Leslie Hotz to ensure progress for the division
LATER this month, North Burnett residents will take to the polls to have their say on who they want to sit on the next council.
Seventeen candidates have officially registered through the Electoral Commission Queensland to run for North Burnett Regional Council across six divisions, with mayor Rachel Chambers running unopposed for the mayoral seat.
We spoke with Division 2 candidate Leslie Hotz and asked him 12 questions to understand how he ticks, what her priorities are, and where he sees the region heading in the next four years – and these are his answers.
1. Why do you want to be a NBRC councillor?
I would like to see our community continue to develop and grow.
I have lived in the region for my whole life and seen the effort others have made to improve and upgrade infrastructure and services in all of our towns, eg bitumen roads, improved gravel roads, town water and sewerage.
I believe I have the ability to contribute to ensure progress and improved lifestyle for all.
I would endeavour to include all ratepayers, rural and urban, so that no one feels forgotten by council.
2. What relevant experience have you had that qualifies you to guide the council forward?
At the age of 17 I was fortunate to secure a junior position with the former Monto Shire Council. Through the experience I worked in most office positions, finally achieving the position of CEO from 1994 to 2008.
At amalgamation I was appointed Director of Corporate Services until 2014 when my position was made redundant through a council staff restructure.
During my career I worked with councillors from many walks of life, participated in council meetings and understood most of the frustrations that ratepayers, residents and councillors endured.
I also accompanied delegations to government to secure state funding.
3. If elected, what are your top three priorities?
1. Communication. To be approachable and contactable by constituents and to liaise with councillors to ensure the best outcome for the whole of the region. In doing so, develop policies that provide sound corporate governance.
2. Employ a viable local workforce in the six communities. Ensure that the appropriate machinery council/contract is engaged for the optimum results.
3. Support local businesses throughout the region with a local buy policy.
4. In your opinion, in what areas is the North Burnett leading the way?
Our region can boast excellent natural tourism attractions, e.g. national parks at Auburn River, Cania George, Coalstoun Lakes, Mount Walsh and Tolderedden Conservation Park supported by well- serviced tourist parks.
5. What challenges do you see impacting the region in the next four years?
Dwindling funding from federal/state governments and reduced government services.
6. What business, residential and investment interests do you have locally and beyond?
I own property at Threemoon and Cania.
7. What’s more important, supporting small businesses in the region, or attracting big businesses to the North Burnett?
Supporting small business is important to our community. There is a sound base of young families on property and farms with cattle/intensive husbandry, cropping and numerous support enterprises within our region.
8. What is the first thing council should do to improve health services across the North Burnett?
Secure similar health services that are available to our city cousins. Where this is not possible, provide sealed access to centres where the specialist services are available.
9. What community and volunteer activities have you engaged in prior to the current election campaign?
I am currently:
- Chairman Community Reference Group for the Wide Bay Hospital and Health in Monto.
- Member Ridge Haven Retirement Village reference committee.
- Group leader Monto State Emergency Services.
- Member Monto Residents and Ratepayers association.
- Chairman Monto Driving Force.
- Member Monto Presbyterian Church.
10. As councillor/if elected, how do you plan to involve residents in the decision-making process for our region?
Communication, liaise with trucking, mail contractors, school bus drivers regarding their road needs and attempt to have council address issues.
Attend community meetings as often as possible.
Have a point of contact within Eidsvold and Monto to provide public access for council-related concerns.
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?
Consult with full council and communities and with ratepayers to determine the best way in which to use a grant.
Hopefully to provide something tangible for the older generation to improve their quality of life, e.g. solar heated swimming pools to allow longer period of usage.
12. Tell us something about yourself that others may be surprised to know about you.
I have always been involved in my community. For 53 years I have been involved with youth work.
In 1983 I was unable to secure land to lease at Cania Dam for a youth camp site from the State Government.
I was fortunate to inherit land at Cania adjoining the Cania Dam.
Thirty-five years has been spent developing a facility where camping has been held mainly for youth/father and son camps.