AFTER the March 19 election, South Burnett Regional Council gained a few new faces.
We asked the new council about their experiences so far in this council term.
Gavin Jones, Division 2 councillor
Portfolio: Major projects for roads and drainage.
1. In 100 words describe what the experience on being on council this term has been like so far.
It's been no surprise since becoming a councillor, the amount of time the constituents require you to be available. I was made aware when running for Council in March, the number of issues that needed addressing and the amount of time that would be needed to address these concerns. I have no regrets that I ran for Council and believe that as part of this Council I have already made a difference for the better and will continue to advocate on behalf of the community for the remainder of the term.
2. What has been the biggest surprise about being on council this term?
What has surprised me is the amount of negativity towards Council. In an endeavour to alter the perception, I am working with the newly formed Council to fix issues and the concerns of the ratepayers and show that Council are here to work with and support the Community and not against them. It is important that Council and the community work together to move forward addressing the issues and concerns of our local communities.
3. What are the main needs for the region going forward?
Employment, or the lack of, is a major issue in this region and I believe that supporting local businesses and regional development as a whole can only benefit our way of life helping to improve and sustain the employment in the region.
4. In a 100 words describe some of the challenges that the council are facing this term.
As I mentioned earlier, the negativity towards Council within the region has been most surprising. I see this as a challenge for this Council over the next four (4) years and it's imperative that we gain the trust and support of our local communities. Only with the support from our communities can this Council and region grow. This cohesiveness will flow on effect in generating positive growth in employment and regional economic development.
5. What's coming up in your portfolio?
The rural roads are a priority within this year's budget, whereby we have implemented a fully funded grader crew with the express purpose of being available to work on the rural roads. Additional to continuing to maintain current sealed roads, Council will be delivering on major projects such as school access at Coolabunia and Taabinga.