Tony Gilson and Stephanie Todd address Council

 

Tony Gilson and Stephanie Todd address Council

Today, 19th April, two Islanders addressed Council about differing matters. I have cropped (Oh, what fun) the looong video from the Council’s site down to the address by the Islanders.

As usual, I have both the MP4 file, which you can download HERE   It is rather large, so make a cuppa…

Or better still read the speeches, NB: They are not verbatim, just what was typed for their presentation:

TONY GILSON:

29th March 2018

Darft – Words to be presented to RCC General Mtg April 2018

Author: Tony Gilson

 

Good Morning Madam Mayor and Councillors. My name is Tony Gilson. I am a resident of Lamb Island and I am representing myself.

My intent in speaking today is to formally introduce myself, as an Intended Candidate for Division 5 in the 2020 Redland City Council elections & I certainly do not intend this presentation to be of a campaigning or debating nature, and to uphold Council protocols, whilst at the same time being direct in advocating for our residents.

In the last six months, I have taken the opportunity to meet and greet Redland Bay and Bay Island residents. To date, I’ve engaged with close to 1,000 people and have been privileged to broaden my understanding of the unique needs and wants of both communities.

A little bit of background on myself – I have been a resident of Lamb Island for 15 years. I have a history with the Redlands going back about 40 years when my Father was the golf professional at the Redland Bay Golf Club.

I am married to the ever patient & lovely Karen. I have 5 children– two of whom remain working and studying in the Redlands.

For the majority of the past 15 years on the Bay Islands, I have been self-employed in small business – running a building product supply enterprise and for four years, the Lamb Island Convenience Store.

My aim from when I announced my intended candidacy 6 months ago, is to ensure a level of debate and engagement that is respectful at all times. Sometimes emotion can gather wind and things can be said that one would look back and prefer it would have stayed unsaid!

As a personal preference, I intensely dislike targeting an individual on a personal level. By all means, discuss the issues and stay on subject, but I trust my public behaviour will always be indicative of this principle – “raising the bar” if you will.

There are a few issues that have a majority view and in most cases are grounded in logic. As mentioned at the start of this presentation, I will not misuse this opportunity to address this meeting by going into campaign mode.

If I could just state a few things, without putting a campaign slant on these subjects :

  • Residents of Redland Bay and to a lesser degree, the Bay Islands, are extremely worried about what is viewed as high density housing estates, without the prior provision of the appropriate infrastructure. I have become more aware of constraints facing Council, in terms of existing state legislation.
  • The Bay Islands is a truly unique and diverse community, of which I am mightily proud to be a resident. Over the last six months of listening and learning, I’ve formed a firm view that the two most disadvantaged groups are generational – High School Age Teenagers and our Senior Residents. I’ve had more than one occasion where elderly residents have been highly emotional with the thought of needing to vacate their homes of many decades to secure a place in a mainland aged care facility.
  • There is a wonderful model that has just opened in Logan that is a Private/Public partnership with the Church of Christ and the State government and I understand supported with federal funds as well. With the age demographic on the Bay Islands being just over 20 years older than the Queensland average, this is an issue that can only become more prominent in years to come. I look forward to hearing back from the State Government on their thoughts.
  • In relation to the island based high school, I am aware that current numbers would not allow a State High School to be funded, but I have made contact with Independent Schools Qld (ISQ) for some guidance on alternate models or suggestions.
  • Island Bridging remains a live and emotive issue for many Bay Islands residents. There has been some words written that would imply I’ve taken on a definitive position on this subject. This is not the case – I have committed to be representative and attentive to all residents’ concerns, including, but not limited to Island bridging.

 

I acknowledge that the majority of these issues cross over jurisdictions, but I sincerely believe there is an opportunity for Local Government to participate in some aspects of these matters, going beyond advocacy only.

In recent weeks I have published some words that represent a culmination of six months of meeting local residents. I’m not intending to raise those issues this morning, but to work within the existing structure of writing to the Executive Leadership Team and copy in to the Division 5 Councillor.

My intent in regard to communicating resident requests will be to work within the structures that already exist in this building. My motivation is to try to assist the local community, even if only as a conduit to obtain the information or in some cases, be an advocate for action.

I acknowledge that I need to ensure as much as possible, that I have an awareness and understanding of the history of issues, as well as legislative implications.

On a purely personal level, I have found the last six months of listening and learning, whether by attendance at local group meetings or face to face at Listening Posts, to be a truly enjoyable experience. The willingness of the vast majority of folks to engage constructively has been an eye opener, and often humbling. I fully intend to keep up these activities over the next 2 years.

Another aspect of representation that I am totally committed to, is to try to work across the aisle of the three levels of government, as well as trying to move beyond perceived political tribalism. I hope some of my public behaviour in the last six months is already evidence of this.

Social Media is intrinsically part of our day to day life. I remain active in that area and will continue to do so. But I will always aim to be considered in what I post and as a case in point, I have on many occasions documented my support for Council’s campaign of “Pledgenot2sledge”.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank yourselves for the opportunity to talk at this meeting. It is genuinely appreciated, as it is a forum for public discussion and a commitment to grass roots democracy. I have the upmost respect for our Mayor, all Councillors and the Redland City Executive. I have an appreciation of everyone gathered here’s commitment to community service.

I would like to share my commitment to hopefully be in a position in the future to extend my name to these Council Chambers, as a proud representative of Redland City.

Thank You

 

 

STEPHANIE TODD

Stephanie Todd adresses Council

Hi Tim yes I do not mind you publishing a few items of
community interest from my talk to Redlands City Council
today.

I talked about the current Bush Fire Emergency plans for Russell Island and wanted to discuss the emergency exit
sites that are not discussed in the report that sighted that 56 recommendations were needed.

I mentioned the fact that we have a growing population of people here on Russell Island and that new homes were being approved by council and that the current statistics did not reflect the true numbers of people on the island. We had more than one hundred homes now on the Southern End of Russel Island. This should warrant a better emergencies evacuation and exit plan in times of a bush fire? I stated that we need to have a second commercial boat ramp for the island and a cable barge service to the Southern end of Russell Island.

I was concerned that Sandy Beach is not suitable as an escape area alone during a bush fire and that for those who
live on the Southern end of Russell Island it is 8 kilometres from the only exit off the island the single boat ramp on Russell Island. I also talked about how a barge was stuck recently on the Russell Island boat ramp for up to 15 hours and that this disadvantaged the business on the island food went off and the economic loss.

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