Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

THE fail­ure of Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil to prop­erly con­sult with the com­mu­nity un­til the eleventh hour on its pro­posed draft town plan has spurred one long-time res­i­dent to ac­tion.

Brandy Creek res­i­dent Eric Oliver will present him­self as a may­oral can­di­date in the lo­cal govern­ment elec­tions of March 19.

And Mr Oliver says his in­ten­tion is to bet­ter rep­re­sent the ma­jor stake­hold­ers – the com­mu­nity.

Mr Oliver grew up in the Mackay/Whit­sun­day re­gion and has lived here most of his life.

A self-em­ployed elec­tri­cian and so­lar in­staller, he is also a pas­sion­ate ad­vo­cate for re­new­able en­ergy and sus­tain­able liv­ing.

It’s the sus­tain­abil­ity as­pect that first caught his eye about the draft town plan, which ini­tially talked about in­creas­ing some build­ing heights to eight and 12 storeys in Air­lie Beach.

“I re­alised that the coun­cil had been ac­tively en­gag­ing with spe­cial in­ter­est groups long be­fore the res­i­dents were prop­erly in­formed or con­sulted and the ma­jor stake­hold­ers, the com­mu­nity, were ig­nored un­til just five days be­fore sub­mis­sions closed,” he said.

“It was then I de­cided that this com­mu­nity de­serves bet­ter. It’s time for a change.”

Mr Oliver be­lieves in a coun­cil driven by gen­uine com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion.

“My vi­sion for the Whit­sun­day re­gion is for con­tin­ued care­fully man­aged growth of in­clu­sive, re­silient com­mu­ni­ties and de­vel­op­ment of a sta­ble and di­verse econ­omy based around long term sus­tain­able in­dus­tries,” he said.

IN THE RUN­NING: Eric Oliver will run for mayor in the lo­cal govern­ment elec­tions in March.

Photo: Peter Car­ruthers

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