Kerry Hayes Declares Candidate For Mayor

Emerald business man and former councillor Kerry Hayes declares candidate for Mayor.

Former Central Highlands Regional Councillor and Emerald Local Businessman, Kerry Hayes has declared his intention as a Mayoral candidate for the upcoming Local Government Elections.

Mr Hayes has 15 years experience as a Councillor serving 3 terms with the Emerald Shire Council between 1997 and 2004 before serving another 4 year term in 2008 on the newly formed Central Highlands Regional Council.

Mr Hayes said he was keen to bring his leadership strengths and experience in Local Government to the position of Mayor.  “This region has been represented by strong leadership and I would like to continue that practice”, he said.  “My rural business shadows the Council area perfectly and my knowledge of the entire Shire is comprehensive.”  Mr Hayes has held numerous Rural Council Board positions and was Chair of Flood Recovery Committees in 2008 and 2010.

“The Central Highlands is one of the most diverse and exciting shires in Regional Australia and, given the opportunity, I feel my business skills will serve my community well. We are all having to learn to live with less and Council is not exempt.  Like any business, we will have to trim where we can and maintain good service with our customers.  Efficiency will be critical.” He said.  “The Central Highlands Region deservedly has a reputation as the “diversity capital of Queensland”.  Diversity is working hard for our Region right now and we must all prudently work to enhance its full potential.”

“Key challenges in this coming term of Council will be to counter-act the slow-down in the region in the resources sector and to encourage new business and strengthen existing enterprises.  The best way to do this is by providing a constructive attitude and being prepared to welcome customers.”  Local Government must always provide some regulation but we must also be able to learn to be flexible and knowledgeable about our customers needs. This will enable them to make decisions for growing businesses or bringing new services and products to our Region.”

“Small business in our Region is going through a huge adjustment period as many deal with the resources slowdown and broader economic issues.  There are and will be major effects in our smaller communities if traditional businesses scale back or close, and it will be critical that Council has strategies to create support and planning to regenerate other opportunities in these locations.”

“It is clear the resources sector is experiencing a tough market environment that has driven workforce reduction, cutbacks and closures.  It is also clear that when that cyclical turnaround eventuates that our responses are carefully considered and structured around the experiences learned from the peak cycle that the Region has enjoyed in the last 15 years.  The resources sector has brought the Region much wealth, employment and business opportunities.  It developed retail and service industries that might never have been here and brought with it a population increase which included young families.  It will continue to be a contributor to our economic well-being and Council will continue to partner in the funding and strategic support network that the sector provides.”

“Our region has new and exciting opportunities that need to be encouraged and, where required, facilitated by Council.  Expansion of tree and nut cropping with hundreds of thousands of orchard trees scheduled for the next few years will continue building our region as a key producer of food & provide export earnings.  The Central Highlands is one of the largest livestock markets in Queensland and we need to improve and enhance opportunities for livestock producers by upgrading services.”

“My Community know exactly what to expect from me, which is total commitment and a reputation for positive results.  With their vote, I am looking forward to the huge honour of being Mayor of this region”.

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