Candidate Douglas Shire Council Richard Lavender 2013 Douglas Shire Council Candidate Richard Lavender

Candidate for the Douglas Shire Council
MOBILE PHONE #: 0487 423 235
  "Daintree Ferry"   © Tourism and Events Queensland
  Richard Lavender Candidate for Douglas Shire Council  

"We all share a common love for the Shire and we all have independent opinions. Council should be engaged with the community through 'in-person' and website surveys where opinions, suggestions, and a true sense of the community's wishes and concerns are voiced...and more importantly...listened to. The New Shire needs to be balanced, open, receptive and represent tourism, agriculture, indigenous perspectives and our environment. Our community, our Shire, can set the bar and bring energy back to the region which will result in an increase in over-all business." - Richard Lavender
  • Shire Financial Sustainability & Stability
    As a Council our 'JOB ONE' would be to work closely with the Council CEO to review and sustain the financial health of the Shire. Reviewing assets & liabilities, resources, budget, spending, ongoing costs to the New Shire, any pending Shire projects contracted but not started or completed by the CRC and any immediate infrastructure requirements. Over the longer term, review community needed and wanted projects however always keeping in mind the spending limitations that could be in place. The end result is to keep rate increases if required under control and ensure the local government remains solvent and stable.  (back >)
  • Maintain Quality Services Shire Wide
    Quality services to maintain the smooth daily operation is a 'must' for any Shire; especially ones that affect tourism. I believe that local contractors should be granted first option of available opportunities. (back >)
  • Sustain and Enhance Tourism
    Many Shire businesses believe that Tourism is the life blood of the area. I agree that Tourism is one of the biggest industries in the Shire. I believe that Council has an obligation to look for ways to be supportive to the industry. Council supplying quality services is one method. Other methods are developing campaigns with local tourism and business associations. Funding will be required. And as with any government funding, accountability and measurements are required to ensure achievements. I believe that a fair and balanced way of reviewing and disbursing funds to enhance tourism should be established by the new Council. (back >)
  • Sustain and Enhance Agriculture
    Ask a man or woman who toils with their hands and equipment on the land and they will tell you that Agriculture is the life blood of the area. I agree that Agriculture is also a very large industry of the Shire. Council needs to work closely with the sugar industry, the farming associations and the agricultural community. Council should be seeking ways to diversify agriculture as the Mareeba Shire has worked on.  (back >)
  • Chemical Free Water
    The community wants clean and chemically free water. I do too. Water quality and safety is crucial to both our healthy tropical lifestyle and the success of the entire region as a first class tourist destination. I believe that ‘chemical free water’ is an important ‘selling point’, and an inherent part of cherishing our pristine environment. (back >) (more information)
  • Douglas Shire Planning Scheme
    The Douglas Shire is environmentally unique with two World Heritage Areas. The Douglas Shire Planning Scheme sets the direction for Council’s planning and to interface between the development of the Shire and the management of the unique environmental resources.
     I am always concerned that many who hold their hand up for election of an association, club or committee rarely read the documents that govern the body. Once elected they rarely review the rules and regulations to manage. The same could hold true of the candidates for Council. My competitors state that they want to ‘maintain and protect’ the growth of the shire. Many fail to realise that the Town Planning Scheme is a document of guidance to offer and ensure an understanding of what it is to ‘maintain and protect’ and should be required reading for any candidate or elected official of the Shire. Below is a link for the current Town Planning Scheme for the Douglas Region. I encourage other potential candidates and all the community to read this document.  (back >)
  • Encourage Business Diversification
    There are so many opportunities to establish working relationships with major businesses in Australia. As an example the Shire could be 'pro software' and invite software companies to establish satellite extensions. The Shire could offer rate free incentives for an agreed amount of years to encourage development. The revenue loss would be offset by new development for housing, construction and local sales. Trickle down economics while diversifying business in the Shire. (back >)
  • Expand Daintree Gateway Plan and Support Power Installation
    The Daintree Gateway Plan and power installation to the Daintree debate has been going on far too long. Council should not stand in the way to provide enhancement of the region and electricity for Daintree Businesses or Residents. An environmental friendly plan to safely install power for the Daintree community can be designed. Let's end the on-going issues of energy poverty and generator pollution that is harming the lives of people living in the Daintree. The Daintree Gateway plan has good intentions and the new Douglas Shire Council should re-visit the direction of the plan and expand it to include improvements for the Daintree Village to enhance tourism. (back >)
  • Engage Indigenous Leaders
    Re-establish good communication and partnerships with the Indigenous leaders of our Shire. I would encourage that Councillors have regular meetings with the indigenous community. (back >)
  • Working With the Community
    Everyone in the Shire is entitled to their opinion. A Council that is truly representative of the needs and wants of the Shire should seek consultation with the community on important issues that affect everyone in the Douglas Shire. Council should be engaged with the community through consultations and website surveys where opinions, suggestions, and a true sense of the community's wishes and concerns are voiced and listened to. The new Council needs to be balanced, open, receptive and work with tourism, agriculture, indigenous, conservation and business groups and businesses. Our community, our Shire, can set the bar and bring renewed energy to the region which will result in an increase in overall business and future development. (back >)
  • Waterfront Development
    A Waterfront Park could be a significant community asset. It could also be one of the shires greatest liabilities. The project needs be put on hold until the Shire has full control of its assets and spending. At the right time, the idea itself and all design and location options need to be once again discussed. Once we have made up our collective minds and are ready to move ahead, fully united as a Shire, we would need to vigorously pursue receiving some major, and much deserved, State and Federal government funding.  (back >) (more information)
  • Positive Shire Negotiations with Developers
    One of my strengths is to dissect and negotiate a contract. I'm a 'stickler' when it comes to following a contract or even a constitution. A Council, looking out for the community, needs to realise that there are impacts that new developments bring. Negotiations with developers should include the increased impact costings. (back >)
  • Positive Working Relationship with Regional Councils
    In the interest of the community it is wise to have good working relationships with our neighbouring regional Councils. Networking through scheduled meetings as a start can enhance relationships that would be beneficial to the mutual operations of Shire Councils. (back >)
  • A More Diplomatic Council
    The key to any successful business is the Staff that supports it. A Council is a business. A good business has a Staff that represents the business interests as ambassadors. While it is the responsibility of Council and its Staff to maintain and uphold laws governing a Shire it should also be diplomatic - friendly, open, informative, helpful and without a controlling attitude. Far too often a Council is referred to as the 'bad guys'. That's understandable to some measure. However, a Council that is kinder and gentler in its approach to public issues and needs will have a community working more cohesively for the end goals of the Shire as a whole. (back >)
  • Plastic Bag Free Shire by 2016
    Plastic bag litter kills wildlife. The bags clog our landfill. Plastic squanders fossil fuels. Per the good people at Australians throw away about 7,150 recyclable plastic bags a minute, with 429,000 recyclable plastic supermarket bags dumped into landfills every hour. Out of control. With the reef and the rainforest in our locale, the Shire should do its part in controlling this ecological disaster. The new Council should be of one mind and voice endorsing the elimination of plastic bags in the Shire with community consultation on how to achieve this. (back >)
  • A united Council, petitioning Federal Government – NBN roll out
    The NBN rollout will reach Cairns and neighbouring towns within the next 12 months. There is no mention as to when Port Douglas or Mossman will enjoy enhanced internet speed. Discussions with an NBN representative offered that Port Douglas hasn't been reviewed and that the connection and lines are to be drawn down from Julatten instead. As a Councillor I would encourage the Council to petition the Federal Government to require a reasonable time table for installation to the Douglas Shire. (back >)
  • Support Douglas Shire Entertainment/Sports Events to Increase Visitors
    Improving the 'draw' to the region can be enhanced by Shire and private sponsored entertainment and sport events that will expand tourism throughout the Shire. The new Council should embrace, support and find ways to work with new events being introduced by engaging with outside entertainment and sporting event companies. As a Council Representative I would be in favour of an Annual Music Fest that would compete on the same level as Byron Bay's 'Splendour In The Grass'. (back >)
  • Macrossan Street Traffic
    In my business travels throughout Australia I have noticed that some towns are more pedestrian conscious than others. In some towns the crosswalk is recommended to pedestrians and motorists are required to stop. In Port it is a free for all. Some pedestrians walk around without a care or consideration of traffic seeming oblivious to traffic conditions. I am surprised that more accidents have not happened. Over the past two years I have read about the interest in having Macrossan Street a car free zone. I think that is something that should be explored through community consultation whether a permanent “car free zone” or just certain hours and how this would affect Macrossan Street businesses including accommodation. (back >)
  • Review Referendums for the Community on Major Changes
    We're all in this together. We went to the polls, cast our votes and the end result is that a New Shire has been established. In that the community should have 'hands on' - 'voices heard' priority when it comes to major changes for and within the Shire. Many don't believe that a survey or consultation is the best way. Others encourage surveys and consultations to gain insights. I favour any manner that feedback can be gained from the community to make good judgements. In some cases a call for a 'referendum' is the best answer to gain approval for a Council to act. Yes, there is a cost for the set up and implementation but the end result is what the majority of the community wants.
    (back >)
  • Community Internet Communications
    The community wants and needs to be heard. Communication will be the success or failure of the New Douglas Shire. An effective, trusted manner of electronic communication needs to be set up to ensure that the community and Council are exchanging opinions and views. Far too often we have spent hours in community meetings and found that nothing came from the time invested. With electronic communications, online surveys, discussion groups, even online meetings can be held. The key to the success of this process would be the method of notification to ensure the most participants online. (back >)
  • Mental Health Awareness & Suicide Prevention
    I would like to see Council embrace and be supportive of Mental Health Awareness in promoting social and emotional wellbeing within the community, encouraging people to maximise their health potential, enhancing the coping capacity of communities, families, individuals and increasing mental health recovery.
    (back >)
  • Support the Application for Funding of the Mossman Aged Care Facility
    While this matter is outside of Council jurisdiction and financial responsibility it is a matter of moral support. As a councillor I would support the Mossman aged care facility. I would encourage other councillors to be supportive. I would seek that Council as a body stood together in supporting the Mossman aged care facility.
    (back >)
  • WIFI FREE HOTSPOTS – Port Douglas, Mossman and Daintree Village
    The installation of Free WIFI Hotspots in Port Douglas, Mossman & the Daintree Village with good marketing is a ‘draw card’ for regional Tourism with minimal investment. I would support Council hiring a qualified internet supplier with a history of region/town WIFI Hostspot installations to prepare a proposal to define costs of installation and monthly costs. Estimated expenditure for a proposal would be less than $10,000. The proposal would define HOTSPOT coverage analysis inclusive of transmitter and repeator installations, data usage, related on-going costs and define usage restrictions to minimize potential abuse.
    (back >)
  • CCTV - Port Douglas and Mossman
    CCTV is a two sided consideration: sending a signal that our streets are not safe or, our streets are safe due to surveillance. The local police would be appreciative if CCTV cameras were installed. (more)

Do you have issues regarding the Douglas Shire that you think are important?
Let's start the conversation!


Energetic & Experienced -- Committed & Caring --Independent & Inclusive -- Responsive & Responsible
Mobile Phone #: 0487 423 235

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