Beaudesert meets candidates

Mayoral candidates Greg Christensen (incumbent Mayor), Jeff McConnell (current Deputy Mayor) and Tom Sharp
Mayoral candidates Greg Christensen (incumbent Mayor), Jeff McConnell (current Deputy Mayor) and Tom Sharp

DRAINAGE, animal welfare, RV friendly status, homelessness, Duck Creek Road, rubbish bins, road maintenance, parking, an incinerator, flying the pride flag outside Council, Mayor-CEO working relationships, candidate-property developer friendships, preference allocation and an indoor sports facility for Beaudesert.

Those were among issues the public raised at the Beaudesert Chamber of Commerce Meet the Candidates night on February 26.

All three Mayoral candidates and candidates for Divisions Two, Three and Four were invited to speak and answer questions and all were in attendance except Division Two Greens candidate Nicole Thompson.

It was a full house in the functions room at The Club Beaudesert with local voters and Chamber of Commerce members, candidate support teams and current and outgoing councillors in the mix.

Mayoral hopefuls Greg Christensen (incumbent), Tom Sharp and Jeff McConnell each got a five-minute introduction before taking turns to answer a swathe of questions collected from the audience.

The debate was largely respectful and was well-moderated by the Chamber, however when the question of preferences came up it was particularly clear that there is no love lost between the Mayoral candidates.

McConnell, who is the current Deputy Mayor and will have no position in Council if he doesn’t win the mayoralty, used the forum to call out what he sees as a lack of leadership.

“It’s about leadership. We haven’t had it for the last four years and it’s showed,” he said.

“I’d unify the six (councillors) the residents out there give me, form a team and come up with policies as a team. I’m not going to dictate that these are the policies we will follow because it doesn’t work – we’ve tried that.”

Christensen admitted it had been a tough 12 months.

“The reality not everything’s broken in Council and up until the last 12 months we did have a lot of high performance in Council,” he said.

“The reality is we are performing well, we’ve got an exciting future, now’s not a time to get buried in ‘group think’ of false ideas.”

Sharp said Council needed to re-engage with the community.

“Council needs to start listening to the people. Why? Because it’s your Council,” he said.

“We need restructure, budget reform and financial discipline, lastly transparency and accountability.”

Scenic Rim voters will head to the polls on 16 March and early voting is open until 15 March.

SRM Print

About Susie Cunningham 0 Articles
Journalist telling the stories of where I live. I love living and working in Beaudesert and when I'm not working you'll see me walking the dogs with my husband Zac.