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Mark Edwards

Question 1:

The community have expressed significant concerns regarding the perceived lack of consultation, insufficient information disclosure, unquantified financial decisions, and overall lack of transparency in Council's actions, particularly concerning agreements like the one with REX airlines and asset acquisitions such as the old grain depot.
 
What process would you implement to ensure adequate consultation with community, as well as ensuring financially prudent decisions are being made within the chamber? 

Maranoa Regional Council (MRC) consults quite regularly with the community through have your say, visits, deputations, briefings etc.  I think the MRC had two meetings with the community about Qantas performance. TMR awarded the contract to REX in the end and I understand that a partnership agreement was negotiated after that based on feedback. We have a guaranteed amount of residence fares and an unlimited amount of small business (SME) fares subject to supply. As far as I know the SME fares are not capped. 

Question 2:

RCAT recognises the vital role that businesses play in our regional economy and community. With this in mind, we're keen to understand your vision and proposed strategies for supporting our local business community into the future. Could you outline specific initiatives or policies you plan to champion to support growth, innovation, and resilience among our local businesses.

Affordable rates, more bitumen, free water allocation, attracting communities and operating locally. Also, I promote tourism, better connectivity and communication and heritage protection. Unity support for businesses has been significant and in the forefront of my mind. These types of initiatives now and in the last term generate the required growth, innovation, and resilience. For example, free pools, local procurement, reduction costs, use the savings in other areas, reduce debt and replace plant. 

Question 3:

As a councillor, the importance of having a well-defined set of personal values and ethics cannot be overstated. With this in mind, how do you intend to equip yourself with the necessary information and understanding to form your own position on important issues before voting? Additionally, what strategies do you have in mind to actively contribute within the chamber to ensure that decisions lead to impactful and beneficial outcomes for our communities?

I have always adhered to a strict set of values, principles and ethics starting with my upbringing, then responsibility at school as a student and prefect, obtaining 2 degrees, codes of conduct as an accountant and financial planner and then as a councillor. The chamber is very important in that you read the report material, get the facts including impact on the community and people’s lives (compassion), and listen to the debate. Then you decide.  It is not always about the money. 

Question 4:

Both RCAT and Maranoa Regional Council (through the APLNG Liveability Fund) have jointly invested significant funds and time over the past 12 months to support regional liveability initiatives.  We are keen to hear your perspective on enhancing liveability and attracting and retaining a local skilled workforce. In your view, what are the key strategies or initiatives that our local council can undertake and/or support to improve the overall quality of life for residents, while also making our region more attractive to workers and ensuring they choose to live local and remain within our communities.

Attracting communities is about providing liveability through listening to the community, community engagement, understanding, and supporting what the residents of the Maranoa community would like. For example, does the community need more childcare, lifestyle, more doctors, better or new facilities etc. If the answer is yes, then we will try to provide it or fix it. We want more people to want to live in the Maranoa and for the residents to stay here.  

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