'Achieve full potential': Mayor reveals election commitment
NOTE: This is a paid piece of editorial content as part of the South Burnett Times' election campaign package.
LATER this month South Burnett residents will take to the polls to have their say on who they want to sit on the next council.
Ahead of the upcoming local government election on March 28, we spoke with Mayor Keith Campbell about why he is running for his second term in the top spot.
1. Why do you want to be a SBRC councillor?
To continue serving the South Burnett and deliver on the strategic projects that I know will create a long term legacy of affordable rates and a strong economy that is resilient and endures challenges.
2. What relevant experience do you have that qualifies you to guide the council forward?
I have 21 years of experience managing multimillion-dollar budgets for council and many years in private enterprise, leading small and large teams of talented and dedicated councillors and professional staff, developing and implementing strategic policy and governance that improves organisation's financial positions.
3. If elected, what are your top three priorities?
To lead the South Burnett to achieve its full economic and liveability potential through driving the recommendations that come from the current Water Feasibility Study, capitalise on opportunities presented by renewable energy developments and new technology plus support the growth of our re-energised tourism approach.
4. In your opinion, in what areas is the South Burnett leading the way?
Improving council's financial performance from "weak" to "moderate", as confirmed by the Queensland Audit Office recent report to state parliament.
Secondly, the strategy developed after the last election from conducting an exhaustive external audit of the region's rural roads, has resulted in new practices, an improved program of works, reduced complaints and increased compliments.
5. What challenges do you see impacting the region in the next four years?
To live within our means, operate efficiently and strategically, maintain and improve our financial performance and only invest in projects that deliver extended value to the South Burnett community.
6. What business, residential and investment interests do you have locally and beyond?
My Register of Interests has been a publicly available document for several years on www.southburnett.qld.gov.au.
I do not have other business interests or directorships that distract me or require time or my financial investment.
I will continue dedicating myself 24/7 to the responsibilities of Mayor.
7. What's more important - supporting small businesses in the region, or attracting big businesses to the South Burnett?
Both. Supporting small and large existing industries thrive is an essential key to attracting new small or big industries for the future.
My commitment in the next term is to deliver a robust economic and investment ready prospectus that informs and encourages new businesses and developers to establish in the South Burnett.
8. What is the first thing council should do to improve health services across the South Burnett?
In short, health services are the responsibility of the state government with links to the federal government.
My commitment is to ensure that health care gaps are identified and that the South Burnett continues to attract and sustain a wide range of doctors and Allied Health practitioners.
I currently chair the Community Medical Taskforce committee.
9. What community and volunteer activities have you engaged in prior to the current election campaign?
Volunteering is essential. I have held executive committee positions and been a volunteer in many groups across the region for many years. Among a number of involvements I have chaired the Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Orana Homes for the Aged along with being President of the Kingaroy State High School P and C association.
10. As councillor/if elected, how do you plan to involve residents in the decision-making process for our region?
Four years ago, I introduced formal councillors listening tours. Council listen to understand community priorities in a face-to-face environment. I use information technology to strengthen two-way engagement between council and residents, social media, press releases and live streaming of council meetings is ready to go.
The digital communication strategy is well used by council and myself as a reporting platform.
11. If you received a $1 million grant to use for the region any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?
Grants are applied for/or awarded principally to "shovel ready" projects.
An open $1 million grant would be invested in a capital project that has been agreed upon by council and documented in å current strategic plan to benefit the whole South Burnett.
Such would have already been established by council collectively in response to residents' inputs.
12. Tell us something about yourself that others may be surprised to know about you.
Some years ago I was selected as a Rotary Group Exchange student travelling to Arizona, USA. While there I met movie star John Wayne. The purpose of the trip was primarily to promote international goodwill and understanding in developing our professional careers.