OUR SAY: Time to stop and listen to the people

CONGRATULATIONS to the region's new mayor, Chris Loft.

I'm sure he, along with the rest of the Fraser Coast, will be breathing a sigh of relief that the lengthy election wait is now over and the work can begin. And what work he has to do.

He has made some big financial promises, which no doubt account for many votes - showing how many people are concerned about the council's finances, and the impact on their own hip pockets.

There will be no hiding when the rates bills come out though, and it may be an uphill task to tie rates increases to CPI as he has promised.

A financial audit of the council is a logical first step, and will hopefully identify where any waste lies. The sticking point may be whether Cr Loft's definition of "waste" tallies with the public perception.

As they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure - or, one person's visionary project is another man's white elephant.

This is where community consultation will be vital.

The biggest criticism many had of the former council was that there seemed to be a severe case of "tin ear syndrome" going around.

If the new council listens to its ratepayers and watches its wallet, people should have a lot to be confident about.



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