Just over two weeks ago no one wanted to contest the position of Mayor in Moreton Bay despite the high number of candidates in certain divisions. Then out of the woodwork one guy pops up promising the world to Moreton Bay region residents if he is elected. He must have been inspiring because he was quickly followed by four more. The candidacy for mayor is even more cryptically diverse than that of any of the divisions. Well with the exception of Division 12 where the incumbent councillor Adrian Raedel will go to the election unchallenged, which I find really surprising. There’s a lot to gain from having the power in Caboolture. Why are there no other politically minded people wanting to take on the job of such a large and growing division? At least the rumours of his adventures dressing in women’s clothing spread by a certain conservative business woman haven’t done his reputation any damage. Perhaps Caboolture is more progressive than people give it credit for.
So we have 6 contenders for the big job all with very different backgrounds and very different ideas on how councils work to begin with and also, how this one in particular should be run.
First up to throw his akubra into the ring was Shayne Hogan of Bribie Island. He originally intended only to run for Division 1 but thought, perhaps somewhat prematurely, that it would be a 50/50 chance for Mayor as Allan Sutherland the Incumbent was the only one standing at the time. Following Shayne’s campaign has been a bit like watching episodes of Oprah. We have lots of problems being outlined with sad sad stories and a few broad pokes at idea to combat the issues but no real substance when it comes how these ideas will be implemented to become functioning policies. Of course like every Oprah episode there’s all the gifts for everyone! You get a rate freeze and You get a rate freeze and You, and You, and YOU! Everyone gets a rate freeze! And while rates are frozen for three years he’s going to reduce water bills and make all these bad things go away and we’ll all live happily ever after in our Bribie Island Utopia… oh wait, there’s more to Moreton Bay than Bribie Island? Oops. One thing about Shayne though is that he loves to talk. Although how much of it makes sense I guess comes down to how well you understand Shayne speak. What’s his background? “I currently work with people that have Mental Health disabilities….” As what? A security guard? What does that even mean? It’s like me saying “I work with food” because I do the weekly grocery shopping.
Then we get even cuter with old Barry Bolton rising from the political council crypt to give it one last shot. The OAM holder and former Redcliffe Mayor, who is 80 this year, was last in politics when they’d just discovered email. Again with the water and bills (gosh we know we’ve all got them) Barry wants people to be held accountable! He’s not happy that Jim Soorley is paid $10k a year to sit on the Unity Water board (Jim is only one of several mind you) but he’s certainly not saying anything about knocking down any of the almost $200k a year salary the successful candidate will receive as Mayor of Moreton Bay. I’m still quite
puzzled by what it was that has driven Barry to take off his slippers and put on a suit again after so long in retirement, I mean come on, this is a government election not Make A Wish!
Not far off old Baz is John McNaught who was once a councillor back in the old days when Caboolture was a shire. One thing in John’s favour is he does the political response very well. Everything can be fixed it just takes time. All we can hope is that these guys have enough time left in them to fix whatever the hell they think needs fixing, because I promise you this is not the most recent photo of Mr Mac.
The wild card of the mayoral contenders is former State LNP MP of Nudgee His Royal Universeness Jason Woodforth. Best known for his passion for fitness as he calls it, the body builder is most concerned about our water too. Not the cost of it though. The content. Jason “the truth is out there” Woodforth vows to have fluoride removed from our water which has me flabbergasted since we all know body builders aren’t big fans of water anyway. They don’t use it for much besides washing off the layers of chemically applied tan, unless they prefer water over milk as the base for their chemically created protein shakes. Body builders don’t need water when they’re trying to dehydrate before going on stage so their muscles are more defined. True story. What I want to know Jason is what are you going to do about the chlorine in the public pool? And who the hell is responsible for letting him move here in the first place?
Finally we have the classic token upper middle bogan Dean Teasdale who is not the first real estate agent to turn to politics (the money in real estate mustn’t be as good as it use to be), and he certainly won’t be the last. Your typical utopian suburb building guy sees the three R’s as being most important for our region. Rates, Roads and Rubbish. Of course it’s not the smooth talk kind of rubbish he wants to get rid of but the Waste type. Must be a growing issue in trying to maximise your commission when selling houses having rubbish laying around in the streets of North Lakes. Interestingly he is quoted as saying that council’s funding has been too focused on Redcliffe and North Lakes! As per my last write up, the money and attention that council gives to North Lakes, the area formerly known as Mango Hill where Teasdale happens to live, has been a point of contention amongst all the divisions for a long time. People have little faith in promises that money will ever be spent elsewhere. Good luck with that Dean, you’ve got a tough job convincing everyone you’ll be a Mayor for Moreton and not a Mayor for Mango.
It’s been business as usual for the incumbent mayor Allan “President of the Bee Gee’s Fan Club” Sutherland, out at every opportunity to promote the University Precinct project. While he has a strong history of support from local business minds it’s clear he’s also got a growing opposition. Okay so they’re mostly an angry online lynch mob convinced there’s a conspiracy behind the flood mapping because it’s easier to deny the problem than to accept it. If you accept it you’d have to do something about it. Of course when you live on a river why in the world would you ever want to be concerned about flooding. After all it only happens once every one hundred years right? Once IN one hundred years. Same same but different. Regardless it’s going to be interesting to see if he has the Stayin’ Alive power to remain mayor for a third term, or if his past of dealings with the sinister Scott Driscoll (Former disgraced Redcliffe MP) is still dogging his reputation.
No matter what, Moreton Bay needs to hope it has some really good strong councillors come through this election otherwise, besides the University not due to be delivered until 2020, (at which point I predict Allan Sutherland will retire and the Uni or at least something in the Uni will be named after him), all we can expect to come out of the next term is more retail super outlets in North Lakes and more historical monuments. Makes the former councils who went along and named parks and what not after themselves seem rather magnanimous.
I can’t say if there will be any more instalments in the #MBRCVotes2016 saga unless some really good material comes up.