Ashley Robinson OAM

Ashley will be a mayor who listens

MAYORAL candidate Ashley Robinson said today he would hold a mayoral forum in every division of the Sunshine Coast within his first 12 months in office.

Mr Robinson OAM said he would be a mayor who listened to ratepayers to get a better understanding of their hopes, dreams and frustrations.

“I know the council already spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on stakeholder engagement, surveys and consultation sessions and that each division elects a councillor,” he said.

“But time and time again I’m hearing from people whose perception is that the council does not genuinely listen to the community.
“There may be real reasons why City Hall, which has been described as the ‘people’s house’, has as much security as an airport or our Federal Parliament building.

“But the perception from the outside is of ratepayers being shut out. That’s not a good look for what is meant to be the level of government that’s closest to the people.”

Mr Robinson said experience had shown him that successful outcomes were achieved through communicating with people.

He said the council had not listened when it supported the proposed Sekisui development at Yaroomba, contrary to the Planning Scheme and against the clearly expressed wishes of the community. It was a decision which put residents through years of expense and heartache.

“I supported the council’s decision at the time and I was wrong,” Mr Robinson said. “Not listening ultimately cost ratepayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasted legal fees.

“You don’t automatically become smarter or wiser simply by winning an election,” he said. “That just means people have put their trust in you to lead.”
He said good leadership required genuine listening.
“One of the key things I’ve learnt running successful businesses on the Sunshine Coast for the past 30 years is that the earlier you listen the less time, money and energy you ultimately waste in getting the best results,” he said.

“I’ve listened and that’s why I’m running for mayor, he said.

Mr Robinson said he would always support the Planning Scheme, which is a statutory document developed at ratepayers’ expense to best guide the inevitable growth of the region.