‘Less red tape’ Work to be done
TERRY Melchert’s history in this shire goes back a long way, including his days as a CEO of the council, on which he has since sat as a councillor following the de-amalgamation.
He points to a family heritage in Queensland going back a century and has lived in the shire with his wife and three sons for just over 20 years.
A certified practising accountant, Cr Melchert has been a long-time (23 years) member of the Local Government Managers Association and has had a continuing interest in local government administration. “I have over 30 years’ experience in senior local government roles and have also worked as a consultant in local government finance and administration consultant,” he said.
“Aside from working in the public sector I have worked as a management and development consultant, successfully completing a number of projects in a number of Council areas, over the last 10 years.”
“My experience in local government and the private sector means I have a very clear and strong understanding of the legislative systems in which local government has to work, and from the other side of the counter, just how daunting and difficult it can be to deal with councils, and how often it is councils do not understand the needs of business, and how holding costs and time delays can make or break a project.
“There is little doubt tourism is a major contributor to the economy of the region and I am privileged to have worked in developing systems from the mid-nineties which have ensured good funding levels have been secured for the local destination marketing group TPDD which being business driven, has done a great job in promoting the Shire and in securing new tourism markets.”
Cr Melchert said that while the importance of tourism cannot be overstated, the Shire has a diverse industry base, including sugar and grazing which play vital parts.
“My goals will reflect this approach and I will continue to actively consult with a broad cross section of the community in ensuring council delivers the quality services we have all come to expect, while keeping the Shire an affordable place for young families and the community generally.
“My great hope is that a new council, including me, which is far more in tune with community and business needs will be elected, and through better and real community consultation and councillor accessibility, we will be able to provide a council and community interface which is perceived to be much more friendly and helping in nature.”
Cr Melchert wants a much better council/community interface “which is far, far less bureaucratic, has less red tape and is more encouraging and friendly”. DESPITE praising the financial stability the current council was able to achieve after deamalgamation Councillor Clarke would like to see some significant changes to the council.
“Communication between council and residents has to be seriously looked at,” he said.
“I do think more consultation with all residents and ratepayers is a must.
“As we have seen in the past, lack of communication leads to a community not being satisfied with the outcome.
“As we all know, lack of communication leads to the failure of projects.”
He said the Flagstaff Hill walking track is one such project that reflects the potential damage of poor community consultation.
“There are two designs previous to the design put before the public recently,” he said.
“These designs reflect a better outcome for the residents at both ends of the track, and they incorporate features that would be beneficial to not only tourists, but also to our residents. A lot more thought and consultation has to be done before we get to the world class track that it has to be.”
Regarding negotiations over the redevelopment of the Marina Cr Clarke said he believes both parties can come to an agreement.
He denounced council’s suggestion of the compulsory acquisition of Lot 146.
“I do believe this can be solved easily and quickly, with- out the compulsory acquisition of the water component of The Reef Marina Lease,” he said.
“This would mean that all stakeholders would be in a winning situation.”
Cr Clarke would also like to see an upgrade of signage and line marking in the shire as well as the introduction of tourist information centres that would “enhance a tourist’s ability to access all of the destinations in the entire shire”.