Wishing Division 9 Residents a Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year

Wow. Hasn’t the year flown?

Twelve months ago I had only just embarked on this journey into public life, having written a polite note to the previous Councillor in late November of 2011 alerting him to my decision to run for local office.

Since that day it’s been wonderful meeting all the residents of Division 9, expanding my commitment to Bonogin Valley as their Community Association President into advocacy for Mudgeeraba and the entire Hinterland. Every day I’m grateful for the trust you’ve placed in me as your representative as I seek to get better outcomes for our area, whether as simple as improved traffic flows and safety, delivering better and more relevant infrastructure for our area or promoting appropriate due diligence for the Cruise Ship Terminal project.

Whether the issue is simple or complex, navigating the bureaucracy of our administration via the protocol of the Local Government Act and other State legislation has proved frustrating at times but I’m pleased to report the general attitude of staff in our public service is solid and improving. Every day I come across staff at Gold Coast City Council who are actually very passionate about making the Gold Coast a better place to live and improving the experience of the resident when engaging with our organisation. Of course, there is room for improvement, and in some areas considerable improvement, and this is one task I’ll be pursuing in 2013. Our new Council is committed to delivering an improved experience to the resident.

We’ve announced a few “big picture” projects we plan to pursue for Mudgeeraba and the Hinterland, including an Equestrian Centre, Accommodation and a Country Music Festival. I’m pleased to report all are progressing well. Some discussions are moving faster than others but all definitely in the right direction. Our promised community consultations have been a raving success with hundreds of residents offering feedback to Council about their priorities for us for the very first time. This is very encouraging. Our strategic playground plan and pathway plans have commenced and should be ready for review in the new year. Significant work has been done to reconnect with community groups who have not worked with Council for some years for a variety of reasons. This work I’m particularly proud of, as we deliver a balanced and proportionate approach to working with community groups active across the division.

In 2013 you can expect our community consultations to continue and ongoing feedback to the community about the results of the key questions we’re asking residents. You can expect our growing community calendar to develop as we advocate for a busy schedule driving economic stimulus and raising community spirit throughout our area.

As we approach Christmas time I’d like to raise awareness of my role as Gold Coast City’s Kindness Ambassador. I’ve taken a bit of heat on this appointment, with some claiming it’s a little kitsch and beyond our remit as local government authority. With my business background I must say I was a little sceptical when the Mayor asked me to drive the agenda. However, I think local government plays an important role in reminding people of the importance of a kind, compassionate and generous community. We’re on the ground every day working with community groups who are actually trying to make our community a better place to live. In fact, I’d like to suggest it’s our responsibility to advocate for a safe, kind and compassionate city and encourage residents to seek out opportunity to show kindness to neighbours this Christmas. You never know the impact a kind gesture can have on your neighbour, and the cost to you is far outweighed by the satisfaction the building of relationship can have on your quality of life. Frankly, acts of kindness make our community a better place to live so please get involved making a difference for everyone in your own small, or significant, way.

I’ll close offering all of Division 9 the best wishes of the Christmas season, and a prosperous and fruitful 2013 filled with wins for your business, your family, your career and your personal life. I’m excited about the year to come and the chance to serve you with the best I have to offer.

As always please contact my Swan Lane office on 5581 1883 for any feedback, remembering that over the Christmas break we’ll be closed between 21st December and returning the 7th January, 2013.

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