Candidates for the Moreton Bay Regional Council Division 7 by-election answered questions from the community and made their final pitches to voters during a forum hosted by Moreton Daily last night, ahead of the poll this Saturday.
The event, hosted by Moreton Daily News South Editor Jodie Powell at Norths Leagues and Services Club, invited residents to attend in person or watch it via live-stream.
It gave each candidate the chance to speak for two minutes about their background and priorities, answer a series of questions submitted by residents and make a final pitch to voters.
All six candidates attended (in ballot order): Yvonne Barlow, Dean Teasdale, Ryan Bakker, Brett Hayes, Jacqui Findlay and Ben Wood.
Ms Powell asked questions on behalf of residents who provided them ahead of the forum. Topics covered included community spaces and infrastructure, road upgrades, facilities for teens, dog parks, wildlife and bushland preservation, development, Lakeside Park Raceway and climate change.
All six candidates emphasised the importance of community consultation and involvement on key issues affecting the division.
They were respectful in their responses to questions, keeping the discussion to the issues presented.
To watch a recording of the forum head here
Yvonne Barlow congratulated all the candidates for putting their hands up to assist the community.
“I love the area, I have never left the area in time I left as councillor in 2008. I work with the community, I want to continue to work with the community to enhance their lifestyle. Let’s face it, they pay their money for their rates and they deserve to have an environment around them where they can bring up their families, enjoy their lifestyle and have fun in life. That’s the important thing. I commit that I would work very closely with each and every member of the community. On the day of the election, I’m actually singing for the community … this is my 23rd year and on the day we have an election, I’m actually singing for the community. That’s what it’s all about.”
Dean Teasdale thanked fellow candidates for their contribution to the forum and said they had been ‘through the ringer’ due to the short campaigning period.
“Everyone’s made their best efforts to get out there and listen to the community, which is really important. Sometimes it can be very testing because people have views that are different to our own and they want to get in your face and tell you all about them, but at the end of the day that’s the role you’re applying for. It is a job application for the next two and a bit years and then the next general election will come around for council and you’ll need to reapply again. So, it’s a really short space of time for whoever gets elected to get out there and listen and take action and hopefully be there for the next five, 10 or 15 years to represent the community … and bring us along. We’ve got a lot of growth happening around Division 7 and in Division 7, and it’s about getting the balance right between having that growth and development and protecting and enhancing the lifestyles that we already enjoy here. I’m asking for your vote and support to be Division 7’s strong voice in council,” he said.
Ryan Bakker said he wanted to be someone who could act for the community.
“I’m always going to be there to listen and act. I love where we live and over the past two weeks, I’ve met a lot of people, I haven’t been at prepoll every day, but I have gotten to meet a lot of nice people and hear their concerns. I want to move forward with them,” he said.
Brett Hayes said he had worked in the region and division for about six years and had met many people during that time. He said while walking the streets during the campaign he had been astounded by the area’s beauty.
“Speaking to people and (hearing) their passion for this division has really affected me and driven me even more so after speaking to them and listening to them and hearing what they want, their values. It’s been an absolute pleasure. I’d like to represent them,” he said.
Jacqui Findlay said she grew up in a small close-knit community (in New Zealand) and moved to Australia, falling in love with the Moreton Bay Region.
“It’s a much larger community but I still have that feeling of wanting to be part of helping the community. I feel quite passionate about the environment and I want to help the community act locally on global issues. I just want to make sure we try to help as many people as possible with the best outcomes as best we can.”
Ben Wood said he was ‘super excited’.
“I’m very excited with the prospect of possibly being the representative for Division 7 and I think all the things I’ve done throughout my life have led me to this point where I have that absolute chance to give my 100 per cent to work with the community, to engage with the community, to bring what the community wants to the council so they can make the best choices, policies and programs for the people I represent. I’m 100 per cent genuine, I am approachable and if you are looking for a councillor that is 100 per cent authentic, please consider voting for me this Saturday or at prepoll,” he said.
To view the candidates’ profiles, head here
Prepolling: is at Lillybrook Shopping Village, Shop 1A, corner Old Gympie Rd and Brickworks Rd, Kallangur, until 5pm today and from 9am-6pm tomorrow.
DIVISION 7 ELECTION DAY POLLING BOOTHS
Open Saturday, November 4, 8am-6pm
Dakabin State High School, 255-267 Marsden Rd, Dakabin. Full access
Kallangur State School, 139 School Rd, Kallangur. Full access
Kallangur Community Hall, 148 Anzac Ave, Kallangur. Full access
Kruger Hall, Penson Park, 24 Ann St, Kallangur. Assisted access
Undurba State School, 49 Ogg Rd, Murrumba Downs. Full access
Living Faith Lutheran Primary School, 50 Brays Rd, Murrumba Downs. Full access
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