Councillor profiles

Councillor Grant Pforr, Gold Coast City Council, Qld

Q. How long have you been on Council?

I was elected in 2004 and it has been an honour to serve my first term in Council on the Gold Coast. I am a community minded local boy, independent from party politics. I am also a team player, who enjoys working at the coalface of government.

Q. Why did you want to become involved in Local Government?

Some people have helped build the Gold Coast for a few years.... I’ve been building the Gold Coast Community for a lifetime. I turn 50 this year and prior to coming into Council, I was a registered builder with an eye for good planning practices and vision. I have lived on the Gold Coast my entire life. I know where the area has come from, and can use this knowledge to effectively plan for the future. Having a growing family myself, I wanted to make a difference and be part of the decision making for the future of this ever growing City.

Q. Can you tell us about your Local Government area?

Gold Coast City Council and Albert Shire amalgamated into a ‘super Council’ in 1995. This saw the Gold Coast City Council grow into the second largest Local Government in Australia, with a yearly budget of over $1 billion. The Gold Coast boasts over 55 kilometres of coastline, stretching from Beenleigh in the north to Coolangatta in the south. Our permanent population is over 500,000 with the City also welcoming approximately 829,000 visitors a year from all around the world. We also receive more than three million visitors from the domestic market.

Q. What are the key challenges facing you and your Council?

As the Area Councillor for Division 3, I currently preside over the most progressive division on the Gold Coast. Our key challenge at the moment is providing water security for southeast Queensland. In addition, delivering the infrastructure required to cope with the number of people moving to the Gold Coast.

Q. What innovative projects is your Council working on?

Gold Coast City Council has been recognised as a world leader in water futures strategy. Most recently, our Pimpama Coomera Waterfuture Master Plan won the United Nations’ (Australian chapter) World Environment Day Award for ‘excellence in water management’. This master plan incorporated the reuse of recycled water through dual reticulation in the northern part of the City.

Q. Tell us about a specific success you have had in Local Government.

It is difficult to pick one specific success that I have had in Local Government, as I am very proud of what I have achieved in the suburbs of my division to date. Some of these successes include:

  • Preservation of South Stradbroke Island, Hope Island and Jabiru Island. One of my personal goals and ambitions is to preserve hectares of land for use as corridors of open green space, rather than just pockets. This will ensure that land that is vulnerable to development is protected for use as parks and open space for our wildlife and long into my children’s future. Specifically in my division, achieving this preservation on South Stradbroke Island, Hope Island and Jabiru Island has been an ongoing success that I am proud of.
  • Major upgrade to parks and a shopping centre at Paradise Point, with expenditure expected to reach over $5 million by 2008.
  • Youth Centre at Runaway Bay. Providing facilities for the youth of the Gold Coast is also something that I am passionate about. In Runaway Bay, we are in the early stages of constructing a new youth centre, which will include provision of a sound recording studio, a small two kilometre radio station, live band stage and Internet rooms. Also at Runaway Bay, a major upgrade to the master planned sports complex is under way and a new Anzac Place War Memorial is close to completion.

Q. What are the key aspects of being a good Councillor?

I believe the key to success as a Councillor is bringing world’s best practice to planning, while keeping a good balance between development and the environment. I also believe that facing up to the tough decisions, listening to the people you represent and ensuring both sides of the story are heard are equally important.

Councillor Aidan McLindon, Logan City Council, Qld

Q. How long have you been on Council?

I was elected in March 2004. I am currently in the last year of my first term.

Q. Why did you want to become involved in Local Government?

I did work experience at Queensland Parliament House when I was 15. After those five days, I was convinced that I wanted to be involved in the political process – to play a role in what I thought needed changing. I then ran for the State seat of Waterford in 1998 without success. After completing my political degree at Griffith University, I decided to run as an independent candidate for the local area where I grew up.

Q. Can you tell us about your Local Government area?

Logan is home to more than 170,000 people from more than 160 different cultures. We celebrate our diversity and the rich and varied lifestyle it offers. Logan is also a very young city, with more than 50 per cent of residents aged 30 or younger. This adds energy and enthusiasm to our community and gives us a real vibrancy.  My division – Division 4 – covers Springwood, Daisy Hill and part of Shailer Park. It is 15 minutes south of Brisbane and 30 minutes north of the Gold Coast, making it the perfect location for a great family lifestyle. We are currently working on a Springwood Town Master Plan, which will create a regional retail, commercial and core residential hub.  Earlier this year, Australia’s biggest IKEA store was opened opposite Springwood on the M1 (Pacific Motorway). Outside of the commercial and retail outlets along the freeway, my division is largely residential. It also includes the Daisy Hill State Forest.

Q. What are the key challenges facing you and your Council?

Growth and the infrastructure and being able to keep up with a greater demand for continually improving services is a major challenge. We are also currently undergoing statewide amalgamations. We have managed to become a very solid and successful Council, with an annual budget of $350 million dollars, and I feel that these changes undermine our success.

Q. What innovative projects is your Council working on?

Our City Directions 2026 Plan incorporates the City’s vision for the next 20 years. This has included public consultation and was recently released by the Mayor and CEO.

Q.  Tell us about a specific success you have had in Local Government.

Being able to reinstate a Youth Planner for the City. This is a significant requirement for our young population.

Q. What are the key aspects of being a good Councillor?

Being able to listen and act accordingly to ensure your area receives the best outcome and value for their rates. You need to be active in the community and communicate effectively – always strive to be a good local leader and voice for your residents.