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SELWYN JOHNSTON

 

INDEPENDENT 

COMMUNITY REPRESENTATIVES'

ADVOCATE

(Cairns... Far North Queensland)

 

 

Thank you for visiting my on-line office. 

I appreciate your interest in the issues that effect not only Queenslanders, but all Australians. 

Please let me hear from you about your views on the issues that matter to your Family, your Community and your State.  

Sincerely,

Selwyn Johnston

 

One person, with the support of the community, can make a difference

 

 

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Cairns Regional Council

SELWYN JOHNSTON

INDEPENDENT

MAYORAL CANDIDATE

 

INDEX

INTRODUCTION

MY COMMITTMENT AND VISION FOR THE FUTURE 

MY INDEPENDENT MAYORAL CANDIDACY STATUS and  INDEPENDENT DIVISIONAL CANDIDATES

NEW CAIRNS REGIONAL COUNCIL  STRATEGIES

RESIDENTS REFERENCE GROUP - SUPPORT

 

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MY MAYORAL STATUS and  INDEPENDENT DIVISIONAL CANDIDATES

As a truly 'credible' Independent Mayoral Candidate, and widely known for my strong views on 'party politics' and 'team politics', I wish to reaffirm my status as being unaligned with any other Independent candidate, or candidates, at the 15 March 2008 Cairns Regional Council election.

While I am supportive of some 'credible' Independent Divisional candidates, I am in NO WAY associated with either of the political party 'teams' and have never been.

I will continue to campaign as a 'stand alone' Independent Mayoral Candidate, however, a successful conclusions to my mayoral campaign will certainly allow me to work with all elected Councillors regardless of their affiliations.

 

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INTRODUCTION

The 2008 Local Government election is without doubt the most important council election for decades as a result of the State Government's decision to compulsory force the amalgamation of Queensland's 157 Councils into just 72, without public consultation or referendum of the Queensland people. 

This substantial change will be critical to the lifestyle and wellbeing of the residents of not only Cairns but also former Douglas Shire residents who have now been incorporated into the new Cairns Regional Council and, that change must be managed carefully, with sensitivity and professionalism. 

The new Cairns Regional Government can not be "Cairns-centric" but must be sensitive to the particular requirements and desires of the people of all those areas that have been included into our new Regional Council. Many residents have been included in the new area in absolute contradiction to their wishes and the new Regional Council must be particularly sensitive to that circumstance. 

I believe it is reasonable to assume that Cairns will continue to be the regional centre but it should be a viable and efficient centre to service the needs of the outlying areas rather than to try in any way to be a dominating force over them. Understanding and co-operation will be a major component for the new Regional Council. 

Throughout the region, matters such as amenity, affordability and liveability are among factors that go straight to lifestyle, particularly for both the long term residents, who often rely on fixed incomes, and the younger generation of working families trying to secure their home and an education for their children. 

No community or region is healthy without a solid and viable business sector providing not only the business services the community wants but also creating the employment opportunities that are the basis on which the community is built and survives. 

Given that the compulsory amalgamation of the Douglas Shire and Cairns City Council local governments, and, for the new administration to be accepted, there is going to be a need for a much higher level of openness, accessibility and accountability to all residents and ratepayers. 

The connection between the new Council and the region's diverse local communities will be through Council staff and Councillors of the new Regional Council and, I will ensure that the residents of the region are encouraged to contact the area of the administration that they require to do business without any fear of intimidation. 

So-called "call centre" activities, will be kept to minimum to enhance a feeling of inclusiveness within the public. I believe residents and ratepayers have had enough of talking to 'computers' with automated responses. 

One of the most important aspects of a local government is what it actually costs the ratepayers and the results returned to the community for the rates and charges collected. People realise that local governments need money to provide services but what they also want is an assurance that their money has been spent wisely, fairly and effectively. 

They also expect some consistency in these charges in that if there is an increase in rates or charges it is roughly in accordance with what they can reasonably expect and afford. What is seen by the ratepayer as exploitive cost increases are justifiably objected to and under a new administration this inordinate cost increase syndrome would be taken out of the equation. 

The balance between our business needs and environmental circumstances is one that simply has to be met. Business understands the need for environmental sustainability and the public generally are aware of the need for the businesses that sustain the region. 

In our Cairns regional we have tourism, primary producers and service industries where business and the environment have a symbiotic relationship and these are not a concern. In all other cases the only way for a fair and equitable resolution is for openness of process and involvement by interested parties, which includes the local community. 

Since each of these situations will have a particular set of circumstances there can be few inflexible rules and all matters will be dealt with on what must be very public and open merit. 

We live in an area of significant development and it is essential that public infrastructure keeps pace with development. Under an administration managed by myself and elected Councillors, both current and future infrastructure needs of the region will be identified and prioritised. 

I am committed to... 

Open, transparent and 'community inclusive' Council Meetings

 Review of Rates, Levies and other integrated Council charges for 'Services' 

Preservation of the new Cairns Regional Council areas' unique Environment and Heritage in all 'development' 

Ensure Health, Education, Energy, and Roads infrastructure are funded to a nationally accepted level within Cairns Regional Council precinct 

I am of the strong view that public monies are to be treated with the caution and respect that a reasonable person would apply to their personal finances. Simply because monies collected are termed as "government money" does not mean that it can it be wasted or squandered. 

There must to be comprehensive expenditure prioritisation with a prioritised sequence of spending based on community needs. 

A rejuvenated Cairns Regional Council must include competent, responsible and professional staff whose function it would be to give unfettered advice to Councillors. If their advice is not considered, ratepayers would be entitled to proper reason as to why this was the case. 

In other words, I would encourage recognising and rewarding talent and ability from all levels of Council, with merit, not compliance, being the criteria for moving forward. 

I stand prepared to give equal weight to all community sectors, including small to large business interests, of this new and vastly increased Local Government area so that our region can move forward as a co-operative, inclusive and positive entity for the betterment of the entire region. 

I offer myself as an Independent representative for Mayor who has absolutely no obligations to anyone except the residents and ratepayers of the Cairns Regional Council and, I can guarantee that situation will remain a characteristic of a new administration under my stewardship. 

You can be assured that I will be a servant of the people and represent the expressed majority will of the residents and ratepayers' of the Cairns Regional Council precinct. 


Respectfully 

Selwyn Johnston 

INDEPENDENT - MAYORAL CANDIDATE 

CAIRNS REGIONAL COUNCIL

 

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STRATEGIES...

As mayor of our diverse, vibrant and an acknowledged World listed enviromental and heritage listed region, I will impliment the following strategies on behalf of the ratepayers...

A focus on services... not administration

A stronger voice for local communities at the State, National and International level 

Better resources to plan and deliver essential local infrastructure 

Better road and infrastructure planning

Better resources to implement long-term local planning, with an emphasis on managing growth while protecting Queensland unique environment

Less duplication, less red tape, less politicians and better use of your rates

Stronger local government workforces, focussed on servicing communities

 

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ATTENTION: The Ratepayers - Cairns Regional Council 

On behalf of the Residents Reference Group (Cairns Regional Council), formerly the Cairns Residents Reference Group, we are pleased to confirm our support for Mayoral Candidate, Selwyn Johnston. 

Selwyn was principally responsible for organising the public meeting at JCU Smithfield Campus in August 2005, attended by over two hundred (200) residents, with the outcome being the establishment of the Cairns Residents Reference Group. 

Selwyn was elected unopposed as the founding Chairperson, and is currently our spokesperson. 

The role of the RRG in relation to Council rates, levies and charges can be viewed by clicking onto THE ROLE and following the links. 

Selwyn was also responsible for the presentation of the RRG submission to Cairns City Council (CCC) in March 2006 on the unfair and unequitable rates structure for all CCC ratepayers, in particular those on fixed incomes, self-funded retirees and low-income families across the entire CCC region. 

His twenty-two (22) page submission to then Cairns City Council can be viewed at SUBMISSION DOCUMENTS. 

Selwyn is conversant with Council procedure, has 'runs on the board' in relation to Council matters, and has provided personal assistance to numerous ratepayers from Buchan Point to Bramston Beach. He is also well-known for his tireless efforts in achieving outcomes through discussions and deputations with successive State Ministers for Local Government. 

The new Cairns Regional Council needs a person of Selwyn's calibre, dedication and attention to detail regarding Council policy and implementation of ratepayer funded services. Selwyn is a credible Independent and, as such, is his own man and totally free to represent the interests of the community unfettered by any pre-existing obligations. 

Although the Residents Reference Group (Cairns Regional Council) is an apolitical, non-funded community group, we have no hesitation in supporting a man of unquestionable principal and honesty in Selwyn Johnston, who has only the best interests of local residents and ratepayers as his goal. 

May I take this opportunity to wish all Cairns Regional Council candidates well and trust that they also commit themselves to serve the community rather than be self-serving! 


Con Bambacas 


Chairperson 

Residents Reference Group (Cairns Regional Council) 

 

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MY VISION FOR THE FUTURE


The 2008 Local Government election is without doubt the most important council election for decades as a result of the State Government's decision to compulsory force the amalgamation of Queensland's 157 Councils into just 72, without public consultation or referendum of the Queensland people. 

This substantial change will be critical to the lifestyle and wellbeing of the residents of not only Cairns but also former Douglas Shire residents who have now been incorporated into the new Cairns Regional Council and, that change must be managed carefully, with sensitivity and professionalism. 

I am committed to...
 

Open, transparent and 'community inclusive' Council Meetings

 Review of Rates, Levies and other integrated Council charges for 'Services'

 Preservation of the new Cairns Regional Council areas' unique Environment and Heritage in all future 'development'

Ensure Health, Education, Energy, and Roads infrastructure are funded to a nationally accepted level within Cairns Regional Council precinct 

I believe we have a right to be safe and secure in our homes, parks and streets. We want a society in which everyone receives a fair go in life, regardless of race, religious belief or gender. Residents want a clean, accountable, effective and efficient Local Government. 

Security and Safety in the City, Towns and Suburbs

We must ensure our communities are safe with secure places for people to enjoy shopping, working and living without threat or intimidation

Vitality & Vibrancy 

We need to make Cairns a vibrant and exciting place that nurtures the growth of our Region as the hub for Far North Queensland's retail, tourism and primary industries 

Infrastructure

I would work tirelessly in shaping our City, Towns and suburbs infrastructure and development in an effort to make the best decisions possible for our region's future 

Business & Financial

Councillors must administer the Cairns Regional Council's finances ensuring that community services are always value for money and maintain efficient use of capital through fiscal responsibility

Future Environment & Heritage Planning & Policy Committee

I would propose the establishment of a Future Environment & Heritage Planning Committee to support the entire region in the issues relating to managing the vital environmental and heritage concerns of the future.

Centre for Music & the Arts

I would encourage the redevelopment of the existing Civic Theatre (Centre) and would further work towards the expansion of this development to achieve a world class precinct for Music and the Arts in the City of Cairns.

My primary attribute as an Independent Mayoral candidate is the ability to LISTEN to the views and concerns of the electorate and make decisions based on common sense; moral integrity; for the protection of family values; and, to represent the expressed majority 'WILL of PEOPLE' of the Cairns Regional Council precinct 

I offer myself as an Independent representative for Mayor who has absolutely no obligations to anyone except the residents and ratepayers of the Cairns Regional Council and, I can guarantee that situation will remain a characteristic of a new administration under my stewardship. 

You can be assured that I will be a servant of the people and represent the expressed majority will of the residents and ratepayers of the Cairns Regional Council precinct. 


Respectfully 

Selwyn Johnston 

Independent Mayoral Candidate 
Cairns Regional Council 

 

RETURN TO: CAIRNS REGIONAL COUNCIL

 

 

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INDEPENDENT 

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Written and Authorised by Selwyn Johnston, Cairns FNQ 4870 Australia