Update on the election for Division 8 Councillor on the Sunshine Coast Regional Council held on 28 March 2020
I CONCEDE – NO REGRETS!
Results are in and I just couldn’t catch my opponent after his run at one of the booths. It’s been nose to nose and simply stayed that way at each count and I fought to the end! The time has come to acknowledge the result and I have congratulated my opponent on his win.
It’s been an extraordinary election and a climate not seen in this country for 100 years. And I was already the underdog!!
Given the circumstances, albeit very disappointing result for me and literally half the voting electorate – 7500 of my supporters, I’m so proud of the effort and I’m so very grateful for the votes, support, practical help and for the love of my family and friends who have helped me back myself.
I cannot give enough thanks for the faith and confidence placed in me to represent of our communities in an official role. This is truly humbling to me.
I ran because I knew I would regret it if I didn’t, and I knew I could be more effective with staff and a budget.
I feel an obligation to continue my advocacy in representing the best interests of our beautiful and vulnerable townships across the division especially given the overwhelming support I have received.
Lobbying works, I will continue my work with OSCAR, the peak rate payer association of the Sunshine Coast as civic duty is in my blood – and, at the end of the day I do think our ‘problem is political’. Our new council is shaping up and we may see a new balance filtering through the decision making process.
I will continue to advocate for evidenced based decision making in relation to Twin Waters West, and for environmental outcomes through my work with the Sunshine Coast Sustainability Coalition. It’s what I do!
I have learned so much from this experience and have more to offer because of it.
‘We’ have sent a very strong collective message to the establishment and we did this together.
PEOPLE NEED PEOPLE
Thank you to my people, from my supporters who voted for me, those who were active foot soldiers, my campaign donors, my supporters within my campaign team for their wisdom, practical help and moral support, my husband and children for letting me drop that ball at length – it’s been a mammoth effort by many.
At large I thank the sheer numbers that demonstrate people and the voting public are in fact engaged if they are reached and validated and that they are indeed not stupid.
WE’VE ALSO DEMONSTRATED THAT GOOD CANDIDATES CAN RUN A GOOD RACE FROM THE GRASSROOTS UP ON THE SMELL OF AN OILY RAG AND A SHOE STRING BUDGET AND MAYBE EVEN MAKE IT OVER THE LINE IF A GLOBAL PANDEMIC DOESN’T GET IN THE WAY!!
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This is what I was standing to achieve:
MANAGED GROWTH—A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE FOR OUR CHILDREN
The SEQ Regional Plan released growth forecasts and projected accommodation needs for our future Sunshine Coast to 2041. These projections have so far been met by half since 2017. This means we have more than 20 years to accommodate the remaining half—we can do this in a considered, compliant and measured way to create an iconic destination with a point of difference to compete on the world stage of destinations.
ENSURING OUR VULNERABLE COASTAL COMMUNITIES IN DIVISION 8 HAVE STRONG REPRESENTATION IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NEXT PLANNING SCHEME
Sunshine Coast Regional Council will be developing policy on matters effecting every resident in Division 8. For most people their biggest asset is their home and without adequate representation and advocacy, those who live in vulnerable coastal communities like Division 8 may face negative equity and insurability issues with no compensation. The Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy (CHAS) is underway and will inform the next planning scheme 2023. Remember, mortgages in coastal zones are at threat of becoming a ‘risky’ financial product—we need good policy and sensible visionary planning practices.
ROADS, RATES & RUBBISH—ENSURING RATES ARE KEPT LOW, WHILE MAINTAINING SERVICES & INFRASTRUCTURE
The Sunshine Coast has seen the highest rate increase in SEQ. We are also seeing a reduction in community grants that provide vital services to our communities and build social capital. Where is curb side pick up to help those who cannot afford ever increasing tip fees? Bring it back! Are our roads keeping up with this growth? This is leverage on developers our council can use before approving intensive urban developments.
OPENING UP COUNCIL SECRET MEETINGS
To date Sunshine Coast Regional Council has held over 200 confidential meetings (compare this with Noosa Council’s 16 such sessions). There is a flagrant misuse of the Local Government legislation. In 86% of these closed sessions councillors have voted unanimously to close the doors even though many of the issues considered in closed session are in the public interest and refer to the use of ratepayer funds.
DIVERSITY & EQUITY IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATION
Sunshine Coast Regional Council currently have only one sitting female councillor and she is not contesting her seat. We need more diversity in our representation and too often people in these decision making roles do not reflect and advocate for the needs of families and individuals living in our communities.