Rates, roads and rubbish: Chris Cameron
WE asked each candidates their views on the key roles of a council.
The answers have been published in the paper over the past few weeks, but below are Chris Cameron's un-edited answers.
What do you think about the current state of the following council issues/services?
By comparison to other areas are rates too high - a substantial contributor to the cause of high rates is the level of debt we are carrying.
The question I am asked by the rate payers in the street is - "WHY after 5 years of unprecedented industrial growth & development - do we have a debt at all ?" and this is a fair question I understand our debt level is attracting interest, in excess of $9M per year.
We as the rate payers are paying back this interest - What about the Principle of the Debt ??
Garbage collection - This gives weight to concerns for sustainable development.
I have observed a 15 unit complex - with roughly a 20 metre frontage - that potentially on bin day there can be 30 bins in the street awaiting collection.
(At collection time) the waste management collection agency is denied access to the bins due to vehicles being parked in the street in front of the bins, Insufficient or unsuitable parking within the unit complex (& the surrounding State Govt building) created the problem.
Fortunately J.J Richards are good corporate citizens - they drag the bins into the street - empty them & return bins to the kerb side. A dumpster collection system within the complex would alleviate this issue.
It's called planning - remember the P's - " Proper Pre Planning Prevents P*** Poor Performance"
Regional roads require a maintenance works program - we also have to be aware of what roads are Council responsibility and what are under the Main Roads / Qld Transport division of State Government.
Councillors who have the skills and business experience can be effective at Lobbing State & Federal Govt. for funding to maintain & repairs these roads. it is not unusual for the Main Roads to employee a local council to carry out this work - creating local jobs.
Roads within the town area are generally well maintained & in good condition- rural & regional areas have a separate set of issues.
Can you describe the role of a councillor?
The citizens of the region are the employers of the Council -Councillors are your representatives at the council table making decisions and awarding tenders on your behalf, they are also your communication link between the services you pay for & are entitled to.
They become the providers of those services through the Council workforce and contractors.
Councillors are your voice - to all levels of Govt - Big Business & the communities at large.
On the 19 March You (The citizens of the Gladstone region) will be asked to select 8 councillors to represent you at the council table for the next 4 years. What is needed is a diversity of experience and skills to create an effective team to represent you for the best possible results.