Is Brisbane's infrastructure-loving mayor the world's greatest?
Is Brisbane's Campbell Newman the best mayor in the world?
An international search for the top city administrator thinks he could be.
The World Mayor 2010 contest has shortlisted Newman among the world's leading 25 mayors.
The German-run online competition included "Can Do Campbell" in its top candidates after 118,000 votes were registered for 840 mayors.
Brisbane's civic leader said he had no idea he had been nominated or shortlisted until contacted by the media.
He would not comment on whether he thought he was deserving.
"My focus is on getting on with the job and working to make Brisbane an even better place to live," Newman told brisbanetimes.com.au.
The competition website says it aims to raise the profile of mayors and "honour those who have served their communities well and who have made contributions to the well-being of cities nationally and internationally".
Past winners include Melbourne's former mayor John So (2006) and Cape Town's Helen Zille (2008).
Newman's bio on the website says his vision for Brisbane is "of a smart thinking and easy living city".
It boasts his work to address heavy traffic congestion in the city despite difficulty squeezing funds out of the state and federal governments.
Posted comments in favour of Newman, apparently uploaded by Brisbane citizens, praise his work to improve the River City's infrastructure and world image.
Included in the comments were:
- "[Newman] has done so much for Brisbane. Public transport and roads are so much better now": Joel T.
- "Campbell is one of the most forward thinking mayors this town has had, he works tirelessly to improve the living standards in the largest Local Government in Australia": Matt O'R.
- "Mr Newman is an excellent Mayor and has done a terrific job building Brisbane into a new world city": Pete.
- "Campbell Newman and his 'can do' approach to the city has delivered enormous benefits for Brisbane. I am proud to live in a city with him as Lord Mayor and strongly support him being voted World Mayor 2010": Matthew.
- "A brilliant man who is changing Brisbane for the better. I have never seen Brisbane looking so good and it is all because of the work of this great Lord Mayor": Nat K.
The standout mayor for 2010 will be chosen based on the number of votes as well as the persuasiveness and conviction of supporting statements.
The winner will be announced in September.
Votes can be lodged at www.worldmayor.com