DIV 7: Q&A with Greg Forster
THE QT asked the nine candidates in the division 7 by-election to answer these questions.
1. How would you make the most of the city's heritage appeal?
Heritage is what brings the character and charm to our city. We cannot forget our past, and need to preserve it for future generations. We need to help the people who restore homes and commercial buildings.
Help them with approvals and a common-sense approach to colour schemes and restoration. Help with the appropriate trimming of old trees which impede buildings and safety. Some of the buildings particularly in the main street are in desperate need of repair.
Some owners have tried to refurb the exteriors but have been hindered by bureaucratic nonsense and the buildings have been left crumbling away
2. How would you bring people back into the CBD?
First 30 minutes parking is free! Help support small business as more people drop in for a quick coffee as they call into the solicitors or accountants or retail shops. Plant more plants in Queens and Limestone Park, and make this a showcase for the city. Toowoomba attracts 200,000 visitors annually for its get for the carnival of flowers, we should be leveraging off this. We need to look at better promoting our community events, shows and street parades.
Have street parties, live music of different genre's, kids events and family days
3. Please name three major issues for the division and how you plan to address them.
1) Better footpaths
As a person who enjoys a run around the block I have seen first-hand just what a bad shape our footpaths are in. Mind you that's where we have footpaths, many streets are still in the same state they were in 100 years ago with sloping grass verges. Amazingly Thorn Street is still without a footpath or kerb and guttering on one side of the street and this is the street where the founder of Ipswich George Thorn built his first cottage in 1842.
If elected I'll push for a street footpath team to be formed with the sole purpose of finishing off the missing links in our division. I'd like to see the nucleus of this team comprised of young Ipswich school graduates who are finding it impossible to get a job. With more and more citizens needing walkers and mobility scooters to get around it is imperative that we had a street system that was useable. Seeing our senior citizens motoring along on their scooters on the roads is a serious accident just waiting to happen.
2) Open Council
Be willing to do what is right, and not conform just to see yourself re-elected.
Support the mayor in his now endorsed agenda to make the council more accountable to the citizens of Ipswich.
3) Value for Money
With my professional qualifications, I intend to ensure council spending is where ever possible spent with local businesses.
This includes our current fleet of cars which for the councillors and mayor alone currently cost in the vicinity of $750,000. In reducing costs I would propose we offer councillors a car allowance instead of handing them the keys to a new $60,000 plus vehicle. That's what smart businesses do, why shouldn't council.