Mayor takes flight
Mayor Rachel Chambers took her fight for the Central and North Burnett to Canberra
NORTH Burnett Regional Council Mayor Rachel Chambers has recently returned from a lobbying trip in Brisbane and Canberra.
Accompanied by Deputy Mayor FayeWhelan, Cr Chambers met with various State and Federal politicians from all sides of the political divide.
“We spent a couple of days in Brisbane at Parliament House meeting with some ministers and the people with money,” Cr Chambers said.
“Working out a way to get some of that money back into the region.”
“Then we went to Canberra for a Local Government convention where I learnt that unless that you have a big voice you won't stand out from the crowd.”
Cr Chambers said it was important to lobby State and Federal governments, as well as candidates, as you never know what could happen on July 2.
“It’s important because we don't know until next week who we will have to have a relationship with to best benefit the region,” she said.
“It's about establishing relationships and lobbying early to get on their radar.
“And it's about playing politics, I always knew that you had to play politics, but it's new to me how widely one plays politics and it's new to me how much I enjoy politics.”
She said she has met with all the major candidates for the seat of Flynn at the federal election.
“Each meeting has consolidated the idea to me that you need a good elevator pitch when you meet someone and you have a couple of minutes with them,” she said.
“You need to put forward really good business plans to get money.
“Like everything in life, things are achieved with relationships.
“The squeaky wheel gets the oil and you have to be seen, and you have to be in front of them.”
In a meeting with Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten on Saturday, Cr Chambers said she believed she made a lasting impression on the leader.
“Bill Shorten said to me ‘well Rachel you have certainly put the North Burnett on the map’,” she said.
“If Bill Shorten wasn't aware of the North Burnett before Sunday, he certainly is now.”
Cr Chambers also met with our local council leaders including Logan City Council mayor Luke Smith and Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey.
“I just want every politician to know where we are and what we need,” she said.
“For too long regional areas have been in the back of politicians’ minds.
“It’s time for them to be in the front of peoples minds.
“Metro areas are overpopulated (and) if we got a small percentage moving out here it would solve a lot of our issues.”
Cr Chambers also met with people who will likely invest in the region.
She also said she put the North Burnett up for several pilot programs.
Rachel Chambers: I learnt that unless that you have a big voice you won't stand out from the crowd