Rowand won’t sit back and whinge
RATHER than sitting back and whinging Rowand Tait will strap up his boots and run for Central Highlands Regional Council.
Rowand, who now lives in Capella on a property called Bonnie Doon, held a senior manager's position for a large manufacturing company in the United Kingdom and Germany before he moved to Australia.
He worked in town maintenance in Tieri for seven years before opening his cabinet making business in 1993.
Prior to amalgamation Rowand also served as a councillor in the Peak Downs Shire.
"From where I stand a productive council is when councillors can work as a team, making sound policy decisions, providing opportunities for new business ventures and capitalising on the regions resource's and attractions," he said.
"Councillors need to engage with the community, particularly regional areas where there is a feeling of being left behind.
"Locals have commented to me that they don't see their council representatives and expressed concerns over roads, footpaths and general maintenance."
If elected Rowand vowed to tackle the issues of paying full rates on vacant accommodation units and business premises.
"With the region's general rates some of the highest, residents in the smaller communities where rates are comparable to the Emerald area yet they have fewer services," he said.
"There are opportunities to reduce rates across the Central Highlands just as Tieri, which is a total mining town, received."
Rowand said as Emerald was the "hub" of the Central Highlands, the council needed to attract new business.
"The abattoir, nut farm and the solar farm at Lilyvale will all help to uplift the local economy with construction, jobs and business opportunities and would help money stay in the local area," he said.
"The more people we attract to the Central Highlands the higher level of state and federal funding could be sought for projects like roads, new facilities and upgrading existing infrastructure."
Rowand does not support the proposed levee bank project, instead he said the possible construction of new dams could be considered to control flows and provide irrigation.
Rowand was instrumental in reforming the SES in Capella and Tieri.
"As first responders the SES are more essential now because of the increase in road users and natural disasters," he said.
"We need to have SES units at least comparable to but preferably better than the south east corner of Queensland."