Ex-state MP to stand as mayor
AFTER more than a 20 year break from public life Beryce Nelson is attempting a return to politics.
The former Liberal and then National member for Aspley in the 1980s, has nominated as the mayor of Somerset.
Mrs Nelson, now a resident of Toogoolawah, is calling for the Somerset Regional Council to improve communications with its residents and neighbouring councils.
Having lived in the Somerset region for a decade, Ms Nelson said she felt obliged to nominate for the top job.
"When I saw that nothing much was going to change (I knew I had to nominate)," she said.
"People in the community say the Somerset needs a fresh start."
Mrs Nelson is calling on council to improve consultations with Somerset residents and more partnerships with other councils in the south east.
"I have observed a local authority that's not keeping up with the times," she said.
"We live in some of the most beautiful regions in the country in the Brisbane Valley, Scenic Rim, Lockyer Valley and South Burnett.
"The rolling hills are something quite unique in Australia.
"I think we need to be working better with other councils to better promote this."
Mrs Nelson said the Somerset, one of the state's fastest growing regions, could learn from the work done by the Ipswich City Council.
"We don't need the fastest growth we need the best growth.
"We need to implement the same sort of decisions Ipswich put in place a decade ago."
Mrs Nelson, who acted as the minister for Family Services in the late 80s, said the council should pay more attention to community feedback.
"We need a council that will listen to what the community has to say.
"The current council didn't take the advice that was given to them by the community on board when building the replacement hall for the Lyceum Hall.
"Everyone wanted the replacement in the same position as the previous hall, and instead it's in a different location. There has been a lack of proper communication, and the council needs to not make those sorts of sweeping decisions.
"There's got to be better coordination and communication we've got to have a structure in place with regular meetings for people to have a say."