Greg Underwood takes on Karen Williams to become the next Redland City Mayor

Greg Underwood - campaigning to be the next Mayor of Redland City

Greg Underwood – campaigning to become Mayor

Greg Underwood is campaigning against Karen Williams for the job of Redland City Mayor.

Many Redlands voters will welcome having a choice at the local government elections on 19 March next year. They will expect the candidates to campaign effectively, each explaining why they deserve the top job for a four year term.

The local media has an important role in the electoral process – providing the community with comprehensive and balanced coverage.

Balanced media coverage

The Redland City Bulletin unveiled Greg Underwood’s mayoral candidacy in mid November. Since then the Bulletin has barely mentioned him and his views.

When the Bulletin reported Shoreline estate approved, the alternative Mayor’s views were not reported. This controversial project, the biggest ever residential development in the Redlands, was only approved by a slim  6-5 majority of councillors. Omitting the views of prospective new Mayor (and the views of other groups opposed to the project) was poor local news reporting.

The announcement headlined  Toondah Harbour master plan unveiled  also contained no comment from the alternative Mayor. In his previous role with Council, Mr Underwood played a crucial role in the early planning of the upgrade of Toondah Harbour, including the Council’s purchase of the old CSIRO site for $3.4 million.  His views on a project which now divides the community should have been reported.

It is important that opinions and commitments of both mayoral candidates are included in local media coverage, from now until the voters have made their decision.

Who is Greg Underwood?

Greg Underwood discussed the issues that made him decide to run for Mayor at a Redlands2030 forum in November. His views resonated with the audience when he committed that:

If I’m elected Mayor, I will devote my time to serving the whole community. I will be an ethical and accountable leader and endeavour to build a team approach with all elected councillors. We need to restore the balance – and the confidence of our community that their views count.

His strong stand on not accepting political donations is a breath of fresh air – his campaign will be entirely self-funded. Mr Underwood says he has no political affiliations or links to specific interest groups which means he shouldn’t have to vacate the Council chamber because of conflicts of interest.

Mr Underwood claims his experience in local government, including a long record of service in Redlands, will equip him to make the right decisions or ensure that good decision-making processes are in place and used properly. Mr Underwood said “We need a Council prepared to roll up its sleeves and get on with the job of looking after the Redlands’ community.”

His slogan is “return the balance” which refers to the way that his council would deal with myriad development applications. According to Mr Underwood:

Badly designed neighbourhoods and site over-development, growing traffic congestion and a lack of care for our special part of the world are all apparent. The community feels their voices are being ignored.

About economic growth, Mr Underwood said:

I share the realistic view, like most residents, that urban and economic growth will occur in the Redlands – but I am convinced we can get much better community outcomes than are being achieved now.  My commitment is for a more balanced approach to decision-making and a return to Council’s democratic processes.

Mr Underwood said he looked looked forward to meeting with and listening to residents over the coming months. He has a Facebook page for his mayoral candidacy and a website is expected to be unveiled soon.

Local government knowledge

Mr Underwood has worked for 30 years in local and state government planning and infrastructure.  He was Redland City’s General Manager in charge of policy, planning and infrastructure – experience which could prove invaluable when dealing with congestion and other problems resulting from the current spate of development. The idea of electing a mayor who “knows the ropes” of local government may be appealing.

Redlands 2030 Community Plan

Greg Underwood was responsible for delivering the Redlands 2030 Community Plan

He was responsible for delivering the Redlands 2030 Community Plan, widely lauded by local governments across Queensland as an exemplar at a time when community plans were mandatory. The current Council may have adopted the Community Plan’s ‘values and aspirations’, but has largely failed to take these into consideration in decision-making.

His experience with the Community Plan supports Mr Underwood’s assertions that “I am very familiar with the community’s values and expectations of its Council.”  For too long our political leaders have chosen to hear what they want to hear, even when their personal views conflict with properly researched community views.

Redlands2030 welcomes a contest

Redlands2030 is not endorsing any candidates at this time. While a pair of mayoral candidates ensures a contest, other people may yet put their names forward.

In the lead up to the election, Redlands2030 will examine the policies of all candidates and their positions on implementation of the Redlands 2030 Community Plan.

As the Redlands’ fastest growing media outlet, Redlands2030 expects to play an important role in  promoting discussion about issues which the community will consider when choosing the next Mayor and Council.

 

Redlands2030 – 16 December 2015

Please note: Offensive or off-topic comments will be deleted. If offended by any published comment please email thereporter@redlands2030.net

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5 thoughts on “Greg Underwood takes on Karen Williams to become the next Redland City Mayor

  1. My wife and I moved to Cleveland 14 years ago and enjoy everything the area offers. However, in a very short space of time, we have observed a dramatic increase in traffic congestion travelling from Cleveland to the Motorway and from Cleveland to Redland Bay. From the many inquiries we have made, nothing is being done to address this. We can only imagine the impact an additional 10,000 residents / 7,000 cars will make.
    On top of this, the woeful parking situation at Redland Bay ferry terminal now makes the commute between Redland Bay and any of the Moreton Bay Islands a nightmare. The terminal car parks are ridiculously undersized for the number of cars which use them, and the nearby streets have time limits far in excess of what is fair or reasonable. If the limitations placed on parking there are inappropriate now, what will happen when we are faced with the massive influx Toondah will bring? Come on Council, address the infrastructure problems before you think about new developments on the scale proposed by Toondah!
    Concerned local resident
    Cliff Coulson

  2. Hey Greg You need some good strong signage against the Karen Williams signs that state what your mandate is…..I have contacted Karen Williams directly regarding the dredging of Toondah Harbour for development with reference to the Kincross development and nothing about Toondah and the destruction of habitats for the marine environment and turbidity caused by dredging. Let alone where is the dredging soil going to go with one of the lowest tidal regions in Moreton Bay…. Where are are the demographics to support this project and I thought the white shoe brigade had stopped in QLD. Our schools and young residents should be involved as this goes against the education system where we are promoting protection of existing environments and habitats. This is destruction of our environment and why most residents came to live here in the first place – open park areas and a relaxed environmentally friendly community.

  3. I wonder how many people in the Redlands know who he is or what he stands for? We are anxious for the future of the Redlands, and he at least seems to be a great alternative….but we all need to hear from him! PLEASE!!!! So far just silence which does not look good for his chances, and for all our hopes for the future on what is gradually becoming a shameful blight on our beautiful city. This is our only opportunity to stop the rot from spreading. Come on Greg, please stand up and represent us!! We need a champion against more ghettos such as the Thornlands Rental site, and unfettered development by property developers and indeed certain local real estate agents!!!!!!

  4. Almost sounds too good to be true…self funded is a great start and he knows the business looks the complete package. Competent management of the business of Council …that is what is needed. As they say in the classics we need more sausage and less sizzle! Good luck Greg!

  5. What are your thoughts and plans to tackle the destruction of our parks and wildlife corridors. How will you tackle the destruction of koala and wildlife habitat and loss of the trees needed for our koalas.