WHY STAND AGAIN?
I vacated the position of Division 5 Councillor in order to contest the Mayoralty, in 2012. Tom Tate was elected and I returned to private business, helping Australian companies secure export contracts to China and other nations. During this time I have remained passionate about the city and its future, and genuinely concerned about some decisions made by the current Council. I can’t bear to watch and criticise from the sidelines. Government is never easy, but we need people who can stand strongly and with no other ambition than to serve the people. My track record is unquestionable – I have always put the people first, and I have always persevered.
WHAT IS NEEDED NOW?
A Strong Voice for the People
Everyone is telling me we need some balance in Council, and that the community has been left out. You can be certain that I will be a strong voice for the people and that I will not tow the line if it is not right!
Local Government that is accountable to the people
I have always fought hard to pursue local government that is accountable and fully representing the best interests of the people. I have strived for openness in budget deliberations and other council decision making processes. I have strived for public access to documents and plans and meeting agendas. I have strived for genuine community involvement and engagement through advisory committees and properly done consultation. Most of these things have been removed or are under threat. I will fight once more for the highest standards of accountability.
Action to protect our quality of life
In the face of a new town plan that is weak on specific outcomes, I can apply my substantial experience to defeat undesirable developments and I will argue strongly for the preservation of the things we hold dearly to us – safe communities, healthy environment, secluded quiet places, diversity of landscapes and buildings, privacy…
Reinvigoration of the Nerang CBD
There are many small projects needed in our playgrounds and streets and parks, but there are some major issues that really need attention. The first is the reinvigoration of the Nerang CBD. Nerang was the first town surveyed and established on the Gold Coast, and in the late 1880s even had a stock exchange! Over the years the activity in the centre has waxed and waned. Much good work has been done to improve the character and appearance of the town, but some considerable effort is still essential to renew and replace old buildings and make the centre tick. It is in a great location and has wonderful features – most notably its people – but we need the right framework to really put Nerang firmly on the map with a sustainable future.
Improved facilities for a more mature Pacific Pines
I looked after Pacific Pines through most of its development – negotiating with the developer and council to try to deliver a high standard living environment with a big variety of lovely parks and bushland. The road was not always easy, but I stood my ground and had my eyes always on the future, achieving more parks, more green space, lower density and more variety in the buildings. Now the suburb is definitely maturing and it has many fine shops and services, and great clubs in which people can come together and enjoy sport and other activities. But as the area matures so its needs change – we have many play areas for young people but a shortage of facilities for teens and seniors. We have some good facilities in the area to utilise and expand on – the sports clubs, the community centre, the Hub – and facilities at Helensvale. We can achieve practical outcomes without waiting years for multi-million dollar pools and clubs that may never arrive.
Protection for the hinterland
In hinterland areas we need to be extremely mindful of the tremendous value these undeveloped places offer to us all – for scenery, for pleasant drives and walks, for diversity of lifestyle! It is dumb dumb dumb to pile suburban houses into beautiful hinterland valleys and lose all the beauty and create more traffic on inadequate roads – and make it more difficult for people to get to schools, shops, and work. We can do better than that, but with the new town plan the development pressure on the valleys and hills will intensify!
More public transport and less traffic jams
There’s no doubt that as the city grows, traffic jams are becoming worse and more frequent. We need to seriously invest more into public transport systems that actually deliver a service that people want! – such as the home pick up bus service I instigated in Pacific Pines. Public transport needs to be cheap, efficient, and it needs to be convenient. It can be!
Just as importantly, we need to be investing in better roads, better traffic management systems, and better decisions about what goes where!
Improved community services and facilities in our libraries, pools, parks and centres.
With Council budget cuts we have seen a reduction in the delivery of community services and facilities in our libraries, pools, parks and centres. Our people love these services! I will fight hard to reinstate and increase them!
A strong program of projects and events that build community pride and well-being
You have only got to visit the Hub at Pacific Pines or Nerang Country Paradise to realise how incredibly awesome it is to bring people together where they feel safe, valued and inspired. Events such as the Winterfest Expo in Pacific Pines and Nerang Celebrates Christmas attract thousands. I will work with local communities to implement a significant program of events, especially in Pacific Pines, to attract all ages. I will progress the development of focal places for young and old – where communities are engaged and active.
Well we were promised lower rates but the rate in the dollar has increased 20% over the past four years. So I am going to pursue that promise with vigour!
A fair go for Division 5!
Plain and simple!