Candidates for Lockyer Valley Council under the New Energy banner, Kathy McLean, Geoff Keating, Simon Emmerson and Michael Hagan at Laidley town centre on Thursday.
Candidates for Lockyer Valley Council under the New Energy banner, Kathy McLean, Geoff Keating, Simon Emmerson and Michael Hagan at Laidley town centre on Thursday. Sarah Harvey

Team vows to bring ‘new energy'

FIVE candidates for the Lockyer Valley council have formed themselves into an alliance.

The five, under the banner New Energy, and sporting distinctive matching green and yellow corflutes, have pledged to inject a new passion into local government.

The group, made up of candidates Michael Hagan, Kathy McLean, Simon Emmerson, Geoff Keating and Peter O'Brien, is calling for stronger support for Lockyer Valley youth, a more reliable public transport system, support for local business, and the rejection of coal seam gas in the region.

In a written statement, Mr Emmerson said he believed a better public transport system was required for the area to flourish.

"The key missing ingredient in uniting the Lockyer Valley is a public transport system," he said.

"By working together with the State Government we can start putting in place steps to get a public transport system throughout the Lockyer.

"This would eventually link with electric rail making it easier for everyone, young and old, to access the facilities, attractions and services spread across the Lockyer Valley."

The five are also calling for the reinstatement of electoral wards in the Lockyer Valley.

At present the area has no wards with all councillors competing against each other for election.

A ward system is now in place in the Ipswich and Scenic Rim councils.

Mr Emmerson said the implementation of a division system would ensure a distribution of councillors across the region.

The implementation of divisions would "provide an even balance of councillors across the entire valley along with a greater understanding of the divisions' needs", he said.

Michael Hagan said the group believed the region had been struggling since amalgamation.

"It is obvious that the merging of Laidley and Gatton shires has created a lot of difficulties for many Lockyer residents," he said.

Along with the above group policies, Mr Hagan is calling for an all-encompassing 20-year strategic plan for the region.

Mr Hagan said his plan would be based on community consultation and could not be abandoned by future councils and would have to be updated during every council term.



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