POWER 30: Our most influential person's vision for Gympie
IT IS difficult to achieve anything without a vision, and the Gympie region's most influential person, Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien's is clear: a better life for the region's future residents.
Voted #1 in this year's Power 30, he is well on the way to delivering on that promise.
Whether it's funding for local business, improving the region's mental health or securing legacy-creating projects like the Gympie Bypass, the goalposts never change.
2018 GYMPIE POWER 30
They were, he said, ensuring the region's people would have a safer, healthier and more economically secure future.
"I've got a granddaughter now.
"She'll drive on Section D one day and she'll hopefully benefit from the rewards of a better economy."
Not that he was ready to rest on the laurels and hoopla of that announcement last year.
"When I see some bulldozers pushing up dirt I'll feel a lot better."
So what's next now that the big ticket of Section D has been stamped?
The focus now, he said was on bringing new public and private investment.
And he was "eager" to talk to those with big ideas for the region.
With an "overriding goal" to ensure taxpayer money is not wasted, and future generations are not bowed under the weight of the government's debts, Mr O'Brien said the bottom line was if the region wasn't happy, then he shouldn't be either.
"Every three years I have to go for a job interview," he said.
"The people who sit on that panel are the people I serve; they're the people who decide whether they want Llew O'Brien to keep fighting for them in Canberra or whether they think it's time to give someone else a go.
"My strong advice to them would be: if they think Llew O'Brien's not doing a good job, boot him out.
"I say that with all sincerity."
Until then, he hopes to continue not just grabbing the opportunities for growth, but finding ways to create entirely new ones.
"I'm 110 per cent invested in this region.
"I was prior to entering politics, and will be until I'm an old man well after politics. I'll still be here playing my part.
"I'm always on the lookout for projects to grow our economy that might need some government assistance."