DIVISION 13: 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 now open to locals.

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


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Division 13 includes the suburbs of Burleigh Heads, Elanora, Palm Beach, Tallebudgera and Tallebudgera Valley.

It’s currently held by Daphne McDonald, who is running as a candidate this election.

She’s one of four candidates for the seat, with Scott Wallace, Bern Young and Katrina Beikoff also running.

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

Scott Wallace

A few words about yourself.
I’m an Environmental Scientist, passionate educator and animal rights advocate with qualifications in Law. I promote Earth-centred principles for the benefit of all members of the Earth Community.

Are you a member of/ or affiliated with a political party – if so, which one?
Yes, I am a member of the Animal Justice Party. I am proud to represent the party and our platform for the Gold Coast in 2020 which was constructed by our local members who want to see a kinder, more sustainable community.

Please list your top three policies for your division.

  • To declare a Climate and Ecological emergency, and work with all elected councillors to create a comprehensive action plan which will remain at the centre of all decisions made by Council. This will be done to ensure that the Gold Coast strives to remain a safe, liveable, environmentally, economically and socially responsible city.
  • Protecting and defending habitat and wildlife. This will be achieved through efforts to reverse urban sprawl, increase native vegetation cover, and expand our greenbelts across the city as well as implement changes to development and planning regulations and codes. We are incredibly concerned about the dwindling koala population and the increasing fragmentation of their habitat. We will take action to ensure that koalas can live safely and connected with one another. Our concern extends to other animals and their habitats as well.
  • Caring for our companion animals and other animals that call this city home too. There is much more we can do to make this city safer and more inclusive of their needs from more animal-friendly infrastructure to better orientated services. Additionally, we believe it is important to have fun without harming animals. Our vision for the Gold Coast is to ditch any forms of entertainment which rely on animal captivity such as rodeos, circuses, petting zoos etc. There are plenty of things to see and do with the family that don’t involve someone suffering for our entertainment.

Why should locals vote for you?
I have the passion and determination to contribute towards positive change for the Gold Coast community and our local environment. I intend to build on and expand the positive aspects of our City whilst confronting and acknowledging where change is necessary, for example to take real action on climate change. I will bring transparency, fresh ideas and a voice for the voiceless to the Gold Coast City Council. It’s a councillor’s responsibility to serve the community and I understand that the Gold Coast community consists of all of its people, animals and the natural environment. I want to ensure that the people of the Gold Coast feel that the Council listens to them, understands their needs, values their opinions and can be trusted to take action. I’ve studied Law and can appreciate the importance of good governance and the rule of Law. I wanted to understand and use the law to empower the community, to better protect animals and the environment. My intention was not to find and exploit loopholes which lead to injustice, environmental destruction and a lack of accountability in our society.

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?

I feel that the biggest issue facing the Gold Coast is that there is a gap between what the community’s needs and interests are and the Council’s response to this. The Gold Coast community consists of the people, animals and the environment, which is ultimately all interconnected and interdependent. The Council needs to adjust their perception of what the Gold Coast’s community is and expand it to one that includes all living beings and our shared habitat with a consideration of our respective interests. More specifically, the ongoing climate and ecological emergency is an existential threat to us all, and needs to be tackled with a sense of urgency, strong leadership, collaboration and positive solutions.

Anything else you’d like to add?
The core values of the Animal Justice Party are Kindness, Equality, Rationality and Non-violence. You can expect me to make decisions and take action based on these principles, with the hopes of creating a kinder, more sustainable city for the entire Gold Coast community.

 

Daphne McDonald

A few words about yourself.

I’m a long standing resident.  My first home on the Gold Coast was Burleigh Heads in 1968 later moving to Palm Beach.  This is where I raised 2 sons, loved and lost my darling husband to cancer, welcomed three beautiful grandchildren who like their parents are growing up in this wonderful community we proudly call home. Elected in 1991 I have served the City as Deputy Mayor, Chair of the Water Committee guiding the City through the worst drought on record.  The City went on to win the World Water Award for the work in this area.
Are you a member of/ or affiliated with a political party – if so, which one?
Please list your top three policies for your division.
  • I have been instrumental in having proposed changes delivered in the Town Plan for Palm Beach and more work is to be done defending a better built habitat being one of my highest priorities for both Palm Beach and Burleigh Heads.
  • To complete the upgrade of the Palm Beach Aquatic Centre and Youth Facility.
  • Complete the adventure playground at Schuster Park.
Why should locals vote for you?
I am passionate about the community I represent and will continue to fight against light rail destroying the area. Welcoming Burleigh Heads into Division 13 creates new challenges and my focus will be addressing the light rail, car parking and continue enhancing the arts, cultural and sporting activities getting back to the basics in protecting our lifestyle.

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?

Anything else you’d like to add?

My education on how to win against all odds began very early in my career in Council.  Palm Beach residents were facing losing their homes, repairs they could not afford due to the Palm Beach Subsidence catastrophe.  I was determined they would not be ignored and won payouts for the victims. For long term residents they know I give my all to deliver whatever it takes to protect them, our environment and our way of life.

 

Bern Young

A few words about yourself.

I’m a highly ethical journalist and award-winning ABC radio presenter. I’m a mum of two children, dedicated music lover and less-dedicated swimmer and runner.

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

No, I’ve never been a member of or affiliated with a political party.

Please list your top three policies for your division.

  • Your Voice – I will bring a culture of better communication to Council. I want locals to be heard on the matters they care about and ensure reliable information and explanation around Council decisions, the more complex or controversial, the more that information is needed.
  • Light Rail – We must make sure businesses don’t decline during the building of Light Rail to Burleigh Heads and the community must also be kept up-to-date. I will help unite Burleigh Heads’ businesses so they’re concerns are heard and I will facilitate a community-led campaign that says “Buy in Burleigh” during the build. The next stage from Burleigh Heads to the airport has finally been announced by the State Government. The time is now to let the State Government know that we support Light Rail done well, not done at any cost to the community and our lifestyle. I’m championing one track only across Tallebudgera Creek, thereby requiring a much narrower bridge.
  • Palm Beach Precinct – The Palm Beach Precinct would include the entire suburb, creek to creek, motorway to beach. It’s a holistic and multidisciplinary approach which can become a model of population growth and people movement, providing density without the intensity of a concrete canyon of tall buildings. This will require support and commitment from both Council and the State Government but I believe it’s Palm Beach’s best chance of being livable and lovable as our city grows. Please read my full proposal here https://bernyoung.com/future-palm-beach/

Why should locals vote for you?

I will listen, I will question, I will communicate and I will facilitate the best outcomes so we can all be proud to call the Gold Coast home. I will be consistent yet agile. From footpaths to major infrastructure projects I will ensure I have all the facts, including community points of view, I will weigh up all competing pressures, I will make careful and considered decisions and I will explain those decisions. I want the planning and development of our city to bring a better balance between our character and lifestyle with the growth and change of the future.

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 single biggest issue is population growth. The current forecasts say we’ll have 350,000 more locals by 2041 – that’s close to a million people citywide. We know the northern green fields of the city can’t keep doing the heavy lifting as they’ve done for the past 15 to 20 years and while we don’t want to build big subdivisions in our valleys and hinterland, we also don’t want endless highrise all along the coast.

I believe we’re at a tipping point right now and part of the solution is to seriously consider my proposal for the Palm Beach Precinct. Just like The Spit Master Plan, a Palm Beach Precinct could be allowed under State planning laws. We must bring in leading urban designers, architects, landscape architects, environmental engineers and traffic engineers, together with community input. Let’s take a holistic view and design a mix of mid and low-rise options for density rather than allow each and every developer to put their stamp on this place without any adherence to a vision, because we never created one. And then we can use that model for future growth in other parts of our city and be an example to other booming coastal suburbs in Australia and overseas.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I’m a proudly independent candidate with a DIY campaign. For the remaining weeks of the election, you will be able to find me out and about at our beautiful local parks and beaches, farmers markets and anywhere else I can pitch my A-Frame under some shade. Please come and say hi and let me know what matters to you. I’m a truly passionate Gold Coaster who would be honoured to contribute to the future of this city.

 

Katrina Beikoff

A few words about yourself.

I’m a Walkley Award-winning investigative journalist and writer by profession, and a mum and volunteer in our community. I bring smart solutions, new energy and action to address our issues.

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

I am an independent candidate, not affiliated or funded by a political party or organisation. I hold membership of Queensland Labor.

Please list your top three policies for your division.

  • Regaining control of development through Palm Beach and protecting the unique character of Burleigh and, separately, Palm Beach – both of which deliver enormous value to our city.
  • Better public transport for the southern GC, prioritising the heavy rail from Varsity Lakes to the Gold Coast Airport and better parking solutions.
  • Better bikeways, pedestrian paths and active transport – I believe Division 13 is perfectly placed to be the blueprint for innovative and effective active transport for our city.

Why should locals vote for you?

I bring new energy, fresh eyes and smart solutions to the big issues that our community is facing today and as we move forward. I bring solutions and action on over-development, traffic and parking issues so we can protect and enhance what is unique and valuable about our distinct slice of the Gold Coast. I listen and will ensure we are listened to and get the serious responses to our needs that our community wants and deserves.

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?

Population growth and resulting development and provision of adequate infrastructure. Council should be listening to the community about how best to progress and grow without negatively impacting or destroying what we love about our city.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Vote 1 Katrina BEIKOFF for Council Division 13

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Debra Fulton
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Debra Fulton

EVERYBODY IN SHUT DOWN…ISOLATION AND YET STILL EXPECTED TO VOTE…. ARE YOU ABSOLUTELY KIDDING???? IM SORRY DUE TO GOVERNMENT LEGISLATION REGARDING SOCIAL DISTANCING I WONT BE ABLE TO MAKE IT