After working in Local Government for over thirty years, I would like to share a few facts with you as residents of our region to assist your understanding of our Council.
Somerset Regional Council covers an area of 5,379 sq kilometers and includes main townships of Esk, Fernvale, Kilcoy, Lowood and Toogoolawah. The region has a population of some 22,500 people with a projected annual growth rate of 3.2% and is part of Australia’s fastest growing region. It has the largest land area of all south east Queensland Councils and currently has the smallest rate base. There are 12,000 rateable properties and has the lowest residential rates in Queensland. So given these facts, our Council is performing extremely well to be debt free.
Large corporations and businesses, and in this case Local Government share a goal or a vision and our Council’s Mission Statement is:
We, in partnership with the community, will realise our vision by:
- Focusing on our customer’s needs
- Planning for the future
- Utilising resources efficiently and effectively
- Using sound business practices
- Utilising the practice of continuous improvement
The above mission statement has been developed to assist Somerset Regional Council to service its community in a responsive, innovative and efficient manner – exercising leadership and builds community strength. Through a variety of council services, Council feels it can deliver on these promises.
So now you are aware of the very basics about Somerset Regional Council, there are so many more layers to the day to day operation of councils. Twenty odd years ago councils were most concerned with operational items such as “Roads, Rates & Rubbish”. Today councils are also concerned with business development, community engagement, compliance, infrastructure planning, governance, economic development, project management, risk management, enterprise bargaining, asset management, energy audits and the big one of late – disaster management. Long gone are the simple days of just roads, rates and rubbish, these items are still very important and essential, but priorities have grown immensely.
Councillors today must have a clear understanding of strategic planning, infrastructure prioritisation and fiscal sustainability. They must also understand their local communities and be the collaborative influence. I look forward to achieving this and so more as your Councillor.