SCENIC Rim Division Three Councillor, Virginia West will not contest the upcoming local government election on March 16, 2024.
Cr West said after 20 years in local government it is time to pass the baton on.
“It was a difficult decision to make, because I still enjoy it,” she said.
First elected to Beaudesert Shire Council in 2004 when Joy Drescher was Mayor, Cr West’s time in Council included the transition to Scenic Rim Regional Council when the State Government amalgamated many Councils throughout Queensland.
“At the time it was very stressful, for our community and for Boonah,” she said of the amalgamation.
Cr West decided to run for Council in 2004 due to her concerns about Canungra’s water supply.
“At the time water was a Council responsibility so we worked hard at Beaudesert Shire Council and got as far as creating a plan for off stream storage that would provide about a month’s supply of water for the town.”
“We even went as far as soil testing, and just needed to get funding.”
However, after amalgamation came in it was announced that from 2010 water and sewerage would be taken back under the control of the state government.
She has continued to advocate for improvements to the town water supply as Councillor.
Roads, bridges and playgrounds
Roads and bridges have been high on Cr West’s agenda throughout her time in Council.
“When we were amalgamated there were 117 old timber bridges that had been let go, they hadn’t been maintained.”
“We got a strategy organised and we were lucky to get lots of funding from the government over time. So now those bridges have been whittled down to 75. They’re not just rejuvenated, they are new.”
She is also pleased with the upgrade of the playground in D J Smith Park which has modernised the park and created a more engaging space.
Although there have been challenges over the years, Cr West said she has always tried to be there for the residents in her division.
“I’ve always got back to them, answered their calls and emails and tried to get the best outcome.”
“I feel like I’ve been incredibly blessed and privileged to represent so many small communities within the Scenic Rim – at first I had Division Two which took in Tamborine Village (under Beaudesert Shire Council). People have been amazing and it has been a delight to represent everybody.”
Cr West said she is incredibly grateful for the support and love her family have given her during her time as a councillor.
She is not retiring from work altogether and said she will seek opportunities in a community based position, as well as continuing to be involved with the community in volunteer roles.