Sunday 29 January 2012

Cairns Regional Election | Tanya Brooks-Cooper | Div. 8 | Vision/ Policy statement.

I am opening my Blog to all candidtates who are nominating for the Cairns Regional Council election now to be held of 28 th April 2012.

You are welcome to put forward your vision/policy statement on how you would represent your nominated Division and its position in the context of regional Cairns.

If you would like your vision/policy statement to be 'out there' via my Blog, then all you have to do is to email it.

My email address is 

Tanya Brooks-Cooper who will nominate for Division 8, is the first of the contributions.
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Hi! I’m Tanya Brooks-Cooper and I’m running for election in Division 8.

I’m a long time Cairns resident. I went to school here, university here, got married here and had my babies here. I’m a community sector manager by trade and have years of experience creating strong teams to work sustainably in our community. I have strong community sector non-profit business management experience  and I also dabble in marketing for some of our local businesses on the side. I’m a supporter of a number of community organisations and volunteer my time and energy wherever I can. Our whole family is trained and participates in volunteering in the emergency services (except Blake since he is only one – but he still attends training and meetings!) and we happily give our time to keeping our community safe in times of natural disasters.

I’m very excited to be running as an Independent candidate in this election. My family is funding my election campaign out of our savings. I believe that your voice as a division will be heard more effectively as I build relationships within the Council and with other Councillors after you vote for me. I can listen, work with you and all of the other Councillors, research and create plans and project ideas across the board without being aligned to any one group. I have a strong practice base in sustainable, researched positions and love working as a team and valuing differing skills and expertise to come to a place where we all are working to one vision. I have experience working in multidisciplinary teams and in hostile environments (if it comes to that) and I am a strong negotiator and passionate believer in being productive and professional at all times. In short, I’m a great team leader and an even better team player. The role of Council is to lead our community forward, to provide quality, cost effective services and to connect people to this place we live in so we live here happily and safely.

I’m passionate about our region and creating a vibrant city where we can live safely and happily. I’m committed to working towards a community with a strong safety net to catch us if we fall, and to have opportunities to keep our workforce accessible, interesting and challenging.

I’m in the process of getting some printing done for the final rounds of doorknocking in this campaign. Please have a read of the materials here, or in your mailbox, and drop me a line or give me a call to check in with where I’m at and what you think of the ideas I have for the region. I’m also looking for volunteers to assist on election day and with door knocking, so if what I say resonates with you, please let me know!

So some key platforms people have talked to me about and I’m now talking to you about!

·         Increasing our sustainable practices and development.

We are in the wonderful position of being the gateway to nature’s wonderlands. We can lead the way in sustainable development, business practices and tourism and ensure we are at the front of the line to promote, preserve and create a place we all want to live and have people visit. We already have some amazing examples of this happening, we need to promote, cross populate the practice and then start creating employment streams and education plans to link our community to this practice base. We are lucky to have this amazing place to live. Let’s enjoy living here, lets share it sustainably with the rest of the world, let’s master plan our community sprawl so it works for all of us and let’s create business pathways that mean our kids can get educated here and then want to stay here to keep us vibrant.

·         Enhancing the unique community feel of the suburbs in Division 8.

Division 8 has such contrasts between the different areas within it. It’s sprawled out across the northern side of Cairns. Each individual nook has its own feel, it’s own people, it’s own sense of community. I love this about Division 8 which is why I’m putting my hand up to represent you all. I think it’s vital we retain this sense of who we are, that we plan for growth in a way that captures and enhances these feelings and cultures, and that we work on highlighting and strengthen what is happening where you live. That’s not to say areas don’t have issues, and while we need to address these, I believe in asset based community development which works on the premise of creating a place to promote the amazing stuff, and then working community with community on the issues. I’d really love to hear from you what is working in your neighbourhood and what you’d like to see improved, and can you also give me how you think that might work? You are, after all, the experts in what you need to live happily!

Just to put some runs on the board, I am aware that there is a lack of youth activities in the northern beaches. I’ve been an active member in the past on working to promote and coordinate activities and will lead this charge, including strategies around access and equity. I am aware there are large drainage issues through some neighbourhoods, and I’ve already lobbied and had a win for one family so you know I’ll go to bat to sort these issues out for you if you are experiencing them too. I know public transport is an issue, and I’m happy to work on tackling that state issue with gusto. I know we have access issues into schools in our region, and I’m happy to try and coordinate solutions to keep our most precious residents safe. I know you are worried about how new houses and zoning is affecting your neighbourhoods, so I’ll work to make sure these developments are sustainable, appropriate and will fit your area as best we can. I know you are worried about your beaches, your parks, your recreation spaces and keeping your kids and teenagers safe. I am too. Let’s work together on that. There is so much that is already wonderful about Division 8, let’s work on bridging the gaps we have with some good ideas, fresh energy and new eyes!

·         Promoting our local arts, business, culture and enterprise to ensure we are economically resilient.

There is a lot of talk about GFC’s and tough economies. I don’t have to tell you that. We are all living it. It’s my strong belief we have lots happening in the region that doesn’t get enough airtime. I know of small, work at home Mum’s in my Division who are creating little buzzy businesses who are feeling quite alone and struggling to get word out they are there. I know small business is finding it tough to keep keeping on. As a region we need a vision, some strong leadership and some coordination on how we promote ourselves. We need to stay strong, to buy local, to contract locally where we can, and to promote via whatever mechanisms we can, the word on who is doing what in our community. It’s exciting the innovation I’m finding when I’m door knocking and talking to people about what they do. I’m learning so much and I think it needs sharing so we can all benefit. We are a strong community. We are a vibrant community. We just need to take a minute, catch our breath, and forge forward through the tough times together.

·         Protecting our hill slopes.

Our environment is so precious and we need to protect, preserve and enhance it. I am all for sustainable, environmentally friendly, development for the Cairns region.

·         Greater support for sustainable transport.

As a region we have far to go on providing transport options for getting around our region. We need to create safe, sustainable, weather friendly, environmentally friendly ways  of getting around. The bike paths are a great start, however we need to work on our public transport system (an issue I know the beaches struggle with), and our shared commuter space. Perhaps a free bus loop is an idea, linking free or low cost parking in the outer regions of the city centre, and linking through the city regularly. Perhaps it’s promoting car pooling, though that will be a challenge for families with children. Perhaps the bike system like the Brisbane City Council has installed is another idea? Though in our heat, perhaps it won’t work. You will have ideas, share them with me. I’m listening.

·         Commitment to creating Cairns as a safe, liveable city.

Our Division is a busy, growing, changing Division. That’s what makes it exciting to have an opportunity to represent you. There are things we can improve on. For example, lighting on the beaches at night, improvements in recreational spaces, promotion of Council and Community services so you know where to get assistance if you need it. We have some excellent work happening in the background, however you need to know what is being discussed and if you want to, how  you can participate. This region is about us, the community, and our visitors. Let’s work together to make it a place we all want to live and stay.

There is so much more to say and even more to do. Please check out my website or find me on facebook and twitter at Tanyafor8. Get in touch if you have ideas, concerns or plans you want to share, or if you want to volunteer. (The volunteer shirts are funky – you can see them on the website!)

Thanks for reading.

Warmest Wishes


Tanya Brooks-Cooper

Did you know I'm throwing my hat in the ring for the 2012 Cairns Regional Council Election?

Check out my online contact points:
0432 340 349
Find me on facebook and twitter at Tanyafor8

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  1. well done TCB cant vote for you as live in division 7


  2. Gooooooooooooooo Linda!!


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