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George Ladbrook

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? 

The Butter Factory Museum volunteers guided by their vision and hard work have developed a once derelict building into something special. The council had to make a call on purchasing a structurally sound building and land adjacent to the museum for the cost of the land only.  The decision allows the museum to expand if necessary.   Once purchased it also paved the way for continued development of another tourist spot in the area.  The development of this area would be subject to appropriate grants and public consultation.  Once sold to private enterprise there is no going back. This issue was time vital and council, regardless of the state of the building now has land that can be used for many purposes.

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.

As a businessperson in this area for 30 years at one time employing up to 15 staff, I see and feel for local businesses and government agencies attracting and retaining staff.  Many of these positions require specialized staff which makes the issue even more difficult.  We also have the added issue of competing for staff with the oil and gas industry wages.  I do not begrudge those wages, but with a reasonably small population many businesses would not be viable offering that level.

 We assist by:

- making the costs that businesses and residents encounter with the council as cost effective and reasonable as possible

- prioritising the employment of local businesses or staff for contracts and products.  While not guaranteed, positives are: -after-sale service and pride in work.

 -support to business associations to foster and enhance business promotion and development.  $125,000 was also provided to RCAT to develop a new livability website to promote the region.

-prioritise making available residential land.

No point attracting workers if there is no where to live.

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 been self-employed since the age of 21. I am used to making my own decisions.   

Council provides opportunities to meet and talk with interested parties.  We have knowledgeable people on staff, providing research evidence and scenarios.  I value their opinions.  I read the reports prior to meetings, use my own or other’s experiences and draw conclusions.  The videoed meetings are at the end of a long process of investigations and discussions with stakeholders, I refrain from voicing my opinions as in many cases what I am thinking has already been said. We have a lot to cover at meetings, if you do your homework, you have an idea of how you wish to vote. 

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.

Many council decisions are contained in MRC’s Livability Strategy.

 Campbell Park upgrade, Callico Cottage, Denise Spencer Pool are projects approved and voted on by MRC.   Free Pools (idea now taken up by Brisbane City Council), Medical Bursaries- “forward thinking and innovative”, Childcare Bursaries. Support of local organisations and sporting groups and development of practical activities to improve the lives of our young people in all regions.   MRC contains a plan of action, through the term it intends to work through the focus areas.     

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