Groth wants mayor job

A BUSINESSMAN with more than three decades experience has thrown his hat into the ring, vying for the title of Gympie Regional Council mayor.

George Groth ran for mayor in the 2008 local government elections and after polling 1640 to incumbent mayor Ron Dyne's 8611, said "I'll have another go".

True to his word, he's in the so far two-horse race, as opposed to 2008, when six candidates nominated.

"I believe our councillors are entrenched, as are a lot of department heads," Mr Groth said.

"A lot are not business people and have never been in business and cannot see outside the square," he said.

"They've never been on the other side of having to try and run a decent set of books that shows a profit."

When asked why not run for councillor and then mayor, Mr Groth said he believed new blood was needed.

"The whole thing needs new blood," he said.

And he said he would freeze rates for 18 months "so people could catch up".

"There's been a lot of expenditure - for example, the Northumberland Hotel - it's going to blow out and end up quite expensive.

"There are a lot of issues: losing business to town, having a PCYC, and not inviting grey nomads to town. That must happen if our shops are to survive.

"Last election I suggested a bus run from Jaycee Way was needed and nothing happened."

He said he would like to see a park for grey nomads across from Jaycee Way and a bus to take them to Gympie's shopping precincts.

"Whether they buy a counter lunch, lotto or a cup of coffee - it's money spent in the town.

"I've been in business for 35 years and survived by foresight not hindsight.

"I hear situations, where people have gone (to the council) with an application and it ends up in the too hard basket.

"Council is not trying to help them achieve their goals.

"We need to employ our own tradespeople and contractors.

"I heard one shop owner wanted to go in Mary St but council wanted $40,000 up front for material change of use fee.

"(The) town planning process takes too long."

Mr Groth said he welcomed calls from anyone wishing to discuss development applications or any other council issue.

"I want this town to pick up and move forward," he said.

Gympie Times

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