MEDIA RELEASE 11.12.15 . . . DAVID LEWIS TO NOMINATE FOR DIVISION 6.
Prominent Hervey Bay solicitor David Lewis has announced that he proposes to contest Division 6 (Point Vernon, Pialba and Eli Waters) in the Fraser Coast Regional Council elections next March.
Mr Lewis, who has lived in Hervey Bay for nearly 40 years, and in Point Vernon since 1986, said today he was dismayed at the direction the current council was taking, and thought the council needed a strong injection of good sense and local experience.
“The latest decision to widen the Esplanade at Point Vernon is typical of its style”, Mr Lewis said. “No case has been for more road widening, especially where the road was redone just a few years ago, the residents don’t want it, the cost will be significant, and even more trees destroyed and our diminishing wildlife displaced.
“While the council has done some good things, these have been outweighed by its mistakes and by its failures” Mr Lewis said. “Its record on consultation has been appalling. The style is to consult with the chosen few, put out a draft report, go through the motions of calling for public submissions, then rush to confirm the original report.
“The Esplanade Masterplan, which will define our city forever, is a case in point. The consultation was tightly controlled to favour the draft, yet over 400 submissions were received and apparently digested and the plan approved all within five weeks. Unsurprisingly there were only a couple of minor changes in the final plan. This sort of consultation is an insult to the residents.”
Mr Lewis said he would oppose the council’s plans to remove the historic Memorial Hall, which he said was another case where the council was determined to ignore public sentiment, and spend money unnecessarily.
“This council has proven to be a high-spending high taxing one, with rates rising by something like three times the consumer price index. Much of it seems hard to justify, one sees waste with every major project, and the council’s proposed direction will mean more rate hikes in the future.”
He also noted the council’s bungled attempts at taking over Wide Bay Water as another case of combining stubbornness and poor administration, to the serious detriment of the region.
The Lewis family have a long record of community involvement. David has served on council committees including the Arts Advisory Committee which set up the planning for the Regional Art Gallery. He chaired the Regional Arts Development Fund for several years, and has served on the executives of many community groups. His wife Susan was Councillor for Point Vernon on the Hervey Bay City Council in the 1990s, and has recently completed 20 years’ service as president and committee member of the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre.
Mr Lewis said he had a real enthusiasm for bringing good sense, good scrutiny and fresh ideas to the council, and looked forward to the opportunity to expand on these over the coming months.
Mr Lewis can be contacted on 0428 628 027.