How our councillors rate themselves - Mark McDonald
LAST week we reminded Gympie region councillors, along with ourselves and our readers, what our representatives told us before we voted them in just over a year ago.
Now we publish what they say now about the ideals and values they expressed then.
Of 30 eager candidates who faced voters at the last Gympie Regional Council poll, there were only places for nine in the chamber (eight divisional councillors and the mayor).
They were answering questions which seemed at the time to sum up what people were asking us and which we had heard raised from the floor at candidates' forums.
The questions which we think retain the most continuing importance are:
1. What do you rate as the three top priorities for the current Gympie Regional Council?
2. What facilities and services does the Gympie region need more of?
3. What is your position on rates?
Their earlier answers told us what kind of candidates they were and what they stood for. One year on, their comments tell us how they think they and the council are going in achieving their objectives.
We continue now with the response of Division One councillor, Mark McDonald...
Q1a: To remain fiscally responsible while giving our residents the very best facilities. The Aquatic Centre is a very good example and one I am extremely proud of, as Chair of the committee overseeing the construction.
1b: This Council needs to implement the corporate plan. Further, we must be outcomes driven for our community. Personally, I am pleased that the Bullock Point Boat Ramp precinct and the Norman Point Jetty have their position in the plan going forward. These are both Tourism game changers, particularly the Jetty will be a huge benefit to the Cooloola Coast. Tourism is front and centre with GRC.
1c: To promote and continue to assist growth in the area. Building approvals and dwelling approvals have increased at unprecedented levels. The Planning and Development Dept, with its pre-application success stories and its commitment to providing opportunity to investors, is of huge benefit to our region. Staff at all levels are to be applauded.
Q2: I believe that in my time in Council we have spent sensibly on facilities, both new and upgrades. Gympie Regional Council Staff are the best at ensuring services are administered and executed absolutely professionally. Council is always looking to all levels of Govt for support. We have built a very strong partnership with both Federal and State governments, which have proved to be rewarding.
Q3: This council now approaches its 2nd budget. I believe Mayor Curran is on track to deliver another responsible budget built around our commitment to continuous improvement. We as a region are being led by a council committed to the community, and committed to giving you value for your dollar. I do not take our rate revenue and my responsibility to it, lightly.