It was only in early January that I decided I would be a candidate for Mayor at the March elections.
As a Councillor in 2016-2020, I successfully advocated for greater transparency on Noosa Council, a proposition opposed by other Councillors but which won great community support. My colleagues eventually changed their views.
It showed that if Councillors earned the trust of the community and themselves trusted the community, good things could happen.
It was an important part of the many things I enjoyed about being a Councillor. I decided that if I succeeded in asking the Noosa community to elect me as its Mayor, then I would repay the honour by leading a Council that focussed not on winning against each other, but winning for the community.
Part of this is good communication. It is imperative that the community knows what Councillors are doing. There is more to do to improve transparency. If elected, I want our Council to achieve greater openness. It will make us better Councillors and make Noosa Council better.
I’ll take whatever steps are required to improve governance, transparency, accountability and to ensure there is respectful behaviour in our Council so our community leadership will be respected.
Let me quickly canvas the policies that should drive our Council forward. In the media and in my discussions with constituents, I’m talking about important matters like traffic, housing, health, the river, local business and jobs, the biosphere, transport, hinterland roads….
It concerns me that many good Council plans and strategies sit silently in computers. They must be actioned. In the last 10 years of Noosa Council, there has been much good planning. But not nearly enough implementation.
That is unacceptable. One of my priorities is to dust off those plans, update them, consult the community about them if required, and get on with getting them done.
Our Council needs to give more attention to that plan of all plans, the Noosa Plan. I value its vision and its goals. And the intent of the Noosa Biosphere also needs to be treated seriously. It can guide the growth of a resilient community and a thriving economy working in harmony with Noosa’s greatest asset, its natural environment.
I will be an active Mayor who gets things done; who will talk about the hard stuff as well as the easy stuff. And, when we make plans, I’ll equip them with wheels so they go somewhere.
I have no illusions about the complexity, but I believe my career in management and four years as a Noosa Councillor have prepared me for the role of Mayor.
(Written and authorised by Ingrid Jackson, CA 8-10, Noosa Civic Commercial, 28 Eenie Creek Road, Noosaville Qld 4566)