With the full gamut of State government and federal government finger pointing on the subject of homelessness what is quite apparent from the past incumbents is "homelessness isn't really a typical council issue" - "not in our remit" with the attitude "it's very difficult to, um, over promise and then under deliver" but Without that tonal upturn when you should be making a statement but instead answer a question with another question. Do we really want this for any longer!?
Anyone in business will know what needs to be done and there's no one doing it at any level of government.
By way of an introduction what I am interested in and what I stand for and why this is my eighth election since 2009 I've run in the State and the Federal government before it's because I haven't actually considered Local Council Elections before but there is quite a lot you can do at this level of government
I have been on the committee at the Caloundra Rugby Union Club as Secretary and First Aider and as member of the Caloundra Cricket Club as well as Councillor at Holy Trinity Kawana Waters as Parish Council and was Elected Member of the Meridan State School Council and continue on at the Meridan State School Industry Reference Group
My background prior to running in these different elections? I've had my own electronics manufacturing company and boat building company and my response to the present Mayor who seems to rejoice in the fact that he's generated 59 jobs in manufacturing in the last 10 years and 1,630 public administration jobs.
This gives you some idea of the problem there is in the Australian economy between government, even local government and business and the fact that more than half of the workforce is employed directly by the government at all levels
Why I want to be a Councillor; What I want to do; And what's brought me to this place in time is exactly that - to reduce the amount of bureaucracy and taxation to operate as a business and so regenerate the economy.
People are doing it so tough out there and they're being completely ignored. What needs to be done is to make a reduction in government charges which mail order China or from any other country are just not subject to; You've got to reduce the government charges. Every year you get 12 government charges between $200 and $900 bucks a month. You know, this is a tax on employment. This is stifling everything that goes on here.
Why I am running as an Independent as the safest option not to get involved in preconceived ideas and prejudices real or imagined about Australian politics which carries a lot of baggage I think it is so important to put the past behind us and move forward
My intentions around voting within the existing town plan and some of the more controversial developments that are currently in the courts - being Christian orientated, that casino has got to go. I don't know where that is intended to be There are plans for a casino in Maroochydore going on, that's the worst thing that could possibly happen here I'm afraid it's a complete, no, no. You can be sure that won't be happening on the Sunshine Coast if I am elected, personally, as a business man, I know that there's a complete lack of availability of commercial premises - somewhere to operate.
Furthermore the assumption seems to have been made that everyone that moves to the Sunshine Coast is a retiree - they're not. And even if they were they still need to store and operate from somewhere. I will change all that.There's a complete shortage of zoned areas for eg manufacturing even the ones out at Courbold Park you can't operate after 6:00pm or at the weekends so even running a nightshift is impossible.
There's a huge number of people coming to the Coast and you've got plenty of dwellings no problem. But it's the business and commercial side that's completely lacking. It really is.
With regard to the homeless There's nothing in that plan at all encouraging the development of properties that homeless people would otherwise occupy such as backpackers
There's one backpackers in Caloundra, you need one in each division say with 160 places each this would resolve the homeless problem on the Coast ( 10 divisions with 160 places each)
As far as the past incumbents are concerned the homeless are just unsightly to them. They don't even want to know, you know, soup kitchens, that sort of thing. It's a favour. There's a huge problem. You go down the beach any night at all, in the evening you can see them setting up
There are something like 1,600 ( people) sleeping in their cars or sleeping rough and this would completely eradicate the problem - there's nothing in the plan about that. There really isn't. It is even from the lips of the past incumbent Councillor NOT IN OUR REMIT.
It is very straight forward to encourage this type of development by mandating and even pre approving a certain percentage of homeless accommodation and also commercial zoning ie light and heavy industry factory premises as well
The past incumbent wasn't even going to run this time round - there are three other candidates Stan Nerowski Michael Ronald McDonald and Pamela Merico. Who no-one has even heard of
I live in the Division 3 and have done for the last 20 years
The question being asked by residents seems to have predominantly been about transparency and how perhaps that it doesn't exist, and committee meetings and so on occur behind closed door sessions, we need to have had a few more of these open to the public and less closed and less non transparent discussion and debate
This seems to be high on the agenda for Chris Thompson previous Deputy Mayor last time round who is now running for Mayor which is good
I have a vision and a plan for the future because I'd really like to see the Sunshine Coast stay as the Sunshine Coast, not turn itself into something totally different like the Gold Coast
I don't remember any sort of public consultation on any of the major planning matters at all. Nor am I aware of any, and I've lived here on the Coast in Division 3 for the last 20 years
The 'second city' example is a case study if that was to all get approved and that kind of development is then seen as appropriate in that kind of an area, we could see bigger parts of the coast open to that kind of more intense development
Going from Caloundra City Council to Sunshine Coast Regional Council, it's just been so apparent that the input has been removed really entirely and certainly nothing's happened or materialized at all on the light railway
What has been done in the last eight years as far as planning is concerned? I prefer to see Caloundra break off again from even Maroochydore Caloundra City Council will be right on my agenda - Caloundra City Council was operating fine. It was a huge area. It went right into Maleny and beyond successfully, and we have just been totally ignored really.
And there's been no benefit at all from amalgamation. We've still got the same three council buildings we're paying rent on and you know, to operate. There's been no savings whatsoever in actually merging them.
If I were elected as the main priority for the Division 3 would be to restore Currimundi Lake area to the Queensland Beach of the year award which Currently Currimundi Lake has been a sewage farm even as I speak, you can't even kayak there. I'm sorry. This is the past incumbent's sole achievement in office. I'll be getting straight onto it. I really will.
Currimundi Lake is the main asset in a division three, I will be ensuring the cleanup of it. Because you couldn't even swim or surf there. There's been no cleanup by the council or anything like that.
The second one is of course to get the Australian Tidy Towns award which we're never going to get with all that toilet paper. That's it. But I'll be aiming for both of those in my term of office
And then of course there's business charges, the Council are charging $95 a square meter to operate a kayak hire company and a boat hire business to name but two if you want to create employment. You're never going to do it if every month you've got some charge between $200 and $900 every month. This is a tax on employment - two of those are the council business rates
Thus I will abolish business rates as a start to what needs to happen in the
business community to regenerate it
But basically business rates, that's a tax on employment. Council doesn't have to charge that and it doesn't have to charge half the other ( charges) I mean $10,000 to run a coffee shop for heaven's sake in a caravan its just ridiculous the past incumbent does not seem to be aware of the actual number of government charges.
We're spending far too much money on things like submarine cables instead of concentrating on the actual service to be supplied by council such as the annual kerb side waste collection for those that don't own a box trailer or ute and that will also be my priority.
The past incumbents have done nothing to reduce bureaucracy and taxation despite promising to and that's what I'm going to do something about straight away.
The provision of a coffee van is almost a tourist attraction in Caloundra and
we should be encouraging more of this not charging businesses an arm and leg
There is nothing and this is regarding Caloundra and Currimundi now - There's absolutely nothing going on. You've got - the friday night Twilight zone food and other markets that go around the whole Sunshine Coast. That's about it. In the whole of Caloundra there is not much at all for tourists to come and do. There really isn't. I mean there really isn't. Both the Kayak and the Boat Hire. They're being slapped with these $95 per square metre charges I will remove these charges because this is a tax on employment
They're individuals, they're flesh and blood, human beings - who should not have to pay $10,000 to go into work!? That's basically what you're asking them to do. And there's least a dozen other charges per annum that you've got to pay if you run a business which add up to more than your operating costs, they really do
This applies to the Moffat Beach ( Blackwater) brewing company Business owners are not just there for the Council to make money out of them and brewing beer is the core business of a pub supplying beer just like cooking food is the core business of any restaurant
This is only the beginning and start of what I intend to achieve in office frankly - namely a 5% reduction in the domestic rates per annum for the next four years. That is what I will deliver because of the profligate overspending that takes place in council. That's the first thing
On the planning strategy, I'll input the planning strategy - we've mentioned the homeless; On the commercial side, the primary focus will be, in my time on the council to promote the availability of commercial premises.
We've had the area size of a small town outside Courbould ( Park), which is hardly even set because it just so overpriced and expensive
I will abolish business rates. It's not hard that most, I'd say 80% of the rates come out of the domestic rates You pay rates at home, you go to work, why should you have to pay rates again? AND everyone else that comes there, I can't see why we have business rates. I really don't.
Regarding the planning strategy it's not a problem to maintain mostly dwellings areas in and around the Sunshine Coast. That's why people come here, but they're not all retirees. These people have to operate from somewhere. You need to service that - there is a complete shortage of factory premises. It's cheaper to rent a shed somewhere in Brisbane or Sydney than rent on the Sunshine Coast because there has been no provision for commercial premises. I'm talking about factories.
The 59 jobs, SIC 59 that had been generated in manufacturing in the last 10 years by mayor Jamieson and latterly ( in the last eight 8 years) the past incumbent is a complete farce, I mean, it really is. If he had created 1,630 manufacturing jobs and only 59 public administration jobs that would have been more successful
There is just way, way too much overspending on public administration staff and basically it's a complete neglect of what actually really matters, which is regeneration of the economy.
Together we will change the course of history
May God bless you
PUNCH Magazine weekly
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