Sue Brooks' Blog The Blog of Sue Brooks, Hervey Bay – Fraser Coast

A chinese lion statue

All opinions are mine and reflect my personal views.

Please forgive errors, poor grammar and other clumsy writings. If I had more time I would edit and get someone else to check for typos etc but time is in very short supply. I figure that rough entries are preferable to no entries. Thanks for your patience

Preferences for Division 5. Sue Brooks and Bernii Allen

March 8th, 2016

Preferences – Sue Brooks and Bernii Allen Division 5.
It is uncommon to see preferences used in local government elections here on

the Fraser Coast, as most candidates usually choose the just Vote 1

approach. But in Division 5, Sue Brooks and Bernii Allen are swapping

preferences by placing each other 1 and 2 and the incumbent Councillor Rolf

Light at number 3. With only 3 candidates nominating in this Division, it

will make for an interesting contest.

Sue Brooks says, “I am pleased to preference Bernii Allen as I am keen to

see a big change in the make up of this Council for the next 4 years. I look

forward to a more transparent and people friendly Council that listens to

the community.”

Sue believes voters will choose wisely and adds, “Voters are free to decide

their own preferences of course and can still vote in whatever manner they

choose”.

Bernii Allen says, “My decision to stand as a candidate in Division 5 of the Fraser Coast Regional

Council was initiated by my distress over bad development. In my opinion the

Incumbent of Division 5 has not fought against “bad development” and this is

why I first considered a preference deal with Sue Brooks; and I do without any

doubt agree with all she has said in her comments on this preference deal we

have agreed upon.”     

Development. The good, the bad and the ugly

February 25th, 2016

How do we ensure that our region attracts ‘good’ development? What is ‘good’ development versus bad? Good development is any development that fits the requirements of our Planning Scheme so it is very important to ensure we have a great Planning Scheme that encourages the type of development we want here.
The previous Council had to join together 4 different Planning schemes when amalgamation was forced upon us. We had already decided to retain the ‘nodes’ along our Esplanade and to retain the 8 storey height limit within those nodes. We talked to our residents to make sure the changes were generally agreed upon. We fixed many mistakes. The job was nearly done but then came the 2008 election.

So a brand new Council and Mayor O’Connell the only surviving Councillor. Mayor O’Connell knew exactly which way the community wanted the new Planning Scheme to go. Stick to the nodes for high rise and Hervey Bay people, in the main, will be happy.

But instead, within months, we had a totally new plan with high rise the entire length of The Esplanade. One of the brand new Councillors once told me that this was sold to them as what the previous Council wanted! Well no it wasn’t.

So now we have high rise allowed in places the community doesn’t want it and up to 20 storeys allowed at Urangan….. The people spoke but were ignored. 

We don’t want ugly. We don’t want inappropriate either. We want sensible well planned development that enhances our lifestyle and attracts visitors and new residents. Noosa attracts heaps of tourists but they don’t go there for high rise. They go there for the natural surroundings and relaxed feel of the place. That is why I came here. Maybe it is time to turn back time in relation to this Planning scheme?

Jobs, Jobs,  jobs. My ideas. What do you think?

February 21st, 2016

JOBS.  My ideas for the Fraser Coast.
We all want more jobs here on our Fraser Coast but where are these jobs going to come from? Manufacturing has pretty much been killed off by Federal Government policies regarding free trade and level playing fields etc. So if not manufacturing what can we do here?
Some thoughts..

1. POPULATION

We do need to grow our population to a critical mass of 100 – 150 thousand people. To embrace and develop a sustainable economy we must have a population base big enough to ensure service providers and retailers have access to enough customers. More customers keeps the skills and work here. Think repair people, courier services, hospitality workers etc. We will also have a better chance of beating Bundaberg to Government department offices being located here.

But Council has to be much more business friendly with sensible rates and charges and planning requirements. No policy will work without the procedures in place to enable people to easily grow and develop their businesses.

We also need to become much more food and enery efficient. Our food should be caught, (think seafood), grown, harvested and then sold here, not driven to Brisbane and back. We can become energy independent with solar and wind. Other towns have done it we can to.

2. WAREHOUSING

Research shows that in this online world warehouses are evolving and changing. And yes they do use people still not just robots. I found comments such as these…. 

http://www.koganpage.com/article/the-warehouse-of-the-future

“Warehouse locations on the edge of cities will be reshaped to function as hubs where cross-docking will take place for final distribution. Non-urban areas will have regional consolidation centres in which products will be cross-docked for final distribution. Final distribution to stores, pick-up points and homes in urban and non-urban areas will take place via consolidated deliveries using efficient assets.”

 http://www.inboundlogistics.com/cms/article/warehousing-the-evolution-continues/

“Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are shifting more activities to the warehouse, thanks to the lower cost of doing so. Activities performed in today’s warehouse may include product configuration, finishing, packaging, labeling, ticketing, pricing, and creating shelf-ready product displays. This expansion of activities is taking place in both company-owned-and-operated facilities, as well as those operated by third parties.

The variety of activities being performed today is broad. For example, when asked what services were performed in his warehouse, one study respondent replied, “Anything the customer wants!”

Surely we are well placed with our access to rail, road and air travel to attract these businesses!

3. CALL CENTRES

Call Centres are another industry we should be attracting. We already have 3 here that I am aware of and I am employed in one. Big business realises in this competitive world that customer service is more important than ever and customers want Australian based service. Take a look at this snap shot from SEEK today.

Call Centre & Customer Service Jobs (3787)

 Collections (159)

 Customer Service – Call Centre (1448)

 Customer Service – Customer Facing (412)

 Management & Support (181)

 Sales – Inbound (367)

 Sales – Outbound (901)

 Supervisors/Team Leaders (150)

 Other (169)

Location
 Sydney (1792)

 Melbourne (1072)

 Brisbane (357)

 Perth (119)

 Adelaide (11

We have the space we have the people. Let’s get more call centres based here.

4. E- CHANGE REGION

Lastly another change has been described by Demographer Bernard Salt as the E- Change. We have had the sea change and tree change and now he says it is time for the E-Change. Meaning that more and more people can work from anywhere. So what better place to bring your job to than here! Hervey Bay and the entire Fraser Coast is very well placed to become the number one E – Change destination in Australia. 

Here at home we recently played host to two visitors from Germany. They had been in Australia for 12 days and were travelling up the Queensland coast to decide where they wanted to settle. You see they are migrating here and will run their German based business from here! 
Stop Press. This just in from Bernard Salt via Facebook in reply to my message. 

“Bernard Salt Demographer I’m surprised Hervey Bay slipped through the e change net. HB is perfect for a lifestyle shift and especially o think for middle aged and older people. Not for any other reason than the prevailing demographic of HB is older. Sell up in the city as a 50 year old and take your job to Hervey Bay or similar and telecommute. I think the reason why we didn’t identify HB is because it’s outside the 2 hour commute zone where most e change will occur. The shift applies to places further afield but in reduced numbers. Fewer people will e change to HB as to Noosa but it will still apply nevertheless wink emoticon”

Unlike · Reply · 1 · 9 mins
http://www.nbnco.com.au/corporate-information/media-centre/media-releases/e-change-is-the-new-sea-change-in-2016.html

So we need some clever slogans and we need to do this now. Please let me know what you think. 
Sue Brooks – Candidate Division 5

9 Dundowran Beach Esplanade, Dundowran Beach 4655

And so it begins

February 18th, 2016

Four years away from Council and I am angry. Much of the good work done by past Councils has been undone. Customer service is still a joke. On the numerous occasions I have questioned Council during the last 4 years the only prompt action I have received is when I have communicated via a Councillor.
Council must be our friend not our foe!

It is time to ensure we have a CEO who ensures staff respond to the community quickly and positively. The time to change things is now. New software and new processes are essential. If bigger Councils like Brisbane can manage customer requests why can’t we?

DO
Do – Listen to the people. Council must act on what people say

Do – Ensure roads, drainage and footpath programmes are in place to ensure this infrastructure is built where it is needed the most and not where friends and mates live!

Do – Buy our own sand pushing machinery so annual sand pushing can occur quickly and cheaply. It works so just do it

Do – Make fees affordable so that business can do business! A $9.000.00 fee just to apply for a dog boarding facility. Really! 

BACK TO THE FUTURE

Bring back – Proper inclusive community consultation and act on what the people say
Bring back – Rules and regulations that are fair for everyone not just the chosen few

Bring back – More frequent Council meetings and include public participation as before

Bring back – Hervey Bay Light Parade as part of our once fantastic Whale Festival

Bring Back – Fraser Coast Opportunities and Wide Bay Water Corporation to Council

Bring Back – After hours Compliance staff

 STOP

Stop – Trashing our history. Don’t move the Pialba Hall, the Scarness Rotunda or the Torquay Foreshore Tennis Court

Stop – Spending millions of dollars on the Sports precinct but do develop this land slowly in an affordable manner with grant funding

Stop – Rate rises by reducing spending on things that are the responsibility of Federal and State Gov.

Stop – Rates Levies. People know this is a sneaky way to make them pay more at rates time

Stop – Giving preferential treatment to particular developers and contractors etc.

Stop – Giving donations to organisations from Dog and Cat registration fees. Fees to be spent directly on Animal Management and nothing else. End cat rego fees as this fee is just money grabbing

Stop – Selling off our precious parks and green open spaces

Stop – Building things we don’t need

I promise to work harder than ever to represent you. Please let me know what you need via phone on 07 4128 6156 or 0407 412 800 or sue@suebrooks.com.au or Facebook. 

Written by Sue Brooks – 9 Dundowran Beach Esplanade, Dundowran Beach, Qld, 4655

 

Time to Vote

January 29th, 2015

I am voting for Jannean Dean who is standing as an Independent candidate for Hervey Bay. My reasons are simple. I have lost any faith I ever had in both of our major parties. These parties can boast a membership of under fifty thousand people each as far as I can see and I don’t want such a small number of people holding sway.
We tend to believe that both the LNP and the ALP are huge enormous parties but in reality they have a small group of dedicated party faithful and another group of very wealthy donors. Donors who absolutely expect favours in return.
By way of example the online group Get Up can boast over six hundred thousand members… So for me it is time to vote for the person not the party.
Now I have not known Jannean very long though I do recall her working at TAFE at the same time that I did many years ago, but in the time I have known her I have come to have confidence in her. Firstly she cares about us and she cares about Hervey Bay. No she isn’t an experienced politician but without doubt she has the ability to learn quickly.
When we owned a food franchise that required employees we soon learned the best employee wasn’t necessarily an ‘experienced’ person. We had great success by choosing staff based on intelligence, willingness to learn and personality. I am employing these same strategies at this election.
I hope many of you can also support Jannean. Jannean will work hard and she will build strong relationships with those that can help Hervey Bay. She has worked so hard these last few weeks and is keen to listen and learn.
The major parties offer more of the same old, same old. I simply want to give the major parties a message. That message is you don’t deserve my vote! Jannean has already built a relationship with other Independent candidates and is supporting Chris Foley in Maryborough and vice a versa.
So for me, this year, it is Vote 1 Jannean Dean.

Sacred Ground

January 13th, 2015

Does every community have a place it calls sacred? I know that religious people consider their meeting buildings sacred. Churches have always been considered sacred and a place of refuge for Christians and non Christians alike. Our nations first people have places they deem sacred and prefer to preserve these places still in spite of our presence here.
To me, nature has always provided my sacred places. The wet tropics of North Queensland, the Dandenongs in Victoria and Lady Elliott Island easily spring to mind to name but a few. But here in Hervey Bay my very, very sacred place is our foreshore.
Like others before me, I adore our peaceful beaches and naturally vegetated foreshore. I treasure the planners of the past who have kept development to the South of that beautiful road we call the Esplanade or ‘Nard.
Like Noosa to the South, we have developed an envied reputation for our low rise relaxed ambience.
Our city foreshore has it all. Clean sands, winding pathways, shops and houses blended together connecting in a long, long line from Urangan to Pt Vernon’s very tip and around… We have no mud there. We have corals and rock pools and all manner of marine life. We have jetties and a beautiful long pier from which to fish or wander.
So why am I forever worried that we will lose what we all enjoy? I am worried because this Council we elected to do good things for us seems intent on destroying this our sacred ground.
Today I received a short message. It seems Council is deciding whereabouts on the foreshore at Scarness, to place a fast food vendor. Really Council! Don’t you realise we don’t want or need commercial development there. The shops at Scarness are doing it tough. We have Enzo’s and while we want development we don’t want a 2 storey Enzo’s. We all enjoy the much approved Beach House Hotel. I was over the moon when this development went ahead as low rise not the 8 storey monster Council had approved previously.
So please, please, please Council look after our sacred ground. Leave it be. Don’t commercialise it and do not destroy our caravan parks either. It is rumoured that these wonderful caravan parks are next on your hit list. Stay away. Enough is enough.
We do enjoy improved views of the water but we don’t want these views spoiled by foreshore erosion, loss of shady trees or commercial buildings. Our foreshore is sacred and those of us that have settled here from other places far away, for those that were here before us and for those that will come after us please, please don’t destroy our sacred place.

Bye, bye grey skies hello blue.

January 6th, 2015

A grey day. Grey skies and grey seas and I’m feeling somewhat grey too. The last week of holidays however is to be treasured so time to shake off the grey, smile and be grateful for lots and lots of things… And get back to our house painting!
I have always found the best remedy for inertia, malaise and negative feelings is simply to do something. Doing nothing just magnifies and prolongs that grey feeling.
Why the grey though? Well I have been following with great interest the page of Dr David Pascoe on Facebook. He has started something special. He wrote a passionate letter explaining how the farmers are being forced off their land by banks and by mining. He is now exposing story after story demonstrating how corrupt and under handed is our current crop of political leaders. The reading is very depressing. 
It is depressing because I think that most of us believe we are powerless to fix it. Labor was bad so we voted for the other team. Now they seem to be even worse. All of us struggle to balance work with lifestyle and family. The bills don’t stop coming and they continue to get bigger and bigger.
So back to Dr David. He has decided that if we vote for Independent candidates things should change. I am agreeing with him. If we choose an honest, hard working non career politician then maybe, just maybe we can bring about change. Yes it is difficult to choose but hey going with the flow and doing what we have always done is not working. It is broken. It needs fixing!
These last few weeks have delivered much needed rain and they have delivered us a way forward. Do go and read what David Pascoe is saying. He speaks from the heart. We are listening. None of us will agree with every single thing any candidate offers us but please choose someone that hits the nail on the head for you more times than not. Choose someone who will work for you. We can fix this mess we are in. https://www.facebook.com/OVHRepro?ref=ts&fref=ts

Councillors Please Listen to Your Community

December 1st, 2014

Dear Councillors.

The very worst thing for a person to feel is that they are worthless, useless and uncared for.

We are extremely lucky to live in a country where we are part of the government process. Where we have a direct say in how we are governed. But when we become disillusioned with those we appoint as our leaders we vote for change.

To say that I feel ignored is an understatement. Please realise, before it is too late, that all of us voted for just one Councillor and the Mayor. Some of us have no one on Council that we voted for! So when you sit in those Council Chambers and make decisions on my behalf how do you begin to know what I desire?

You don’t ever ask me how I think about anything. My Councillors need to be happy to hear from me. They should engage in a discussion with the entire community when ever they are deciding on a grand plan or even on a small plan!

Recently over 65 people met on our foreshore in Hervey Bay. On a busy Friday in the middle of the day with only a few days notice. We came together to tell you that we care about your plans for a playground on the foreshore at Torquay. We gathered because we care about the loss of trees that this park entails.

Please Councillors listen to us. Hear us and support your community. Posting your plans on your web site is not consultation. You have one meeting left this year. Can you please decide to wait. Don’t kill these trees that were planted so many years ago by a sensible resident and business owner. All we ask is that you take the time to listen.

Sue Brooks

Please Councillors don’t wreck our Foreshore

November 1st, 2014

Once upon a time there were some wise men and women who realised that the valuable Hervey Bay foreshore needed some help. This beautiful, natural and absolutely precious coastline was vulnerable. It was vulnerable to the ravages of nature and to the greed of humans.

These wise people knew that the Hervey Bay foreshore was unique. These was no other stretch of safe and beautiful North facing beach to equal the strip between Urangan and Pt Vernon anywhere to be found. In their wisdom they decided to do two things. Firstly they decided to absolutely limit commercial development and building on the North side of The Esplanade and secondly to restore and enhance the existing vegetation that naturally grew on the sandy dunes.

These decisions were implemented and the Hervey Bay foreshore became a place that inspired people. Some of us visited, immediately fell in love with this coastal city and became its citizens. Tourists came and saw and many now return year after year after year. For many many years the Hervey Bay City Councillors held steadfast. They knew that improved views could be gained by removing vegetation but they also knew that the cost of views was too high a price to pay.

Sadly there came a time when the Hervey Bay City Council was no more. Amalgamation came and initially nothing changed. The original Fraser Coast Councillors stood strong and retained our precious foreshore. But in 2012 a totally new bunch of Councillors came to sit and judge.

This Council, under the leadership of the pro development Maryborough based Mayor, quickly decided the foreshore needed cleaning and tidying up. They didn’t bother asking any of us how we felt. They just adopted new plans and started chopping, digging and tidying. Gone were the cottonwoods. Gone were the native ground covers. Gone were the lower branches of the few cottonwoods that survived the chop. Suddenly we had views. Beautiful glorious views of sparkling blue waters. I think all of us enjoyed these improved views but many of us worried that we had witnessed a chop too far!

Soon the summer Northerlies returned. The winds blew and the sand went South. Nobody could comfortably sit on our newly exposed park benches and picnic areas on a windy day. Even the cafes across the road became less comfortable places to dine. Then the storms came and trees, facilities and infrastructure were frighteningly exposed. The foreshore was undermined and had to be quickly saved. Sand was replaced at considerable cost.

Now another summer is upon us and yet more clearing has been done. More clearing is planned. I worry that this Council will continue to clear the foreshore of every bit of vegetation that blocks a view. To what cost I can’t imagine.

Our foreshore was home to much flora and fauna. When you strolled along the beach the trees and plants sheltered you from the wind, road noise and the sight of the buildings. You could easily believe you were no where near a big city. When cycling or walking along the pathway you could always see the sea because there were plenty of gaps and clear spaces where the sea could be seen. You see the views were there all the time. You just had to get out of your car to see them!

I firmly believe that our treed and natural foreshore made us unique. People came to holiday here and live here because of this natural beauty. To remove the vegetation and plant grass and put in yet another playground makes us no different from any other coastal city. Why will anyone come to Hervey Bay if we have nothing unique and special?

Yes to compromise. After all the length of our foreshore enables us to compromise. Yes to some tidying up in the high profile highly developed park areas. At the commercial areas of Scarness, Torquay and Urangan yes to some good views and less vegetation. These areas can be protected via rock walls or other infrastructure. But please, please, please retain and replenish the dunes along the rest of the foreshore. Yes to keeping it ‘looking’ tidy. Yes to garden beds, edging and other methods that make this natural wonderland aesthetically pleasing to those of you that like your nature presented ‘neatly’.

But whatever else we do we must protect this fragile natural skinny wonderland. It sets us apart. Makes us unique. Where else can you find sheltered and shady beautiful safe beaches? It isn’t too late. Please, please, please listen to our elderly wise citizens and save our foreshore. It is too beautiful and precious to lose. Please stop killing the trees. Our future is in your hands!

More Foreshore Trees to get the Chop!

October 23rd, 2014

More foreshore trees to get the chop!
My questions are. Do we need more grass here? Should these valuable dune protecting trees be removed for grass?
This information comes via the CEO not via the Councillors.
“In relation to the Cottonwoods, there are approximately 400sqm of Cottonwoods proposed to be removed from the northern area of Organ Park as part of a whole park upgrade. In determining the amount to be removed, consideration was given to retaining the existing Cottonwood tunnel over the beach access and the Cottonwoods to the east of this tunnel. A 15m wide length of Cottonwoods will be retained along the fore dune so that natural benefits derived from this vegetation to the park will still exist.
The cleared area will be changed into an open green space for passive recreation that will compliment other improvements in park infrastructure proposed for the park. The map below shows the extent of clearing works”.

20141023-175424.jpg

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