An extract from my 2016 campaign:
In brief, I think I can offer four attributes that will enable me to work effectively for you as your councillor for Division 6: my inclusive, collaborative, but independent approach; the experience gained from living in our community for 39 years; my innovative thinking and willingness to garner the best of ideas from the whole community and elsewhere; and finally, but importantly, the skills like analysis, critical thinking and negotiation gained over years of practice as a local lawyer.
I have discussed aspects of my approach in the Towards a better council section. I am by nature and training, one who listens, understands everyone’s point of view, includes them in the process, and works towards a consensus wherever possible. I prefer to negotiate rather than badger, but can be persuasive and firm (and critical) when necessary.
Just as important I believe is my independence. I am not part of anyone’s team. While I was involved in a political party some time ago, I have been out of party politics for over 10 years. I value that independence and have the ability to deal with representatives of all political parties at all levels of government. And there are no impediments to bringing a balanced approach to issues whatever they are.
I have extensive experience working in Hervey Bay and the Fraser Coast, both in business and in community groups. I believe I have a good sense of what makes our community tick, and how we can keep it ticking. More detail is set out below.
In the Issues section, I discuss a variety of ideas, both mine and others. Please check these out as they will give you an insight into my thinking. This section will grow throughout the campaign as I get around listening to you, and as time permits me to expand on these matters. And please, tell me your views.
We have all enjoyed lawyer jokes, but the skills gained as a lawyer in the community are invaluable for someone on council, in a variety of ways. Lawyers deal with people from across the community, on a large range of issues. This has given me an understanding of concerns and ways to help. Importantly it has honed the mediating and negotiating skills that are so necessary for effect work as a councillor. I particularly value the experience as a Member in QCAT, where the emphasis is so much on giving everyone a fair and complete hearing, trying to resolve the matter by consensus, and ensuring no one leaves without knowing they have been dealt with respectfully even if they don’t go away with the result they sought.
A second aspect of legal practice is that one spends a lot of time analysing reports and argument. I believe I have a well-developed capacity for sifting sense from nonsense, and doing so quickly and efficiently.
And councils are creatures of the law. A legal background means that one isn’t starting at the beginning, there is already a good understanding of how the system works. I have acted as lawyer both for and against the council (and others) and this experience too will be a considerable asset.