YOUR SAY: Electioneers on what it means to be a Central Highlander
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:
What does it mean to be a Central Highlander and how does that relate to being a councillor?
Charlie Brimblecombe, Councillor (incumbent)
This fantastic region has given me opportunities as a business person. The area has fertile soils and water that provided plentiful crops and feed for cattle. It provided the oportunity to raise my family and to assist with my community.
Community is helping each other to get a better outcome for everyone.
It is why I am passionate about Community Reference Groups and what continues to be driven by the input from these groups and community consultation.
It is why all our communities are important, they all help this region with its diversity and prosperity, it is like a gemstone with its many facets, working together to produce more than a shiny surface by directing light to others to produce sparkle.
I am passionate and wish to represent our communities as a councillor, it allows me to give back to this region that has provided so much for my family and I.
Joseph Burns, Councillor
No response received.
Anne Carpenter, Councillor
I was born in Springsure, went to school there and have spent the vast majority of my life working on the Highlands.
When I meet people from other parts of Australia it is with a great sense of pride that I can say I come from the Central Highlands.
I think that is because there is so much talent here and so much to offer.
To be part of a team that can further the development of the Highlands for these people is such a privilege.
We all live and make a living here in a unique and beautiful part of Queensland.
We surround the crossroads going east/west and north/south which opens up so much opportunity for us.
It is up to us to make the most of these opportunities.
The new council, acting on your behalf, is well placed to take these opportunities and make them happen.
Natalie Curtis, Councillor
Being a Central Highlander means to me, in these current uncertain times, that we are here to support and be here for each other.
We can’t tell what will happen in the Central Highlands in the next few months.
Our community needs strong leaders that are there to listen.
If there is ever a need for us to get back to basics, it is now.
We need to start looking at what really matters, all of us, the community and the council.
Let’s get the basics sorted out and we can worry about the other stuff after the essentials are in order.
We are all in this together.
Let’s work it out together.
I am here to listen.
Megan Daniels, Councillor (incumbent)
The Central Highlands is home!
It is a region that has been good to my family for generations and is now somewhere I choose to live, raise my children and run a business.
It is a place where I feel a great sense of purpose and belonging and a region that I want to contribute to.
For our generation, what we are experiencing today with Covid-19 is uncharted and what will unfold in the weeks to come is unknown.
What I am sure of is that my commitment to this region is unwavering.
If I am re-elected as a councillor for the 2020-24 local government term, I will use my skills and passion for this region to support it through what is before us and the recovery period that will come.
Geoff Dein, Councillor
I was introduced to the Central Highlands in about 1995. By 1998, I was tangled up with Ag-Grow and have pretty well settled in for the past 20 years. I love the place.
As far as being councillor goes, how could you not give back?
To me it’s an honour to be able to nominate for councillor and if elected, the decisions made over the next four years would always have the good of the community at heart.
It has given me so much quality of life, this is the least I can do. Living here and growing here connects me.
Coming from outside bring new ideas to the table.
I have seen a lot of things and they can be done here.
I realise I can’t do it all by myself, but I sure can stir the pot of ideas for the future.
I look at it like a white board, just waiting for some good ideas to be drawn for the community.
Bernardine Frawley, Councillor
A Central Highlander is a person who chooses to live here, who cares and wants to contribute to their local community.
They are people who come from diverse backgrounds working in the various industries available across the region.
Central Highlanders enjoy the lifestyle, freedom, employment opportunities and safe, friendly networks.
They value the wide-open spaces and natural environment.
For me as a councillor I am grateful for what we have, and I have a strong desire to build on this solid base for our future.
As a councillor, to think global but act local. We are fortunate for what we have compared to most.
However, we don’t live in a perfect world, therefore take responsibility for ourselves and come up with the solutions locally.
By problem solving and overcoming the obstacles in order to build a great future for our communities.
Alan McIndoe, Councillor (incumbent)
No response received.
Janice Moriarty, Councillor
I believe Central Highlanders value our:
- Resourceful, proactive, caring people
- Diverse economy, cultures and places
- Natural resources and scenic landscapes
- Liveable, vibrant and safe communities
People across the region are proud of our towns and communities, and genuinely care, support and look-out for each other, in good times and in bad.
Most importantly, as Central Highlanders, we are invested in creating and building a bright, prosperous future for the next generation, just as those did before us.
Open governance, ongoing community engagement, proactive partnerships and strong leadership are critical to the role of councillor.
As the closest level of government to the people, councillors need to listen and stay connected to their communities so they can honestly make a difference.
Christine Rolfe, Councillor (incumbent)
My family and I are long-time residents, business owners and ratepayers in the Central Highlands, it is our home.
It has been a privilege and greatly satisfying to represent and advocate for the Central Highlands for the past four years in council.
And previously through other organisations as well as being a member of the Fitzroy region state government reference group some years ago.
I have a keen understanding of our region’s strengths and challenges and what we can do to ensure its sustainability.
I believe there are great development opportunities in this region in all sectors.
Working in my bookkeeping business in a variety of industries from agribusiness to retail has given me a greater understanding and insight into the diversity of the local economy. I will continue lobbying to maintain and improve economic development in our region.
Gai Sypher, Councillor (incumbent)
To be a Central Highlander, one needs to have a commitment to the region and commitment is not reflective of how many generations one’s family has lived here. Commitment is about what you give back to the community. Incidentally, I have lived in the Central Highlands since 1964, and my commitment is through paying rates, volunteering for NFP organisations and community groups and by having a work history based here.
Unless a councillor contributes, they cannot develop empathy for issues that need to be addressed. Empathy connects council to the people.
So the skills a councillor requires include empathy, financial literacy, knowledge of governance and legislation, strategic vision, experience in structural procedures and processes, strength of character and a very thick skin. I can honestly say, I have gained all these skills while being a proud Central Highlander.
John Watkins, Councillor
It means a lot to me, because the Central Highlands has always been my home.
Whenever I go away, I am always glad to come home, because the Highlands is such a great place to live and raise a family.
It has good job prospects because of the diversity of industries in the region.
With Emerald as its hub and great little outlying towns, there are wonderful places to visit for leisure and adventure.
The area is also serviced by vibrant sporting associations and clubs.
So, I guess what I am saying is, being a Central Highlander means being proud of this great little corner of the world.
Because I have spent most of my life here, I have seen quite a few changes, and some of them worry me.
So, being a councillor is the best way I can think of to try to help keep the Central Highlands a great place to live.