LEA Taylor launched his Regional Independents policy statement yesterday with a pledge to hit the ground running.
The mayoral contender and leader of a team of candidates standing in five of the 10 council divisions made a series of commitments that will guide a council under his command.
There were some eye-catching announcements, including a pledge to work for a hospital on the north side of Rockhampton, a tiered rating system for rural property owners, a commitment to aggressively lobby for a northern access road from Yeppoon to the Bruce Highway through Byfield and a vow to build a new swinging bridge in Mount Morgan to replace the collapsed bridge.
And he returned frequently to his central theme of reducing the council's debt.
The real estate salesman, who was mayor of Rockhampton from 1991 to 97, said he was motivated to resurrect his political career out of concern for the council's finances.
"When you have debt as high as it is now, the thing you have to consider is what might happen if we get a rainy day. What if we suddenly have to borrow $100 million to clean up after a natural disaster?
"We have to bring the debt down to a manageable figure and we have people in this team with business acumen, ability and understanding, people who know how to run businesses and understand fiscal management."
The policy statement is a detailed explanation of the Regional Independents' priorities and a promise to change the way the council operates.
"We will be a hands-on council that will connect with the community to keep in touch with the needs as they arise in our region," he said.
Under his leadership, the elected representatives would take the lead, not the bureaucrats. It would be a listening administration.
He said one of the early priorities would be to redesign the council website to make it easy to navigate for people who had limited computer skills.
"It is too difficult at the moment for people to find out important information," he said.
He vowed to ensure that there would never again be a clash between Rockhampton and Yeppoon annual show dates and said he would revitalise the Rockhampton event which had become nothing more than a fair.
Mount Morgan was a treasure-trove of history that lacked investment and promotion and his team would facilitate the replacement of the bridge with assistance from others at low cost to the council, and bring back recreational use of the dam.
On the northside hospital, he said it was an urgent requirement.
The hospitals south of the river were land-locked and congested and had insufficient capacity.
He said he would lobby State and Federal Governments and private hospital operators to create a new amenity at the corner of Norman and Yeppoon roads.
"It's going to be a big job," he said, speaking of his plan to transform the council. "It will take every bit of the four-year term and probably even longer."