What a week! I love getting out and about, meeting the people of the area, and keeping in touch with what’s been going on. This week I met with several groups and individuals in the community who raised concerns with me about Division 9 and about Gold Coast City Council in general.
Last Saturday I attended a Christmas party with a few acquaintances in Reedy Creek and came across a real mood for change in the division. Derek & Jeanette of Worongary spoke of their experience running marriage courses for couples and talked about how families are such a critical part of our community. Jeanette walks 6kms most days and they offered to drop my brochures into homes as they walk. I’m flattered by their gesture and will surely take them up on it.
On Sunday night, my wife Melissa and I dropped in with our two boys to see Bob in Quambone St, Worongary. Bob’s family just won a runner-up prize for the Gold Coast City Christmas Lights competition. I must say the lights are fantastic and my 3yr old son even got a Christmas gift and a lollipop. I recommend you pay Bob a visit and make a donation to the Leukaemia Foundation when you’re there. It’s when the community gets together and organises opportunities to meet and engage with one another that our streets become safer and friendships are formed amongst neighbours. That’s what I love about Mudgeeraba and the Hinterland; we get that right so often. Bob and his neighbour Scott are particularly concerned about planning approval delays for small property alterations, sewerage infrastructure in the area, and planned urban development in their area. It really didn’t sound like Council was listening to their issues and the only communication they’d had from their Councillor was in the past week, some 90 or so days out from an election. What a shame! Worongary residents can have my assurance that as their Councillor, I’d be meeting at least quarterly with them, if they wished, holding community discussions to keep Council on top of matters of concern.
On Tuesday morning I had a quick coffee with Matt from Mudgeeraba. Matt and his family run a business developing land in South East Queensland & Northern NSW and they also own a small chain of barber shops. I bet they’re a busy family. What I liked about their business was that a significant portion of their profit goes back into charity. Matt’s father Alan co-ordinates micro-finance projects in third world communities. Micro-finance is mini-loans to individuals, generally of about $50 to $500 in Australian terms, in economies where that sort of money can help a family start a sustainable business, often in farming or retail goods. Matt spoke about his frustration, and that of his colleagues in the building industry, with the wayGold Coast City Council delays are longer and fees & charges significantly higher than other comparable Councils in South East QLD. He just couldn’t understand why it should be harder to do business on the Gold Coast than in Ipswich, or Logan, or the Clarence Valley. I share his frustration. Although there is some limit to the power of an ordinary divisional Councillor, surely the City Planning Committee could take steps to improve efficiency or streamline processes for the benefit of the Gold Coast building industry. Ironically, the current Division 9 Councillor is the Chairman of the committee responsible for the areas of frustration Matt speaks of.
These conversations and others I’ve had with locals this week reminded me why it’s so important we get a fresh approach for our area and for the Gold Coast. At the next election there’ll be a new Mayor with a new vision and new Councillors should work together to take the Gold Coast forward, improving efficiency and the economy so that we’re the envy of our South East Queensland neighbours, and throughout Australia. Mudgeeraba and the Hinterland deserve a Councillor who’ll listen to them throughout the term of office, meet and consult with them regularly (not just at election time), and drive the region toward a time of better business, better community services and better outcomes for residents
Vote for Glenn Tozer on March 31st and get a fresh approach for Mudgeeraba and the Hinterland.