest and short-term planning, increasingly out of touch with the needs of everyday Cairns residents.”

Cairns Politics and Paul Taylor (Independent)

Paul Taylor
Paul Taylor

Former Queensland Police Service Deputy Commissioner Paul Taylor has announced he will run for Cairns Mayor in 2024, as an Independent.

Cairns Politics and Terry James (Cairns Unity)

Cairns Councillors: Terry James
Cairns Councillors: Terry James

Terry James is the longest serving current Councillor. He is the Deputy Mayor and the Councillor for Division 4. Cr. James is running to become the Mayor of Cairns at the 2024 elections.

Cairns Mayor Salary

The salary for the Mayor is $183,143 per year. This is the base salary (excluding any car allowance, etc). Clearly Cairns Politics pays well.

The Cairns Regional Council website is

Cairns Politics on Regional Council

At the elected level, Cairns Unity had dominated Cairns Regional Council since 2012. ‘Unity’ is a Conservative team with a loose LNP affiliation.

The Council itself is divided into nine divisions, with each division represented by one Councillor. The Mayor however is elected by the entire Cairns Regional Council area.

cairns regional council division maps
Cairns Regional Council Division Maps

Cairns Regional Council Online Services

The Cairns Regional Council website is

You can make a complaint about Council issues, report a problem via the website, the Report a Problem feature in the My Cairns app or you can still do this by phone on 1300 69 22 47.

Cairns City Council Complaints

You can request a service or make a complaint online using the Council CRM system.

State Member for Cairns

Michael Healy was elected as the State Member for Cairns in 2017 and has served as the Member for Cairns since that time. During his first term, Michael was selected on the Small Business/Education Parliamentary Committee and named as the Palaszczuk Government’s first Superyacht Strategy Champion.

Federal Member for Cairns

The Federal member for Cairns (and most of far North Queensland) is Warren Entsch. Warren has dominated Cairns politics at the federal level.

Mr. Entsch has been a member of the House of Representatives from 1996 to 2007 and since 2010, representing the Division of Leichhardt. He is a member of the Liberal National Party of Queensland, and sits with the Liberal Party in federal parliament.

Cairns Mayors

Cairns Regional Council has had the following Mayors:

Val Schier: April 2008 – 28 April 2012
Bob Manning: 28 April 2012 – 17 November 2023
Terry James: 22 November 2023 – present

Relevant Material on Cairns Politics

Authorised by: Rob Pyne, 183 Draper Street, Cairns.