Ron’s ready for council challenges
HE’S been a familiar face at the Whitsunday PCYC and local Wild Ones group but now Ron Petterson wants to sit at the Whitsunday Regional Council table and represent Division 2.
“I’m very passionate about the area, I love the region and I’m worried about our youth,” he said, when asked what had motivated him to stand.
A dedicated husband and father, it’s Mr Petterson’s three sons Riley, Cody, and TJ, currently all at school, who have been a major part of his driving force.
“I look at the town and I’m concerned,” he said.
“We’re growing faster than the state average and we can’t sustain the population we’ve got because there aren’t enough jobs, so I’m worried my kids are going to leave high school and there’ll be nothing for them here.”
Mr Petterson says now is the time to take steps to address this issue and create employment opportunities for the future.
“We can’t keep plodding along and hoping something will happen, because it won’t,” he said.
On the subject of the current council’s proposed draft town plan, Mr Petterson said he believed in “sustainable growth” and striking a balance between maintaining an aesthetically pleasing township and allowing developers a chance at profitability “otherwise they won’t invest”.
“And there has to be balance on both sides,” he said.
“The arguing has to stop.”
Mr Petterson is also a fan of the proposed Whitsunday Coast Airport expansion to international status.
“If we want to see more employment we need more tourism and being able to access international tourists will give us that,” he said.
But it’s not all about looking outwards, with Mr Petter- son very much focused on bringing the “grass roots” community back.
Speaking about the underlying contributors to the region’s unemployment issue, such as mental health: “we need to solve the problems, not just treat the symptoms,” he said.
“And we need to start now.”
FAMILY FOCUS: Ron Petterson wants the best for the next generation of Whitsunday residents.