Lockyer residents head back to polls: Learn about candidates
ELEVEN candidates are running in the upcoming Lockyer Valley Regional Council by-election on Saturday.
They will vie to fill the vacant seat left by Jim McDonald, who stepped down to enter state parliament.
The names of the Lockyer Valley Regional Council 2018 by-election candidates, in the order as they will appear on the ballot paper, are as follows:
Mark Newton, David Bundy, Pat Byrnes, Rick Vela, Brett Qualischefski, Brett Reisenleiter, Kameron Jeffrey, Robert Stevens, Regina Samykanu-Vuthapanich, Gary Reynolds and Owen Yates.
Four of the candidates for the by-election ran for the position of councillor at the 2016 election.
Polling booths will be set up on February 10 at Blenheim State School, Forest Hill State School, the Gatton Shire Hall, the Glenore Grove Community Hall, Grantham State School, Hatton Vale State School, Helidon State School, Laidley District State School, Lake Clarendon State School, Ma Ma Creek State School, Murphy's Creek State School, Faith Lutheran College, the Stockyard Creek Public Hall, Thornton State School, Upper Tenthill Baptist Church Hall and Withcott State School.
If you want to vote early, the pre-poll centre at 55 Railway St, Gatton is open between 9am-5pm today and tomorrow and 9am-6pm on Friday.
Meet the candidates:
I GREW up on a dairy farm just west of Toowoomba. In 1997 I transferred here to the Gatton CIB as a detective and have lived in Laidley since. I'm married with four children and two grandchildren. I am currently employed as the office manager at R & F Steel Buildings. Previously I owned a franchise selling homes. I was a police officer for 17 years.
I would like to achieve on behalf of the community a cohesive team that works together for the benefit of the Lockyer Valley, its communities and local community groups. When private business opportunities arise I believe they should be encouraged and supported. I will support our current businesses and agriculture industries in the Valley to provide opportunities and employment and achieve sound financial management of the council now and for the long term.
Since I moved to the Valley I have been involved in the community, firstly by playing sport and my children playing sports. I was on the St Mary's Primary School P & F for about nine years in the role of president and vice president and later an inaugural member of the board.
I joined the Faith Lutheran College Plainland Board and remained there for nine years, six of them as chair. I led the board through a period of extensive growth with a multi-million dollar budget for buildings and infrastructure. I am still a member of the finance committee at the college. I'm currently the treasurer for the Lockyer Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Being involved and helping the community is a passion. The experience and skills I have gained over the years and on the board at Faith College have given me the confidence and ability to take my community service to another level by serving as a councillor. www.facebook.com/marknewton4lvrc
MY WIFE and I moved to Plainland in 2013 for the convenience it offers, rural lifestyle close to Brisbane, airports and a number of major shopping centres and not forgetting the friendly people.
I served as a Non Commissioned Officer in the Royal Air Force (UK) and as a products manager for a steel company and a sales engineer for an industrial diamond company.
In the past 25 years I have been involved in heavy engineering, maintenance shutdowns, oil and gas industry and major construction projects across Australia. This includes management and supervision on projects, to the value exceeding $80 billion.
I understand the importance of caring for our environment and have been involved in successfully arbitrating between multiple parties in various fields.
I nominated to make a difference and give ratepayers a candidate/ councillor who will listen to their grievances and find ways to resolve them.
I have the experience of dealing with major projects and finding solutions and resolving the problems. I will be able to give the position of your councillor my total and undivided attention.
I have a keen interest in gardening and plant propagation, have been bee keeping for a number of years and have won first prizes and Best in Show at some of the agricultural shows.
I build live steam model locomotives which pull passenger carriages. I would like to offer this expertise to the people of the Lockyer Valley Region and Lockyer Valley Regional Council.
I MOVED to the Lockyer Valley area after marrying a local girl and have resided in the area for the last 40 years.
I spent 24 years working for local government, which includes the previous Laidley Shire Council and the now Lockyer Valley Regional Council until I retired in March 2017.
During my time in this wonderful area I have been a member and a part of many sporting clubs, which include Laidley Touch Football Association (life member), Laidley and District Hack and Pony Club (president) as well as Laidley Rugby League (life member).
I also assisted with the establishment of Faith Lutheran College in 1999.
I enjoy spending time with my two adult children, who grew up in the local area, as well as spending time with my new grandchild.
I live in Laidley.
With my knowledge of the community and the inner workings of the council, I feel I have the skill set to be an active and strong voice for all of the Lockyer Valley region.
I am confident I would be a positive addition to the already elected council and believe I could assist in achieving results for the ratepayer regarding any issue.
If elected, I would like to help build a stable yet innovative region for future generations.
I will work to ensure the maintenance of our assets (roads, parks, buildings etc) are maintained to a suitable standard but be conscious of budget requirements.
That all council's services are accessible to the community and ensure that our region's management of weed control is adequate to allow current and future farmers the freedom in growing crops and raising livestock without threat.
MY NAME is Rick Vela and I have been the proprietor of Laidley Jewellers for 13years.
I was born and raised in Brisbane. In 2002 I opened my first jewellery store, Moorvale Jewellers.
I then purchased Laidley Jewellers in 2005 and relocated to the Lockyer Valley.
I met my beautiful wife, Pornlapat, in 2008 and we have been married for eight years.
We live in Laidley and she also runs a successful small business.
My passion for serving the local community originally began as a result of my involvement in the local chamber of commerce, where I served two terms as secretary.
Working in a retail environment, I often hear the many troubles that our local community has and feel that it is important to play my part in alleviating some of these issues.
I will be a person that will always call you back, I will listen to your concerns with the LVRC and help come up with solutions.
I feel the Lockyer Valley has a large amount of promise and it would be great to be a member of the team that will see our region reach its full potential.
The council has changed dramatically over the past two years, with a new mayor, new CEO and three new councillors. The organisation is energised and I feel that my background in business would be an asset to continuing the great work being undertaken.
I can be phoned on 0438 080 975 or drop into Laidley Jewellers at any time at 113 Patrick St, Laidley.
I am 50 years old from Laidley and my family have lived in this region 156 years. I have been with LVRC for the last 10 years and am currently an outdoor supervisor (if elected, legally required to resign from that position). I previously joined Queensland Police and have lived and worked in Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns and Gold Coast.
My experience is predominantly business, operational, financial and asset management with local government and large companies in inbound domestic tourism, transport, event and waste management.
I was Transport Coordinator for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, 2003 Rugby World Cup and provided services for the Department of the Prime Minister. Certified in Asset Management, Diplomas in Business, Project Management, Justice Administration and certified in Traffic Management Design by Queensland Department Transport and Main Roads.
I previously served as SES Local Controller for Laidley and LVRC trained in Counter Disaster Planning, Management and Administration.
I was one of 24 selected in Qld for a program that identifies local government future leaders. Recently, a mentor for 2017 Local Government International Mentor Program in Cambodia.
There is more to being a councillor than ability and experience. It's about having the right attitude, character, strong work ethic and respect and compassion for the community.
It's about how well you listen, rather than how well you speak. It's about making decisions based on right and wrong rather than on your opinion or what's popular and I believe if you offer the truth, people will respect it, even if they don't always agree.
It's about making a difference, inspiring and empowering others. I've nominated with a desire to make a difference and the prospect of taking what I do to another level and believe I have much to offer the community in the capacity of councillor.
Hello, I'm Brett Reisenleiter a fifth generation Lockyer Valley local. I grew up on a farm at Mt Sylvia, attended Lockyer District High School, completed a diesel certificate then worked on the family farm at Mt Sylvia. I enjoyed work on the farm and playing sport with friends in competitions, representing the Lockyer Valley in tennis.
I had a car accident and was in a critical state of health but I fought, pulled myself together studied at UQ Gatton and went on from there. Physical sports were replaced by arts and theatre.
My life has taught me to be humble. I have gained knowledge, wisdom and common sense whilst being approachable and ready to listen.
I studied and worked at UQ Gatton, then as an Information Officer for the LVRC at Gatton and Plainland. Becoming a chaplain, I worked at Tabeel Nursing Home Laidley. I am at a point in my life where I can use and focus all of my life, work and educational knowledge on the task of representing the people of the Lockyer Valley as your councillor.
I have an Applied Diploma in Business Management as well as hands-on experience when dealing with people and organisations. I belong to the Lockyer Valley.
I will give my best abilities to serve you, the residents. I would like to achieve a growth in farmer's markets promoted to Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Ipswich and Toowoomba, fair LVRC management decisions in regards to all resident requests or approvals, agricultural business opportunities such as a canning factory, fair and justifiable rates for all business and residents, arts and theatre support, child-friendly recreational parks, sportsground development and an increase in campsites for caravaners, "grey nomads".
G'day, my name is Kameron Jeffrey, the same young fella that ran for council last time around.
Since then, I have been working in the rural management sector, learning the tricks of the trade.
I am 22, which puts me in a state of constant learning.
I reside in Helidon, and sit on a few committees out this way.
I nominated to run for LVRC again, because I feel that I am best placed to be a voice for the future, in talking to everyone to ensure that our region is represented to its fullest, and not just one place at a time.
The main thing I want to achieve when I am elected, is true, open and honest engagement.
I will have a phone, an email, and open ears, and if anyone has a problem, I will do my best to see what I can do to help; whether that be sitting down with them and hearing them out, to talking to the team at council, I will be there for anyone to catch up with.
Further to that, we are running for the environment portfolio in council, and the last year-and-a-half, I have been working in the field, learning about the effects and how to mitigate biosecurity issues.
I am not saying that I know it all, but I know enough to make me want to learn more.
Thank you very much for supporting our "Kampaign".
Robert 'Wylie' Stevens
G'DAY, my name is Robert Stevens but everyone calls me Wylie and I moved to Blenheim some 28 years ago where my brother and I have a grain and grazing enterprise.
I also worked off-farm doing maintenance on a chicken farm until it closed down just before Christmas due to Steggles closing in Ipswich.
I also have my own auctioneering business doing house auctions and machinery auctions.
So why am I running for the position of councillor?
I believe the LVRC residents need a genuine person who has a vision for the future and who will represent you, the residents of the whole shire, not just the area where they live.
I believe councillors must be accessible, responsible and available to all residents of the shire and serve this position honestly and without favour.
As we have no council divisions (which should be reintroduced for election purposes only) councillors must represent all residents, both east and west of the old Laidley-Gatton boundaries.
As a councillor, my vision and aim will be to see a council that is progressive and encourages business, industry, tourism, investors and development within the shire, not chase them away with unreasonable demands and charges.
A council with a plan for the next 20, 30 or 40 years (there is no use laying roads and water lines to find they are totally inadequate in a few years).
A council that provides the services it should while keeping rates and charges as low as possible, which can be achieved once the current debt is paid down (we cannot live outside our income).
I hope you share my vision, beliefs and goals to make this shire grow with a plan for the future and vote one Robert 'Wylie' Stevens.
Council is about giving a voice to the people.
When the Centrelink agency shut down last year I was disappointed that none of our elected representatives - Commonwealth, State or local - seemed to speak out about losing this important service to vulnerable people in our community.
Although I was disappointed, instead of waiting for someone to do something, I took up this issue and have been actively involved in discussions with our Federal MP to restore this service to our community.
In small communities like the Lockyer Valley our councillors should speak out on these important issues.
They need to be leaders for our community and work with the other levels of government to find a solution.
I will not be silent on matters of importance to our local community.
The role of councillor is to provide leadership that enhances our community.
I will advocate: maintaining rates on par with economic climate, effective and efficient use of financial resources, better planning and infrastructure, improved public transport, developing educational and entertainment venues for youth.
I am a graduate of the University of Queensland in Agriculture and Horticulture.
I have years of experience and extensive knowledge in disability and aged care.
I am well aware of the issues impacting our community and I will be easily contactable if elected.
I WAS born and lived most of my life in Gatton. I live at Laidley South on acreage and am retired. After schooling in Gatton I worked for Mullers Industries for five years then worked for Gatton Shire Council for 30 years as a costing clerk for the main roads department, fleet management, finance department, rates department and public relations/community liaison officer.
I left Gatton and went to work for Caloundra City Council for two years on a tourism contract. I purchased Joe's Beach Cafe at Maroochydore, which I changed to Maroochy Beach Cafe, owner/operator for five years.
During the building construction of a new complex, I went to Melbourne and worked for Qantas Flight Catering preparing meals, loading aeroplanes, transport logistics and stock control. After that time in Melbourne I came back to the Sunshine Coast to take up the offer to reopen the new cafe.
After careful consideration and an offer of employment from Lockyer Valley Regional Council, I came back to work with the regional development team on the establishment of the newly built cultural centre and the Queensland Transport Museum.
I have spent most of my working life working for local government, thus I have a keen interest in being a councillor and representing the public, the ratepayer and business owners of the region. I have a strong interest in helping the business community, which provides employment to locals, to stay viable and prosper and in providing infrastructure for the community to enjoy.
I will work as a team player with other councillors to provide the services as expected. There is nothing worse than not getting back to an inquiry - you may not get the answer you want but you should get an answer.
I WAS born and raised in Gatton 68 years ago, the youngest of six children.
I did all my schooling in Gatton.
On leaving school, I worked in a local bank. Arthur Feldhahn offered me a job at Gatton Freighters at 19.
Dad, Mum and I started the Squash Court Complex in 1971 and ran the business for 20 years. In the 1990s I was elected to the Gatton Shire Council for two terms. It was a rewarding experience. I worked for T.S Burstows Funerals for eight years.
Finally I have been working for Lockyer Blue Care as a personal carer since 2005. This has allowed me one-on-one contact with our local community.
I married Kay in 1985 and we have raised three sons.
Gatton is my hometown.
As a local resident with a background of community involvement, serving people is in my DNA.
Having previously served as a councillor, the experience has prepared me to again nominate for this by-election.
I will endeavour to be a team player and help keep council running efficiently.
This should provide ratepayers value for money.
I feel it is important to maintain our beautiful Lockyer Valley, towns and villages to be clean and tidy.
My door is always open and I am only a phone call away.
I am nominating on behalf of the people of the Lockyer Valley and it would be an honour to represent our community.