How our councillors rate their progress - Hilary Smerdon, Division 6
In the past year I have strived to be a good councillor and respond to all enquiries, requests and problems from anyone in the area, not only my division. I have especially tried to look after the interests of this regions rural residents.
I have campaigned strongly to council and our Infrastructure services department to get more maintenance done on our rural roads. Council is committed to increasing our maintenance allocation in the upcoming budget.
Council is also committed in the 5 year Corporate plan to raising the bar with regard to attracting new business to the area. In my opinion we need a new approach, instead of handing a prospective new business owner a heap of forms to fill out and saying this is what you have to do, we do the opposite and ask what can we do to get you here and put the effort in to get the business established in this region. It's ok to spend money on improving the liveability of the region but we still need new business to create more jobs to attract people here.
Council is in the process of making the Weir oval at Kilkivan more user friendly for RV stopovers by installing a dump point and generally making the area more appealing to the large RV market that travels through the town daily.
Councils new corporate plan now includes a proposed Equestrian Centre at the Kilkivan Show Grounds. Public consultations will be held and hopefully we can achieve a good result for the community. I am sure a facility like this would be a huge success and be very well supported.
Council is committed to improving our facilities for our visiting travellers providing more options for overnight and short term stopovers over the whole region.
As I said before the election, rates are a necessary evil that this council has to have to run a region as big as Gympie. I and my fellow colleagues always have the welfare of our constituents in mind as we try to deliver budgets that provide the necessary services to the region but still maintains this council in a sound financial position . In my opinion we can still improve the return on every rate dollar by looking and more efficient ways of managing this region.