How will mayoral candidates boost the Coast’s business?

To boost business we need to work at creating more jobs from tourism and by working to bring Government Departments to the Fraser Coast. Reducing council fees on business so they can grow and employ more staff. Create sustainable Industries to reduce our ever increasing 9.9% unemployment rate.

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ATTRACTING business to the Fraser Coast could be one of the vital things the region’s next mayor can do.

With one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, the region is crying out for more jobs.

Reducing fees, providing infrastructure and essential services were among the top priorities for our six mayor candidates when it came to business.

Incumbent mayor Gerard O’Connell said looking to the future council needed to keep investing in the region.

“Building new infrastructure, that’s one of the key things we have control over,” he said.

Candidate Steve Coleman agreed, but said council needed to help out financially.

“We need to be looking at council infrastructure fees and charges,” he said.

Mr Coleman said by reducing charges, businesses may find the region an attractive place to set up.

Division 3 councillor Chris Loft said fees and charges would be a part of his focus on boosting business.

“We need to make existing business a priority,” he said.

Cr Loft said he would look into the function of Fraser Coast Opportunities and ensure it was focusing on attracting tourism.

Candidate Jannean Dean also spruiked a focus on tourism and lowering council fees.

“(I would encourage business) by working to create more jobs from tourism and by working to bring government departments to the Fraser Coast,” she said.

Greg Schmidt would fund a survey to let the region’s retailers know what the customers wanted.

“I would also relax some of the overheads of starting up a small business until they got up and running,” he said.

Former teacher Lee Carter said he believed council’s function was to provide essential services.

Mr Carter said he would focus on developing a sustainable town plan to help ensure businesses could continue to flourish.

Fraser Coast Chronicle Article 26th February 2016

#Vote1 #JD4Mayor #TripleR – rates rubbish roads

Election Commitment 6 of 8



Fraser Island (K’Gari) Tourism

**  Conduct information sessions on barge transfers

**  Strategies for managing visitors are imperative if tourism is to remain sustainable

**  Establish an Interpretive / Information Centre

**  Brochures or other educational material to be provided to visitors at entry points.

**  Random inspections of vehicles to prevent flora and fauna from being removed.

**  An informative talk by rangers or an Indigenous adviser whilst people waiting for barge.

**  Butchulla People to run educational bus tours.

**  Butchulla People to have camp fires for tourists including:

**  Aboriginal music

**  Aboriginal art – resources utilised including body art

**  Didgeridoo – history and playing

**  Dreamtime

** Bush Tucker

**  Indigenous language


Return quick transfers to/from Marina

**  Marketing on trains i.e. tv screens in front of every passenger on the Spirit of Queensland on planes, buses etc.

**  Link the entire Fraser Coast finding value in every community and marketing to this.

**  Encourage hospitality, accommodation and adventure businesses to put packages together.

**  Provide a healthy alternative to ‘Schoolies’

** Have tourist ambassadors in costume out and about in the community talking and advising on great places to see and visit across the entire Fraser Coast.

**  Introduce easier access to beach for people with disability aids i.e. vision canes, wheelchairs, walkers etc and market for this. Employ a person to roll out a mat that starts at entry point to the beach down to the water.  This can be maintained by this person each day and could double as a tourist ambassador.

Dingo Management & Tourism

**  Save the Fraser Island Dingoes before they are extinct

**  Establish Wildlife Centre

**  Develop application using facial technology

**  Feeding Station / Study Zone

**  Consider legislation protecting government agencies from litigation

**  Establish a Wildlife Advisory Committee

Marketing for undervalued treasures on the Fraser Coast

Bauple – Big Macadamia Nut

I intend to restore what is right and if I do NOT have all councillor support I will personally refer the matter to the Local Government Department as I am all for tourism and jobs in this location.  I have personally investigated the matter and taken advice from an independent committee. I understand a business must have customers and FCRC’s actions to prevent customers in Bauple does not help business or the community.

RV Sites

**  Remove the Stop and Shop’ voucher and roll out the welcome mat across the entire Fraser Coast.


**  Establish a night life precinct near the Hervey Bay Cinema. 

**  Review Viper Nite Club and impacts on surrounding businesses and homes.

**  Start a conversation about 24 hour trading

**  Heritage Tours across the entire Fraser Coast

**  Indigenous Historical/Education Tours across the entire Fraser Coast

**  Turn Maryborough Railway Station into a Museum / Restaurant

**  Restore 118-year-old steam train and run along Kent Street

**  Return Whale Festival to original format – Encourages activity – Competition for schools for best float – Supports small business

**  Pier to Queens Park Marathon

**  Sand Art Competition

**  Reinvest in Maryborough and Hervey Bay Drive-ins

**  Horse and carriage rides

Fraser Coast Community Unites


I have organised this event in Hervey Bay Qld for the entire Fraser Coast in line with the weekend there will be Welfare Marches around Australia 11th – 12th July.

The venue was chosen for several reasons. As you are probably aware Freedom Park is the home of the Hervey Bay Communities remaining two historical buildings – Memorial Hall and the Railway Station; which Council is trying to clear for their proposed new building. I thought this was the best location, as it is a perfect position to highlight the concerns of the people surrounding heritage, environment, foreshore management, small business, rates, crime, drug epidemic, jobs, dingoes and all the issues affecting our community by the Fraser Coast Regional Council’s poor and mismanagement practices, including State and Federal Governments.

People from ALL OUR Communities will be attending. Specialist parties have also been invited. i.e. Foreshore, Environmental, Rates Association, Youth Groups, Domestic Violence Advocates, Child Welfare Groups, Save the Fraser Island Dingo, Homeless Advocates, Heritage Committees, Small Business Representatives, De-amalgamation Committee, all Community Groups that utilise the Memorial Hall on a daily basis and the Vietnam Veterans Association currently working from the Railway Station etc.

Ministers, Senators, Members of Parliament, Mayor, Councillors and Executive of the Fraser Coast Regional Council will be given special invitations. Some are already aware and waiting confirmation of event details.

I am waiting on confirmation from two worthy groups to cater for the event as an opportunity to fund raise.

If you know a group or speaker who would like to be heard please ask them to contact me.

Click here to join the event

Original Maryborough Town Site

My heartfelt appreciation to Sandra Armstrong for taking the time to walk with me back in history today. I can certainly understand why Robert Bolton did not want to leave the Maryborough Original Town Site.

Council is supposed to be maintaining this site under State Legislation – yet very few markers have plaques on them. Some are surrounded by weeds and disintegrating old tyres. Very disrespectful.

Sections that were mowed / slashed by Council, where chopped up and left in patches with damage to trees.

I could envisage the boot makers, jail, church, houses and all the buildings, transport, Chinese market, shacks, Butchulla people playing the didgeridoo, and a thriving community. Imagine when it floods and the landscape would completely change leaving little islands.

Because Council hasn’t blocked the fence off, cars are being driven around on this heritage site.

TBC $30K spent on fencing off the site for development.

Council and Heritage are only ones to have seen the Archaeological Register from this site.

What a hidden jewel – I recommend if you have not been to this serene and majestic site, please go and enjoy.

Fraser Coast tourist centres reviewed

Hervey Bay Airport

Karen Chatfield use to volunteer at the Information Centre – out near the nut factory for over 15 years. Karen advises the Airport Information Centre was NOT run by volunteers but paid staff and volunteers then became employees of the council. The ‘staffing’ issues they talk about is that it well ‘just closed’ and then you have the ‘rule’ that volunteers can’t take the bookings that involve money and even at the VIC (Visitor Info Centre) they have paid staff with the volunteers, as if they cant trust the volunteers and that is why so many have left. They should have told the paid staff before closing, which wasn’t done, manners have gone out the window. Karen is right – No wonder we don’t trust this Council.

Chronicle Report here

Another business to close as push to get markets back builds

Maryborough Market Placards

Council election candidate Gordon Dale also took to the markets yesterday wearing a placard to support the cause – gathering feedback from shoppers and stallholders as he went.

But Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O’Connell has refused to answer questions or guarantee the future of the markets.

Chronicle Report here


Our unique natural asset should be a tourist mecca but is being ‘managed’ to the detriment of recreational fishers and tourism, so that a small number of commercial fishers and associated
businesses might benefit.

There are NO fish species commercially caught in the Great Sandy Strait that cannot be sourced elsewhere.

Fishermen and tourists are well informed. Increasingly they are traveling to regions with Net Free Areas because there is an abundance of fish there.

The Fraser Coast desperately needs a sustainable economic boost. Other regions such as Northern Territory are reaping the benefit of the economic multiplier effect that recreational fishing readily offers with low input costs.

The estimated value of recreational fishing on the Fraser Coast [as at December 2011] is: $203,812,337 [made up of $66,962,378 per year going fishing and visiting recreational fishers
spending $136,849,959 on accommodation] PLUS an additional $177,965,336 of capital equipment.
Every time an angler goes out on the Urangan Pier there is $31 in economic value contributed to our local region.

Every time a boating angler goes out of the Urangan Harbour or from one of our boat ramps, there is $71 in economic value contributed to our local region.

The Great Sandy Marine Park is the ONLY marine park in Australia (probably the world) that allows unrestricted commercial gill-netting to take place in Conservation Zones.

Not only is this happening in a World Heritage listed area , it is also happening in a declared RAMSAR Site, a dugong protection area, a major turtle ecosystem, as well as the recent declaration in the Great Sandy Biosphere.

In the Fraser Coast region, catch rates for anglers have dropped from 7.8 fish landed per person per trip in 1986 to 0.81 fish per person per trip in 2003 . This is the most current research but concerns are that this decline continues even further today.

The majority of commercial fishers comply with regulations. However, there are many practices that are exploitative, questionable and almost impossible for the Fisheries officers to police.
Recreational fishers have my support for the following reasons:

  1. Removing inshore commercial netting is critical to the value-chain of our local economy
  2. Restoring fish numbers in the inshore waters of the Fraser Coast for:
  3. Beach fishing – more of the family’s ‘bread & butter fish’ of whiting, bream and flathead
  4. Pier fishing – keeping kids off the streets with whiting, flathead, mackerel and bream
  5. Estuary fishing – restoring iconic sports-fish such as barramundi and threadfin salmon, as
  6. well as grunter and jew
  7. Rebuilding our local Reef, Rock and Offshore fish stocks for a diverse fishing experience
  8. Protecting – dugongs, turtles, dolphins and whales


  1. Fraser Coast tourism inflow, drawing visitors that would have gone to other Australian
  2. and overseas fishing destinations that have Net Free Areas
  3. Complementing whale watching which is only 3 months per year and has come under pressure from competition
  4. Re-opening the eco-tourism opportunities without having to weave around commercial
  5. nets and belligerent pros
  6. Seizing the opportunity to build a world class destination for sports-fishing

Businesses that benefit from Tourism

  1. Energised and growing tourism related businesses such as:
  2. Accommodation – motels & apartments
  3. Food services – restaurants, hotels, cafes and take-away
  4. Transport, vehicle and boat hiring services
  5. Air and water transport fuel, bait & chandleries
  6. Travel agency and tour operator services
  7. Arts, recreation and entertainment services

Retail trade

  1. Employment and the Local Economy
  2. Job creation and the underpinning of existing employment
  3. A positive ‘knock-on’ effect into other areas of our local economy
  4. Exploiting the multiplier effect to gain regional economic value
  5. Positive participation in the growth of regional Queensland
  6. Putting confidence back into the Fraser Coast
  7. High return for negligible initial cost

Communities all the way around the Qld coast have repeatedly requested waters close to their community centre be made off limits to gill net fishers. The practice of allowing industrial size gill nets in the middle of towns working right through the barramundi closed season has decimated fish stocks and affected recreational experience and tourism opportunities. There are 11 small areas identified and documented state wide requesting Net Free Areas (NFA’s). Other states and the Northern Territory have long recognised the importance of maintaining healthy fish stocks, Queensland has not.

Will release a more detailed report when time permits.