Park n ride, schools funding and highway fix: Mullen's hits
BEFORE winning the newly created seat of Jordan in 2017 Charis Mullen had 10 years under her belt working in government and four in a trade union.
She now sits on two parliamentary committees, crime and corruption and innovation, tourism development and environment.
"I had worked in bureaucracy before. A lot was familiar to me. But it's a bigger than job than you ever anticipate,” Ms Mullen said.
Ms Mullen said she would continue to hold mobile offices once a month at shopping centres around the region and her door was always open.
"My door is always open, you can always get an appointment with me.”
In 2019 she plans to continue advocating for the region.
We asked her what her biggest achievements were for the Greater Springfield region over the past year as the member for Jordan and what she was still working towards.
Q. What are some of the top issues that you worked on?
"Getting under way on planning for the new $44.5 million Park n Ride - which will be one of the biggest Park n Rides that the Queensland Government is delivering over the next few years.
"We secured the land, opened multiple design and engineering tenders on a complex project. A lot of 2018 was spent internally with stakeholders on the planning for this, 2019 will be more community facing so everyone will know and understand the look and feel of the project and the time frames for delivering this big piece of infrastructure in the community.
"The Logan Motorway/ Centenary Highway Interchange is a massive issue for our community and it's been my job to ensure the Minister for Main Roads and the Department understand how big a congestion hotspot it is. I am pressing for more funding to fix this issue.
"Working with all our local schools has been a priority for me, understanding their needs particularly with the growth and how we ensure we have enough classrooms, teachers and staff.
"Social and health issues within our community, we live in a beautiful part of SEQ but I know that many families are doing it tough.
"I have worked steadily this year on ensuring we do have access to social and health services in this region for those who need it.”
Q. What were some of your top achievements?
"Locking in the funding commitment on the Park n Ride, it was an election commitment and seeing the funding there within the Budget was important.
"Getting the planning study completed on the Logan Motorway/ Centenary Highway Interchange. It was a good start in progressing the upgrade and this year will see further work being undertaken on both sides of the Centenary with a master plan to be progressed to tackle those off ramps into Springfield.
"Opening of our new school in Spring Mountain, a $40 million investment and in fact, getting ahead of the anticipated growth in this emerging area.
"Helping to progress the build on the Springfield Central SHS Multi-Purpose Hall. This got caught in a bit of bureaucracy but I was pleased to help move that along, the construction fences are now up and I can't wait to see it built this year.
"More classrooms for the growing Augusta State School ($4.7 million) and refurbishing the Hangar at Woodcrest SC, both issues the Principals there raised with me before I was elected.
"Creating Greater Springfield Regional Connect. We now have 85 participants on this group since establishing it in April last year, a fantastic forum for social service delivery in this region.”
Q. What are you still working towards?
"Ensuring we now have integration between the Park n Ride, the new AFL stadium and local roads in that area. The community should expect nothing less than all parties working together to create an incredible precinct for locals and visitors.
"Continuing to press the case for the Logan Motorway Interchange/ Centenary Highway fix. Taking Greater Springfield Regional Connect out to the public through a directory of services, so the community knows who they can access in times of need.
"More health services in the region. I will continue the work we have started with West Moreton HHS and Mater Health Services on what our future health services will look like in the future.”
Q. Did you achieve everything you wanted to? Why or why not?
"I have had a massive 2018, being a new electorate, we were starting from scratch, so I am really proud by how far my office and I have come.
"We set up a Jordan electorate office and I'm now so pleased that more and more people are finding us and we can assist more people.
"I have loved connecting with so many community, sporting, business and charitable groups, but I haven't got to all of them yet due to time constraints, but I'll keep working on it.
"I didn't set myself too many goals because I knew I would be guided by our community and things change all the time, but whilst not everyone will be happy with me, I hope they know I am doing my very best to represent their interests.”