Social media maverick’s bid to become mayor
A SOCIAL media maverick who says he has been given the boot by Facebook has confirmed he will try to become the Sunshine Coast's next mayor.
Parrearra resident Michael Burgess, an outspoken critic of many Sunshine Coast Council decisions, said he didn't think the region could survive another four years of the same government.
"There's a great deal of discontent," he said.
Mr Burgess said a change of direction was needed to allow the community to benefit from the Coast region.
He acknowledged there was little that could be done to stop the population growth being dictated by other levels of government.
"We have to learn how to deal with it," he said.
He said the region was "destined for a great deal of social dysfunction" if job creation, and diversification of the economy, did not occur.
"Our economy is far too reliant on construction," he said.
"Tourism has to be revamped.
"There's something wrong with how we're doing our tourism."
He said the "total focus" along the coastline had to shift inward, to the hinterland, and the open space, which he said attracted city visitors.
"We have an enormous amount of space," Mr Burgess said.
"We need to develop our food industries too."
He said the region should be exploring the growing of commercial crops on the tops of buildings and in urban spaces, and aim to become more self-sustainable by producing more food.
"We can re-establish the industry and that has to be done," Mr Burgess said.
Mr Burgess said if elected he would also seek the support of other councillors to establish a citizens' committee of private groups, industry and media, for monthly Q and A sessions with councillors about issues and decisions being made.
He didn't see the need for as many confidential meetings as there were being held at present, and said more information should become public once a decision had been made.
"Why does information have to remain a secret after a decision has been made?" he said.
He was also critical of council's refusal to-date to release the cost of its new City Hall project in the new Maroochydore CBD.
Mr Burgess likened it to somebody coming to your house, telling you they would build you a home and you would buy it, but they wouldn't tell you how much it would cost.
"It's just ridiculous," he said.
"My platform is prosperity, jobs, lifestyle, because I don't think that any of them can exist without the others."