BY-ELECTION: Div 10 hopefuls make last pitch to voters
AS DIVISION 10 residents head to the polls to choose their new candidate, your council hopefuls have made their last pitch as to why they should be elected.
Here's what the Chronicle asked the eight Division 10 candidates.
1. What are you most proud of in your professional life and as a member of the Fraser Coast community?
2. What do you think are the biggest issues facing Fraser Coast residents and how will you go about tackling these issues if elected to council?
3. What major improvement do you think need to be made to the council and how will you go about doing this?
4. What impact do you want to have on the lives of residents in Division 10?
Here's what your candidates had to say.
I have had no active professional life here in Hervey Bay as such. I did assist my son with his business which he built and then sold before taking his family back to Brisbane.
It seems to me they are worried more about their rate level than almost anything else, even after this year when no increase was imposed.
Consultation and communication, adult hand holding. George has brought this under control largely but more work is needed.
I would use my ears and mouth in the proportions I have them and listen.
I have displayed this ethic over more than 50 years since I took my first job and nothing has changed.
My most significant accomplishment would have to be personally taking on community consultation and being extensively involved across the Fraser Coast over many years. I am always willing to help, be involved and participate wherever needed. Being a voice for the community, I don't hesitate to ask the tough questions, I demand results and will find the appropriate solution.
The current spend and ongoing costs for the sport precinct need to be thoroughly examined. We are still waiting for the business plan and no idea what impact this will have on ratepayers. All ratepayers will be looking to the budget to lay out the policy foundations needed to respond to increasing economic challenges which must make land and water rates affordable.
I will make responsible, transparent, independent decisions with a thoughtful considered approach, based on financial viability and always with the best interests of the community at heart.
Less voting behind closed doors will lend greater credibility to the role of council and will help restore faith in democracy among a large proportion of the community; providing a measure of ideological certainty on which voters can count. Transparency is crucial and investigating outstanding matters that have not been finalised must be addressed.
Division 10 can rely on me. I will serve and represent their interests, have their back and not run my own agenda. I will not be a block voter.
In a world facing a multiplicity of environmental, economic and social challenges, all of us have a responsibility to look, and to think, beyond the immediate concerns of "me and my neighbourhood".
Over the past 10 years I have been involved in the community as the Torquay State School P&C president, chairman at Pialba Bowls Club and helping to set up a support group for vision impaired young people.
This community work has given me the experience to work with people from all walks of life and an understanding of the issues that matter to the residents of the Fraser Coast.
The biggest issue facing the Fraser Coast is diversifying what the region has to offer to make business profitable all year round.
I would like to see a light rail and bike track to join the two cities. I would work with all stakeholders in a productive manner to ensure the best outcome for the residents of the Fraser Coast.
My whole campaign has focused on championing getting things done on the ground in Div 10 for the residents of Division 10.
The many events that I have organised, run or instigated around the region, and seeing people's faces and hearing their responses when I have sorted out council issues that they have had and the job gets done.
Tackling the balance between providing the services that council offers and keeping the rates charge at an acceptable level to provide those services. Better management of the money is the way to do that.
Providing the basics like kerb and channelling in areas that are neglected.
The way this could be done is redirect non-basic council spending to those essential needs.
A better place to live than when I first started.
I am most proud about raising a family here in my community.
I contribute in many ways to the community including active membership of my schools P&C and being the chairman of an independent school council.
I am proud of the success of my business, employing locals, satisfying my valued customers and contributing to our local economy. My business has been a success because I exceed the expectations of my customers, which I would bring to my role on the council.
Residents want to see a stable council that communicates with residents. They want a council that listens and works in the best interests of the community.
I live in Division 10 and will make sure that residents have good communication to and from the council.
The council needs to stop squabbling and focus on the community.
We don't need the divisive rhetoric, we need councillors who are focused on the community's well-being.
I am a resident of Division 10. I want to represent my neighbours and community.
If elected I will be a councillor who understands the local issues and represents the residents in an effective manner.
The privilege of broadcasting on the same radio station I listened to growing up as a young man (now Hit 101.9 Fraser Coast), is certainly one of my proudest achievements.
Through my work these past four years, it has certainly been great to have so many interactions with people across the region, from all walks of life.
The only way any councillor can have an impact is through diligent hard work and continual advocacy. I won't win every vote, but I will keep pressing on the issues that matter with consistent and sustained effort.
The biggest issues, as I've heard from voters, are - unemployment, infrastructure (particularly roads), council transparency, youth engagement and opportunity, and keeping rates in check.
Stability, harmony between councillors, and transparency in decision making.
Behaving in an honest and mature way, and not taking personal offence to disagreements on any particular issue is my approach to helping in these areas.
I want to make an amazing place to live even better, and tackle our challenges head on.
Listening to people and responding honestly is my first priority.
Bringing employment into this region through solar energy projects like the Susan River Solar Farm, and as a member of the community being proud of my seven children, who have been birthed into this place. It's about encouraging young people to step up to the mark.
I'm hoping this time around, being elected to the council, the "us and them" mentality ends. That's what the headache was in the past in an amalgamated council, and I'm hoping we can get on with the job of building the Fraser Coast region.
The biggest issue I see, and what I'll be looking to tackle, is tourism in the region. I want to see Hervey Bay as the whale capital of the world. If we're not careful, then our identity as the whale city will be taken away from us.
Encouraging the council to work together. At the end of the day, we're still elected and employed as regional councillors, not just for our divisions.
I want to bring about all the goals and ideas put on the table, because six years ago a lot of them stopped going through because of amalgamation, the "us and them" mentality and party politics.
This time, I'm hoping it has panned itself out so we can bring about the goals and ideas people have.