Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen will seek re-election for second term

SECOND SHOT: Scenic Rim mayor Greg Christensen with QFES Assistant Commissioner Kevin Walsh during the Canungra bushfires in September. Photo: Larraine Sathicq

SECOND SHOT: Scenic Rim mayor Greg Christensen with QFES Assistant Commissioner Kevin Walsh during the Canungra bushfires in September. Photo: Larraine Sathicq

SCENIC Rim Mayor Greg Christensen today announced his intention to seek re-election at the Queensland local government elections on March 28.

"Today I am declaring my intention to run as candidate for mayor of the Scenic Rim Regional Council for a second successive term," he said.

"My track record demonstrates that I offer the real leadership, vision and strength to continue to lead this council to secure a strong future.

"For our region to reach its full potential we need well-informed strategic thinking, clear vision and strong leadership to deliver sustainability and confidence across our entire area.

"We live in one of the richest places on earth: all of our communities should share in our opportunities.

Cr Christensen said he won the role in 2016, from a field of five candidates, on a commitment to provide balanced leadership and advance the economic and social potential of the region.

"During my term the Scenic Rim has been confronted with the seemingly impossible challenges of floods, drought and now a series of devastating bushfires", he said.

"Despite this, our region's economy has set new records for total revenue and jobs growth. I have been proud to have witnessed our community's resolve and resilience in what has been, and still is, a very difficult period."

Mr Christensen said Cyclone Debbie struck a major blow but since then, council had delivered the biggest infrastructure recovery program in the Scenic Rim's history.

"We started with over 640 km of road, 50 bridges damaged, and numerous culverts damaged or destroyed. Today we have rebuilt, renewed or upgraded all of these. In addition we have replaced seven other bridges across our network, with four more in progress," he said.

"Our road and bridge networks are now in the best condition they have ever been, providing strong transport corridors for vital economic and social connections. I also know that more needs to be done to overcome the decades-long backlog of work needed on our 1800km road network, and the effects of the ongoing drought.

"I am proud to have led a council that has maintained or increased investment in our grants programs for sports and recreation, community and environmental projects across our communities. These programs support the direct efforts of our communities as they share the focus to develop a stronger Scenic Rim.

"I have also been a passionate promoter of the immense possibilities that we have across the region. In the last few years we have seen Eat Local Week go to new heights, significantly raising the profile of our region at State, national and international levels.

"This has not only brought significant revenue to the Scenic Rim producers and businesses, but has also given us the opportunity to celebrate and embrace our community's unique character.

"It was a proud moment when Scenic Rim was declared the Most Outstanding Region in Australia in the 2019 delicious Awards. Being the first Queensland region to achieve this recognition affirms my belief in our exceptional primary producers as well as our unique mix of artisan producers," he said.

"I am also delighted that Scenic Rim is partnering the Queensland government to deliver the innovative Regional Skills Investment Strategy for our region. This work is already delivering new apprenticeships, skills development and linking job opportunities for locals with local businesses. We have also continued an extensive suite of programs to help local farming families and small business operators develop better businesses and become more resilient.

"We have extended our efforts to ensure the sustainability of our spectacular environment. Land for Wildlife partnerships, Resilient Rivers restoration of our key waterways, successful plantings through our Million Trees Initiative - to name a few. These are all examples of our practical commitment to maintain a sustainable environment and also to deal with a changing climate.

"We are stronger for these, and for the public spaces and playgrounds in the region which this council has redesigned and rejuvenated. People matter, just as roads and bridges matter.

"I am committed to fulfilling the people's wishes as outlined in our region's Community Plan. This Council is working hard to deliver on them.

"I am also proud that we have embarked on a program to transform council into a modern organisation with a focus on customer service and efficiency.

"This already is delivering better experiences and outcomes along with real savings in our operating costs. Council has made it simpler for local businesses to tender for council business, keeping more money in our local economy. We have applied a new budgeting system within council which has already delivered $1/2million of savings in the 2019-20 budget. These savings have been used to offset rates increases for Scenic Rim residents and businesses.

"In 2018, Council was recognised as the best council in Queensland for Risk Management -this shows the community can have confidence that this council is acting responsibly and with clear focus.

"Nevertheless I feel that the job of setting our region on the right course towards its brightest future is not finished. There is still much to be done with more programs to renew our community spaces and places, more opportunities to deliver new jobs and businesses, including the aim of making it possible for more school leavers to both live and work in the Scenic Rim.

"There is still more to complete in the modernisation and customer orientation of our council organisation and more to ensure we are balancing development and growth with the need to preserve and nurture our spectacular environment and the lifestyle which brings people here. This is why I am declaring my intention to run as candidate for mayor of the Scenic Rim Regional Council for a second successive term.

"I am looking forward to sharing more of my thoughts on a range of issues and how I believe our communities can move forward together."

No other potential candidate has yet declared an intention to run for mayor.