Cr Jess Milne at her swearing in ceremony at Gympie Regional Council representing Division 1
Jess Milne has been declared our new Division 1 Councillor for 2020-2024 with 50.26 percent of the vote or 1425 votes.
Jess defeated incumbent Mark McDonald by just 15 votes with 3545 voters casting their vote of the 4,987 enrolments in the division.
Jess recently turned 40 and has lived with partner Harley and two daughters, Bonnie and Jackie, in Tin Can Bay since 2015.
She first became involved with the community in 2013 through a work contract and fell in love with the people, laid-back lifestyle and serenity, and moved to Tin Can Bay permanently.
I had a chat with Jess to find out what her plans are and how we can catch up with her with concerns or ideas.
Asked why she ran, Jess said: “I first became concerned about communication within the council during my years contracted to provide services to Gympie Regional Council. This concern sparked an interest in local government, so I began a journey of self development to gain understanding and skills to be able to fulfil the role of a councillor.
“Having a diverse understanding of community needs and interests enables comprehensive representation. I became involved with numerous groups over time as opportunities to join arose. Providing service to the community gives me joy so this reinforced my drive to work hard and run for council.”
What do you want to achieve in the next four years?
“Activating existing plans by sourcing funding and ensuring any new planning is thorough and inclusive. There are some great things already outlined such as off-leash dog parks, improved youth facilities, birdwatching infrastructure, Rainbow Beach town centre upgrade and oval redevelopment.
“Tourism is the main economic driver on the Cooloola Coast so implementing the Cooloola Coast elements of the Gympie Region Tourism Strategy is vital to keeping our community alive. Aged care and associated health support are potential growth areas that also need support. “
What are your priorities? “The highest priority is to navigate the Covid-19 crisis and work through future issues stemming from the economic devastation. Prudent budgeting and ensuring financial security are fundamental to our future. Finding balance between economic stimulus and residential support.”
What do locals do if they want something done?
“The best way is to register a concern to Gympie Regional Council using the online Customer Request form on the council website. This ensures that the issue is logged with the appropriate department and it must be actioned. Please include that you would like your Division Councillor to be included in responses.
“I am happy to discuss any concerns or issues that residents have and can assist with completing a Customer Request if needed. Legislation prohibits a councillor from giving council staff direction, therefore I can follow up issues but can’t instruct staff to ‘go fix a pothole’.
“I am available by either phone or email so please do not hesitate to contact me, leave a message if I am unable to take your call and I will return your call.
“Due to current restrictions and the unknown future, my plans for direct community engagement through meeting days are yet to be established. I am planning to have a Facebook page to provide updates but I am still learning these skills so I ask for patience, it’s a work in progress.”
Jess thanked all those who voted for her and has promised she will work hard for Division 1.
Cr Jess Milne
Phone: 0436 282 707