CANDIDATES Q&A: Challengers for the role of mayor and councillors in Rockhampton Regional Council were questioned about their priority issue for the region.
CANDIDATES Q&A: Challengers for the role of mayor and councillors in Rockhampton Regional Council were questioned about their priority issue for the region.

Candidates discuss plans to amend RRC’s local laws

THERE are only two days remaining in the 2020 Local Government Election campaign and we’ve quizzed the contenders for the roles of mayor and councillors in Rockhampton Regional Council on the following question:

Were there any local laws you’d like to see added or modified?

Mayoral candidate: Chris Hooper

Mayoral Candidate Chris Hooper. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Mayoral Candidate Chris Hooper. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin

Metropolitan traffic should be 35km per hour, with other cities thinking of the same speed.

Inner-city car speed should be reduced to 5km per hour.

Cars should give way to all pedestrian traffic.

The council should police cars sitting in East Street with their motors running, air conditioners going, and pumping out fumes oblivious to people on the street.

With free buses and people doing more walking and cycling the pathways need to link up the complete circuit.

Community gardens need to be allowed on all vacant land in the city.

Mayoral candidate: Margaret Strelow

Mayoral candidate Margaret Strelow
Mayoral candidate Margaret Strelow

Local laws will always be a work in progress.

We have just undertaken a massive review of our local laws. Wherever possible my direction is to have less regulation not more.

Division 1: Sherrie Ashton

Division 1 candidate Sherrie Ashton.
Division 1 candidate Sherrie Ashton.

No answer submitted.

Division 1: Shane Latcham

Division 1 candidate Shane Latcham.
Division 1 candidate Shane Latcham.

Juvenile crime needs to be seriously addressed by all three tiers of government.

Local council could introduce an interim local law, reviewed after six months, for restrictions for anyone under the age of 17, not going to/from employment, after 10pm to be at home.

With the coronavirus crisis at the moment, it is important that people are at home and not roaming the streets in order to reduce crime and the spread of the disease. Our community needs to feel safe at night; without houses being broken into and vehicles stolen from out of control juveniles while you sleep.

Division 1: Vincent ­Robertson

Division 1 candidate Vince Robertson.
Division 1 candidate Vince Robertson.

Being a candidate, and not completely knowing the full story about the local laws and the problems that go with them, I can only assure the voters that I will do my utmost, if elected, to see that these local aws are reviewed and changed if required to ensure all parties are treated fairly.

The one thing I have noticed is an increase in the number of very young people, 12 years old or younger, wandering the streets in the early morning hours around 2am. Maybe the old-fashioned curfew on these young folk would work.

Division 2: Neil Fisher

Division 2 candidate Councillor Neil Fisher.
Division 2 candidate Councillor Neil Fisher.

After the number of shopping trolleys removed from our waterways during this year’s Clean Up Australia, I would like to see our region have a local law that requires supermarkets and retailers to install a shopping trolley wheel lock containment system in an effort to clean up our local parks, creeks and rivers of abandoned shopping trolleys.

During the past few years, Rockhampton Regional Council has conducted a complete review of its local laws. Some local laws were updated to better suit the need of the community and I think a local law to reduce abandoned shopping trolleys would also be of community benefit.

Division 2: Gavin Shuker

Local laws can cause a lot of difficulties for both individual people and business owners.

As council we have to ensure that we have a can-do policy and not make things significantly harder for everyone. I think this tone is and set by council by what they stand for.

Division 3: Tony Williams

Division 3 candidate Cr Tony Williams
Division 3 candidate Cr Tony Williams

Local laws are fundamental to local government and they set out how our council governs. Councils roles and responsibilities are set out in these local laws from animal control, overgrown allotments, outdoor dining and many, many more.

Rockhampton Regional Council has only recently completed an extensive review of its local laws and will continue to review in the new council.

I have had many complaints recently regarding feral pigeons in vacant buildings, I would like to see if we can develop a local law around this issue.

Division 4: Ellen Smith

Division 4 candidate Councillor Ellen Smith.
Division 4 candidate Councillor Ellen Smith.

As chair of Planning and Regulatory, I am very proud of the way the local laws team worked very hard during the past two years to review our local laws, a process which hadn’t been done since Amalgamation in 2008.

So much has changed since then, and with the review, our local laws have been brought up to todays’ world.

Reviewing local laws is a lengthy process with State Government approvals and public consultation throughout the involved process.

Local laws are the ‘backbone’ of many council processes, and will be reviewed in the future, if necessary.

Division 5: Peter Anderson

Division 5 candidate Peter Anderson.
Division 5 candidate Peter Anderson.

Compliance - when there is a complaint lodged, should be through the front desk, not councillors.

Complainant should get one go only, not years.

Staff have said near 90 per cent of complaints are ­vexatious. Vexatious complaints have a major impact on development applications.

Local laws are close to 50 per cent of councils operational costs.

Council has acknowledged there is no costings on complaints.

The vexatious complaints cost my family and business a substantial amount of money and stress and is estimated cost to council close to $300,000 over four years.

We should dissect and re-establish this area, the surplus staff can relocate to areas that are under-staffed in council.

Division 5: Cherie Rutherfor - No answer submitted.

Divison 5 candidate Councillor Cherie Rutherford
Divison 5 candidate Councillor Cherie Rutherford

Division 6: Drew Wickerson

Division 6 candidate Cr Drew Wickerson. Photo Contributed
Division 6 candidate Cr Drew Wickerson. Photo Contributed

I am satisfied that current local laws are fair and equittable for the Rockhampton region community.

Council has recently ­completed a major review of local laws and sub-ordinate local laws with a range of important ammendments being adopted. This document is available on council’s website for perusal. Proposed revisions are put to the community for consideration and valued feedback.

I welcome enquiries from the public on any existing local law or suggestions for new laws or ammendments for future review.

Division 7: Noeleen Horan

Divison 7 candidate Noeleen Horan.
Divison 7 candidate Noeleen Horan.

Illegal dumping pollutes our environment and ­significantly diminishes the use, enjoyment and value of our public spaces - making our communities look uncared for.

An uncared-for ­environment can lead to more dumping, other illegal ­activities and antisocial behaviour.

Council use local laws to respond to issues and community needs.

There is an obvious need in many areas all over Rockhampton regarding illegal dumping.

Ongoing and regular monitoring of these areas, enforcement practices and infringement notices would help address this issue.

Division 7: Donna Kirkland

Division 7 candidate Donna Kirkland.
Division 7 candidate Donna Kirkland.

We live in a world where the environment is currently changing daily.

Already we are subjected to more and more rules and less and less common sense.

Local laws are designed to protect the people in all fairness and execution, providing a sense of security.

I want to be the voice of the people in what they need.

One strong theme across the people I have spoken to in Division 7, both residents and businesses alike, is that laws only serve a purpose when actually enforced and are ­adheared to by all.

If we were to add new laws, it should be after consultation with the community.

Where to vote for pre-polling

  • Gracemere Community Centre, 6‐9 Barry Street, Gracemere
  • James Lawrence Pavilion, Rockhampton Showgrounds, New

Exhibition Rd, Wandal

  • The Green Shed, 36 Thompson Avenue, Mount Morgan
  • Yeppoon Town Hall, 25 Normanby St, Yeppoon