ELECTION: Local elections will be held on Saturday, March 28.
ELECTION: Local elections will be held on Saturday, March 28.

YOUR SAY: Election candidates on their number one CH issue

IN THE lead up to your local elections on March 28, we are asking council candidates questions about the region.

This week’s question was:

Tell us about one issue under council control that you are passionate about, why you’re passionate about it, and how it should be handled.

Charlie Brimblecombe, Councillor (incumbent)

Charlie Brimblecombe.
Charlie Brimblecombe.

My passion and drive are our communities, our people. It is listening to them and responding.

Part of this are the Community Reference Groups (CRGs). These are used to plan and budget for our communities from the input.

Keeping our youth in our communities and developing them is an ongoing passion. It is having the facilities available for sport for participating, both as sports people and coaches, but as executive to learn meeting procedures.

It is about volunteering and helping each other be a part of this fantastic area.

How to get the message out when there with so many different ways to obtain information, many platforms are used including CQ News, Facebook and CHRC’s E-news.

Communication both out to people and into Council is ever evolving and the way is ever changing.

We need to be at least keeping up with trends.

Joseph Burns, Councillor

Joseph Burns.
Joseph Burns.

This is a hard question after travelling around and talking to all the different people throughout our region and their concerns.

But one issue comes to mind that concerns all the communities that I visited and was also a reason behind myself nominating.

The concern for young people.

Keeping them happy and healthy and giving them a reason to stay and make a life here.

I think this is crucial for our future and will involve efforts from the community and all levels of government (involving rates reduction, funding from above, and community organising).

Anne Carpenter, Councillor

Anne Carpenter.
Anne Carpenter.

I see the region as a wheel, of sorts, with Emerald as the hub and the outlying cen­tres as the tyre – the place where the real action is.

Imagine that these spokes are broken off by lack of communication, lack of facilities etc. Then the wheel doesn’t turn and everything comes to a halt, including the hub.

So we really need to decentralise services and build up the outlying areas to keep the region thriving.

There is so much diversity and talent within our regional boundaries that we should be making better use of.

Our region will be better served with people that are happy to live here and want to call the Highlands their home, so attention needs to be given to giving these ­people the opportunities to run businesses, play sport etc, with an eye to having a ­region full of people that are  resilient, capable and able to care for themselves, their families and their ­communities.

Natalie Curtis, Councillor

Natalie Curtis.
Natalie Curtis.

I am passionate about a lot of things. The most passionate though? That would have to be transport and roads. Roads are the life blood of this region.

All of the major industries, mining, beef and cropping production move goods by road.

And families use these roads every day; going to and from school, sport and work.

Our roads need to be safe and suitable for all the users on them.

They need to be safer for everyone, from those on a moped to the heavy haulage companies moving big equipment.

Roads in our towns have to be safe for children to traverse while travelling too.

Our road network is huge in the Central Highlands and it needs to be in the best condition possible to enable our products to be transported in a timely and safe manner.

Megan Daniels, Councillor (incumbent)

Megan Daniels.
Megan Daniels.

I am passionate about ­assets and services that facilitate a group of houses becoming a community; that link rural families to businesses and schools, and are the fundamental things like water and sewerage that make our townships ­function.

Local government is a diverse and dynamic business, and Central Highlands Regional Council delivers many different services to the community. I cannot and would not ever pick one thing to focus my attention on. My vision for the Central Highlands is to have prosperous communities where people want to live and bring up a family.

A great place to live cannot have one type of investment without the other. It is my passion to get the balance right between what is needed for a community to function and what makes a community somewhere you want to live. Appropriate and realistic planning informed by community input is how this will be achieved.

Geoff Dein, Councillor

Geoff Dein.
Geoff Dein.

I simply have two passions I bring to the table: family health and welfare, and business activities that we are already NOT up to.

The broader the economic base, the more bulletproof we become.

The greater the family ­facilities, the more attractive we become as a shire.

Rural living is safer than metropolitan – I’ve done both.

And of course listening to you and your concerns. I can assure you that I will be doing my best to represent your particular concerns so that your voice is not lost.

Bernardine Frawley, Councillor

Bernardine Frawley.
Bernardine Frawley.

Water!

Thankfully to former visionaries and stakeholders, the Fairbairn Dam and other water supplies has bought great abundance to this region.

We live in one of the driest countries in the world.

Life and nature are constantly changing.

There are no instant, easy answers or quick fixes with water options for our region.

What can be done though, is keeping the agenda open.

Consider new possibilities such as linking in with as desalination plants or the new Bradfield scheme.

If these are not the answers, then continue to research, advocate, investigate and collaborate to find possible solutions for the region’s future.

Alan McIndoe, Councillor (incumbent)

Alan McIndoe.
Alan McIndoe.

Trust – the culture we are all living is one that, to me, demonstrates self.

This is diminishing trust. Trust in each other, trust in the whole system.

My concerns are:

  • Do councillors fully know and trust each other?
  • Does the organisation trust councillors?
  • Do the people trust our councillors?
  • And do our councillors trust the organisation?

A real positive for me is all this can be improved, therefore improving the outcomes and gaining higher achievements for the ­dollars invested.

Trust starts with leadership. Our leadership is selected by the community.

My number one aim is to build trust in our community through a very strong focus and combined goal. Not individual wants.

We need to work together in trust.

Janice Moriarty, Councillor

Janice Moriarty.
Janice Moriarty.

Local governments are accountable to local communities for their decisions, actions and services.

I am listening to people across our region who have a variety of issues – roads, high rates, rubbish/transfer stations etc.

However, the most frequent concern is not knowing what council is achieving and what they are doing with unfinished and promised projects.

More information sharing, speaking and listening to people and reducing communication barriers are all vital to resolving all ­issues.

When I worked for council, I led the community planning project that established Community Reference Groups in 13 localities to get councillors and staff actually regularly meeting face-to-face with people to set and action community priorities.

I am passionate about giving a voice to the quiet majority in every part of the Central Highlands.

Christine Rolfe, Councillor (incumbent)

Christine Rolfe.
Christine Rolfe.

Being connected through our road network is important for all communities and industries.

Advocacy to Federal Government has gained funding for further sealing of Dawson Developmental Rd (Springsure/Tambo) through the Roads of Strategic Importance program.

The Blackwater Rolleston Rd sealing highlights the importance of having an alternative route from the Carnarvon Highway to the Capricorn Highway.

Further work is urgently required on: Fitzroy Developmental Rd (Bauhinia/­Duaringa) and Cotherstone Rd.

Sealing roads fills the gaps, connecting the east-west running highways such as the Dawson Highway to the Capricorn Highway.

Design has been completed for the feeder roads accessing CQ Inland Port at Yamala.

Gai Sypher, Councillor (incumbent)

Gai Sypher.
Gai Sypher.

I am passionate about the viability of CHRC.

This includes the social, financial, economic and environmental aspects that attract business and residents to our communities.

Each community has unique local conditions that affect its economic development.

These conditions influence how attractive an area is to businesses, workers and supporting services.

To best respond to these conditions, local government builds and implements a tailored local economic development strategy. Building a strong local economy through a collaborative, strategically planned process requires council to understand and act upon regional strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

The cost of public infrastructure is significant and the ability of councillors to advocate for funding to Federal and State governments, regardless of political views, is important.

John Watkins, Councillor

John Watkins.
John Watkins.

I will start by saying I am a supporter of the continued use of well-manned, local depots.

But, where contractors are used, I would like to see (where possible) the use of local contractors and ­businesses.

I feel strongly about this because the use of local contractors helps keep local jobs.

Plus, local contractors are more inclined to do a better job because they will take pride in something that is a benefit to their own community.

On the other hand, companies from elsewhere can do a shoddy job, get the money and disappear.

This can turn what once appeared to be a cheap job into an expensive one, when the job has to be re-done.

Also, local landholders are more inclined to help local businesses with access to water and gravel etc.

Therefore, more use of local contractors would appear to make sense.


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