of mayoral memories
The former nurse, chef, farmer and self confessed worka Air Max holic has been mayor since 2000 after joining council in 1997.This week, Cr Thorley announced she would honour a promise to her family and not seek re election next year.Now she takes time to reflect.”Before I came in here I had nothing to do with anybody, be it State, local or federal. It was the most amazing thing for me.Cr Thorley has vivid memories of then Federal Minister for Education and Youth Affairs Dr David Kemp’s Air Max quizzical looks and the obvious question: “What do you want?””I said, I don’t want anything, I came to introduce myself. I’m Dianne Thorley from T Air Max oowoomba.”Of course I wanted something. I wanted him to support the Flexischool, but I wasn’t asking that first off.”I went in there saying, I come bearing bribery and corruption gifts’ it was under $50 so they didn’t have to worry.”I wonder what they must have thought now, you know, goodness me. Did I do that?” Cr Thorley said.She’s been on many doorknocking trips through the State and Federal halls of power, not just in search of money, but also urging politicians of all persuasions to come and see her beloved Toowoomba.”It was about being outspoken, bags of bribery and corruption; it was about saying it’s about time you did something for my city.”I think they got sick to death hearing about Toowoomba,” Cr Thorley laughed.”I found a level with them all; it was interesting to watch.Then, with a hint of insecurity, she adds: “I probably brought them down to my level. Did I say that?”I never went and jumped up and demanded anything.”I go in and say this is how I see the solution. This is how I see things done. This is the stuff we are doing.”I was always passionate about it, don’t get me wrong. I must ha Air Max ve driven some of them nuts.”At the end of it, most of the ones I thought I’d driven nuts have rung up and said it’s sad to see you go.”Cr Thorley believes some have become genuine friends.When considering her triumphs, she insists “it’s a team, it’s not just Di Thorley”.”Without a good team, it’s nothing. In my view, and I still say five beats four (in the chamber) on any given day, that’s how it works.”Cr Thorley affectionately revisits her battles with council engineers over the rehabilitation of Gowrie Creek.