Thursday, 5 April 2012

Richie Bates | Meet the Candidates Forum statement

I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners both past & present on whose land we meet today.
I am a resident of Bungalow in Division 5. I have worked and spent my leisure time in the CBD and inner suburbs of Cairns for more than 20 years.
I'm running in Division 5 because I believe it is time that the residents of this division had a representative who is "one of their own" someone that can genuinely listen and understand their concerns and who has a track record in the area where they live. I am passionate about making the CBD and inner suburbs a better place to live and I have the energy AND dedication to make this happen.
As a union advocate and employee with Queensland Rail I realize how tough it is for working families in our region, I also understand that the rising cost of living and difficult economic times is having a negative impact on our lifestyle.
I have spent many years participating and volunteering in the sporting community; as a coach, club administrator, referee as well as Competitor.
I am a campaigner for the cycling community; I am dedicated to improving cycling infrastructure and the well-being of cyclists on our roads and road safety in general.
Right now all levels of government must work together and do all they can to ease the financial burden on families. I am committed to "rates relief" and keeping the cost of rates as low as possible.
I believe council should also be working on strategies for responsible economic diversity. Jobs and a decent wage for working people is what this city urgently needs. Empowering our development bodies to get on with this task is required now.
Revitalization of the CBD is a key issue with the city in many ways being the centerpiece of our lifestyle and the tourism industry. Fixing the mall and its related transport issues is a good start to Rehabilitating the city.
However, consultation of this process has been sadly lacking and we need to get back to basics by bringing to the table all the key stakeholders and the community.
And as a division 5 resident I know only too well the problems with flooding and drainage. Only last week a substantial amount of flooding occurred in division 5. Flood mitigation must be a priority.
Affordable AND Accessible sport and recreation, arts and cultural facilities are needed to give our youth meaningful activities. Bringing up to standard our sporting fields and park-lands will give us an edge in providing a future for our youth and combating anti-social behavior.
I’m Richie Bates and I ask for your vote in division 5 on April 28.
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