DIVISION 1: Here are your council candidates

Gold Coast’s local council elections are coming up on the 28th of March, with over 50 people gunning for seats at chambers.

Early voting is now underway, with eleven places to vote open to locals from today.

myGC is going through division by division, to give you a closer look at the candidates.


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Division 1 includes the suburbs of Alberton, Cedar Creek, Gilberton, Jacobs Well, Kingsholme, Luscombe, Norwell, Ormeau, Pimpama, South Moreton Bay Island, Stapylton, Steiglitz, Woongoolba and Yatala.

It’s currently held by Donna Gates but she’s now running in the new Division 3, due to changes in the division boundaries.

The candidates, as they appear on the ballot paper, are Alec Pokarier, Renee Clarke, Mark Hammel, Andrew Stimson and Pat Reynolds

myGC put some simple questions to the candidates, here’s how they responded.

Alec Pokarier 

A few words about yourself

I’m running for Council as a local of almost 20 years because I want to upgrade our local roads, keep rates low and deliver on my plan for a better and safer northern community.

Are you a member of/or affiliated with a political party – if so, which one?

Yes – LNP.

Please list your top three policies for your division.

  • Fixing Our Roads
  • Making our Community Safer
  • Better Parks & Environment

Why should locals vote for you?

I’ve been out fighting for our fair share in the northern Gold Coast for over 6 months. I’ve been in the ground demonstrating how active and dedicated I will be to improving our local community. You have a choice between another voice falling on deaf ears or a fighter who gets the job done.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest issue facing the whole of the Gold Coast? And what should Council as a whole be doing about it?

The city’s growth targets set by the State Government are too high. The lack of investment in critical infrastructure to handle additional residents has proven we can’t carry on like this. The Northern Gold Coast has lifted well above its weight to help the City meet its growth targets, now it’s time for the southern suburbs to do their part while we allow services and infrastructure in the north to catch up.

Anything else you’d like to add?

With your vote, I’ll upgrade our local roads, keep rates low and deliver on my plan for a better and safer northern community.

Renee Clarke

A few words about yourself.

I’m a mum, my husband Ben is a tradie, and we’ve just had our second baby. I’m a counsellor at Queensland Health.

Are you a member of/or affiliated with a political party – if so, which one?

Labor. But I am not endorsed or supported by the Labor Party.

Please list your top three policies for your division.

  • Fix local roads,
  • Provide safe walk/bike ways to schools and public transport,
  • Fix dangerous school drop off zones,

Why should locals vote for you?

My campaign is all about fixing our roads. A vote for me, is a vote to fix our roads. Fixing roads means spending more money on roads, better public transport and options to walk & bike.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest issue facing the whole of the Gold Coast? And what should Council as a whole be doing about it?

Transport. Particularly in the north, life grinds to a halt on our roads.

Anything else you’d like to add?

We need someone to represent us who knows what’s it’s like to raise a family here, who has to head off to work every day, and who is fed up with us losing time at work and with our families because we’re always stuck in traffic.

Mark Hammel

A few words about yourself.

I am a genuine Division 1 local and have lived her all my life. My family has lived on the same farm in Alberton since 1880, so I know, love and understand our unique part of the Gold Coast. I am passionate about making sure it remains a great place to live, raise a family and operate a business.

Are you a member of/or affiliated with a political party – if so, which one?

No, I am not a member of any political party and am running as a completely independent candidate.

Please list your top three policies for your division.

  • Traffic – Deliver an integrated traffic solution where we end the blame game between governments and develop a clear pipeline of new and upgraded roads for Division 1 – combined with a new approach to developments, where we upgrade the road before we let the houses be built.
  •  Crime & Hooning – Create a community where everyone feels safe and welcome by working to secure more police resources, anti-hooning measures such as additional CCTV cameras, and providing education and funding for grassroots sporting and community groups to engage our youth.
  •  Environment & climate – Protect our environment and climate with education and policy that preserves more mature trees in new developments and forces new trees to be planted in other areas to offset tree losses, encourages sustainable farming and industry practices that minimise run-off into our waterways, improves access to public transport, educates about better residential waste and recycling practices, and promotes eco-tourism.

Why should locals vote for you?

I decided to run as Division 1 candidate because I believe I am the best person for the job. I am as local as they come, independent of any political party, experienced at business and life, engaged in the local community, and I understand how all layers of government work together.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest issue facing the whole of the Gold Coast? And what should Council as a whole be doing about it?

The far northern Gold Coast is one of the fastest-growing suburbs in Queensland and council has let us down with a piece meal, band aid approach to development and provision of vital infrastructure such as roads, footpaths, bus shelters, drainage and sewerage. Division 1 is buckling under the pressure of this lack of planning. While we are pleased to welcome new residents to Division 1, it’s important there is a strategic plan for growth that respects the current community while creating opportunities for future residents. That’s why I believe Division 1 needs a new community-led Local Area Plan, which will guide development in line with community expectations, while striking the right balance that maximises liveability in our residential, industrial and rural communities. I will work with local residents to ensure their voice is heard in creating a plan that sets a path for balanced growth in the right places.

Anything else you’d like to add?

If you would like to learn more about who I am and what I stand for, please visit my website or Facebook page.

Andrew Stimson

A few words about yourself.

My desire is to play an effective role in the ongoing improvement of our society and its many facets. I see the position of Councillor as an excellent way to be a part of an effort for greater community control over our city. At the moment it seems like politics is completely disconnected from the things we actually care about. We can change this.

Are you a member of/or affiliated with a political party – if so, which one?

I am proudly a member of the Queensland Greens and I am their endorsed candidate for Division 1.

Please list your top three policies for your division:

  • Improve public transport, roads and related infrastructure.
  • Make neighbourhood plans binding.
  • Improve transparency in decision making.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest issue facing the whole of the Gold Coast? And what should Council as a whole be doing about it?
It is my belief we need a review of Queensland’s planning laws to enable local democracy and put people ahead of developer profits. We must strengthen community objection rights and improve transparency in decision making. And we must make neighbourhood plans binding, including binding height limits and to end special deals for developers.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Vote 1 for me and enjoy the music!

Pat Reynolds

A few words about yourself.
I’m a business development manager in the disability employment sector, a long term resident of the area, family man and very active community member.

Are you a member of/or affiliated with a political party – if so, which one?
I make no secret of the fact that I have been a member of both the ALP and The LNP over the years. My membership to all political parties has lapsed and I am running independently.

Please list your top three policies for your division.

  • A new PCYC for the northern Gold Coast – A PCYC is vital for the northern Gold Coast community and I’ve not only petitioned to build one but have potentially found a site in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Ormeau Pimpama. PCYC’s provide young people with an environment that supports individual development, encourages community connection and celebrates diversity, so one in the northern Gold Coast will be invaluable.
  • Duplication of the Yawalpah Road railway bridge – It’s one of the biggest congestion points of the northern Gold Coast leading right up to Exit 49 and the quickest and easiest to fix within Council. Be aware that other candidates are promising to fix roads and traffic all over the Division but have not provided any detail on how they will pay for this or if they already form part of Council’s existing plans, which some do.
  • Sustainable development and more green space – Green spaces like Bim’Bimba Park on Gainsborough Greens are the backbone of our growing community, catering to all development stages of childhood from toddlers right through to teenagers. The park also caters for our residents with a disability (the sector I work in). Ensuring facilities like these are a mandated part of any new development is vital.

Why should locals vote for you?
Locals of Division 1 should vote for me because I live and breathe community including roles in a number of volunteer and sporting organisations, so I understand what people want to see achieved through their local councillor and have a proven passion to help the people of Division 1. I also have extensive experience in government relations through my previous employment and understand how local government works, and have a good relationship with our state and federal members. This is an important point as we need someone who can step straight into the role and start working for the Division right away.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest issue facing the whole of the Gold Coast? And what should Council as a whole be doing about it?
We are a growing region and with that will come the inevitable growing pains. It all comes down to proper planning for sustainable growth and Council needs to set the standard both for the city and as a benchmark for other growth areas.

Anything else you’d like to add?
While there’s plenty of growth issues in the northern Gold Coast that need to be addressed, there are also opportunities to ensure it continues to be one of the most popular places to live. There’s an old saying that council is all about roads, rates and rubbish, but I put residents at the top of that list as it’s the people that make a community what it is. I want to focus on what I can do to take control of the Division’s future to ensure it’s a vibrant, safe and productive community that everyone prospers in.

 

 

**Note: the candidates have been listed in the order that they will appear on the ballot paper on March 28.

For more information about voting, click here.

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margaret mcinnes

I there somewhere I can go vote as I can;t get to a polling booth as I have MS plus of the coronavirus scare.

margaret mcinnes
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margaret mcinnes

I have MS and find I can’t get to a polling booth and stay away from people.