A city is only as strong as those who forge ahead for its best interests despite the many obstacles in the way of progress. Fortunately for Townsville there are many big-picture thinkers we’re proud to call our own. In this series we celebrate some of the doers who’ve helped put Townsville and the North on the map.
As Mayor of Townsville Tony Mooney fought for redevelopment of The Strand. Now, as Townsville Health Service Chair, he’s working hard to ensure Townsville Hospital remains the largest teaching hospital in Northern Australia.
the Forward Thinker
Mayor of Townsville from 1989 to 2008, Tony Mooney has a reputation for integrity, accountability and action.
When there was local opposition to the redevelopment of The Strand and a lack of commitment by the then Commonwealth Government, Tony was the man who brought a team together to make it happen.
“It was a special project not just because of how it transformed our foreshore but, more importantly, because of how the project helped Townsville come of age as a confident and progressive city,” says Tony, who lives in Idalia.
“Townsville now has a much stronger sense of pride as a community.”
Growing up in a large working-class family in Brisbane in the 1960s, Tony says his passion for urban design was born out of his tertiary study at James Cook University (he undertook Urban Studies and Education) and a desire to make Townsville a more liveable city.
Tony says he’s been pleased to see developments in higher order social and community services and infrastructure in Townsville over recent years, especially in the education and healthcare sectors. “With a growing population, we’re now enjoying better quality hospitality, arts, entertainment and lifestyle options,” he says. “Critical to the city’s growth as we move toward a resident population of 230,000 will be to achieve unity among the main players – politicians, business and community leaders – as we seek investment from the private sector and all levels of Government.
“There has never been a better time to work together to build prosperity.”
Since his time as Mayor, Tony has worked in a number of different roles as a specialist stakeholder relations advisor, company secretary and as director on a number of State and Federal agencies such as Ergon, Sunwater and the Marine Park Authority. He is currently the Townsville Health Service Chair and Stakeholder Relations advisor at TerraCom Limited.
“Heading up the Townsville Health Service is an exciting but very challenging opportunity,” Tony says.
“The Townsville Hospital has a reputation for delivering excellent and compassionate patient care. I hope to build on this to ensure it remains the largest teaching hospital and tertiary treatment facility in Northern Australia.
“As one of the North’s largest employers, we can make a real difference to the lives of many people and help guide the future direction of the city. I hope to help in collaborating with other key players to get results for Townsville and the region.”
“My dream remains for Townsville to be the undisputed capital of northern Australia built on impressive transportation, education and health infrastructure and a diverse economic base.”
In 2011, Tony was awarded an Order of Australia for services to local government and the community.
“It was a very special moment in my career but the fact is I was just doing my job as an advocate for the community,” Tony says. “If anything, my wife Cecilia deserved recognition for all the support she provided to me throughout my time as Mayor of Townsville.”
As for his dreams for Townsville’s future, Tony says it’s the same dream he has always held: “My dream remains for Townsville to be the undisputed capital of northern Australia built on impressive transportation, education and health infrastructure and a diverse economic base.”