Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Councils Must Be about More Than Rates, Roads and Rubbish; I'm Not a Commentator But

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Councils Must Be about More Than Rates, Roads and Rubbish; I'm Not a Commentator But

Article excerpt

COLIN CLARIDGE

Contributor

IN JUST over a month's time, Queenslanders will be going to the polls to elect councillors and mayors for 77 local government regions. I reckon most of us would be hard pressed to name more than 10 of them without the help of Google; and that possibly goes for the names of most candidates in our own neck of the woods; if some of us even care, that is.

But we should care. Local government, despite its lack of recognition in the Constitution, is important. Local government is the closest form of authority to the community. It should (but is not always, sadly) be attune to the sentiments and aspirations of the community.

Local government might occupy the lowest rung of the step ladder of the political edifice, but by no means should it only concern itself with local roads, garbage collection and collecting rates. We are now 16 years into the 21st Century. Those born at the turn of this century will soon be adults. This means that council must do more than they have been required to do.

Because the expectations of the next generation of voters will be greater.

Businesses, industries, economic opportunities and jobs won't just fall into this region's lap. We can't rely on our State or Federal MPs to drive our region's economic future. The past has proven that they are, on the whole, just traction for their respective parties' bigger agendas. No. If we want our region to develop and not miss out on the opportunities we keep missing out on, then it must be driven at council level.

Whoever we elect in March must be prepared to be proactive and be willing to think outside of the box. Council should start making noise and start making a nuisance of themselves with higher authorities in order for us to become noticed and valued.

The Gympie Region of the 21st Century needs to establish an identity greater than being referred to as "just north of Noosa". …

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