DIVISION 14: 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.


ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT

Division 14 includes the suburbs of Currumbin, Currumbin Waters, Currumbin Valley, Coolangatta, Bilinga, parts of Elanora, Kirra, Rainbow Bay, parts of Tallebudgera and Tallebudgera Valley, and Tugun.

It’s currently held by Gail O’Neill, who is running as a candidate this election.

She’s one of just two candidates for the seat, with Gloria Baker also running.

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

Gail O’Neill

A few words about yourself:

I have been the Divisional Councillor for Division 14 since 2016.   I have lived and worked in the Southern Gold Coast for past 37 years.

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

I have never have been a member of or been affiliated with a Political party.

Please list your top three policies for your division

  • Campaign for further amendments to the City Plan that will protect our Southern Gold Coast lifestyle
  • Protection always of our open spaces – world class beaches, waterways, foreshores, parkland and beautiful Valleys (Currumbin & Tallebudgera)
  • Better public transport(both heavy rail to GC Airport & Light Rail to Coolangatta) and more parking options

Why should locals vote for you?

After 4 years as the Local Representative I believe I now have a sound knowledge of Council process and have gained the experience necessary to serve the diverse communities and areas that make up Division 14. I certainly still have the passion and energy required to ensure that residents have good representation and someone who will ensure we get the balance right with lifestyle and progress.

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 biggest issue facing the Gold Coast is undoubtedly how we, as a city get the balance right with progress and lifestyle. With the predicted population growth we do need to be concentrating on planning and infrastructure but attention has to be on individual areas ensuring we maintain the character & livability of that area.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I believe the City of Gold Coast is fast becoming a mature city and I am very proud that I have been part of a Council that has and hopefully will continue to embrace arts and culture for the city.  Investment into a cultural precinct for our city I believe was and is the right thing to do.   Southern Gold Coast has a wonderful history of surfing culture and I am so happy that I have, as the local representative, been able to support and encourage this legacy through Surfworld Museum, The World Heritage Surfing Reserve and of course recognition of our famous surfing identities and events.

Gloria Baker

A few words about yourself:

I have lived in Bilinga for the past 12 years after moving up from Sydney. I studied Economics at UNSW and worked at the State Bank before leaving to manage our successful small business for 30 years.

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

I am running for Division 14 as a truly independent candidate. I have never been a member of any political party nor have I ever received developer money.

Please list your top three policies for your division.

  • I am determined to preserve our lifestyle and our natural assets of green valleys and golden coast.
  • I will support quality sustainable development that is inclusive of Community expectations so that a positive outcome is delivered to Community, Environment and the Developer.
  • I am standing to restore the voice of my Community as priority so that our interests are protected for now and into the future.

Why should locals vote for you?

Unlike the current councillor I reject the premise that “the Southern Gold Coast is Ripe for Redevelopment and the Light Rail “. Ref. Property Council Report June 2018.
Nor do I support the incumbents ongoing support for the now refused Komune development at Greenmount Beach which cost residents $200,000. To publicly express her disappointment (ref GCB) at the Planning and Environment Courts decision shows a real disconnect and disrespect for our Community.

I support a Community ‘UP’ consultation approach rather than a Council ‘DOWN’ approach for planning decisions and other decisions regarding major events like Sandtunes and major disruptive works like the timing of the Kirra Boardwalk upgrade. I believe business in Division 14 needs more support. It’s very tough out there and the last 4 years have been a missed opportunity where there has been no economic understanding of small business needs.

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?

Climate Change is the most important challenge facing GCCC. We need to acknowledge and plan for Climate Change impacts on the City and immediately implement a Climate Change Policy.

Anything else you’d like to add?

My slogan is ….. From the Community for the Community…. for good reason.
In 2013, I joined the Friends of Currumbin where I was inspired by their tireless and selfless work for the betterment of the Community and became Secretary in 2014.

As Secretary of the Friends of Currumbin 2014 to 2018 and a key member of the T2B Oceanway team, I was instrumental in delivering the Tugun to Bilinga Oceanway world class asset to our Community.

My active involvement in Community also includes the Save Greenmount campaign against the now refused Komune development, Save Currumbin Valley, Return Kirra Pavilion to Kirra Surf Club, facilitating a joint State and Federal Government letter box drop warning on the use of PFAS contaminated bore water, and stopping the Sandtunes Concert on Coolangatta Beach.

 

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.

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of