Andy seeks a place at the head of the table
AFTER serving in Councils in Queensland and New South Wales in roles such as Chief Operating Officer, General Manager, Chief Financial Officer and having been a successful business owner, Andy Ireland is taking the next step and running for the position of Mayor in the 2020 Livingstone Shire elections.
Mr Ireland said he feels suitably experienced for the job with his career thus far giving him a broad range of local government experience, particularly in identifying when and what change is necessary, and then making it happen.
“I have been a key manager during significant change projects, including the amalgamation of two local governments in 2008 and was primary support to the Transfer Manager during the de-amalgamation of Livingstone Shire Council in 2013,” Mr Ireland said.
“I was raised in Yeppoon, and despite having lived and worked in many different parts of Australia, I have always regarded Yeppoon as my home. Hence, I retired here in 2017 and established a cafe and catering business.
“I want to see this beautiful part of the world grow, not just in population but in commerce/industry, jobs, and lifestyle opportunities.”
Having given much thought to the region’s future, Mr Ireland believes properly targeted growth will generate greater economic prosperity, provide greater revenue for council from sources other than the ratepayer, which will allow for downwards pressure on borrowings and rates.
“I am also very much about collaboration with the community and neighbouring councils and am determined to see greater levels of respect and better governance returned to our own local government,” he said.
“I am very concerned at the disconnect between the rural and coastal areas of the shire and want to ensure that all areas get heard and are considered in future planning and decision making.”
Having been involved in multiple sports clubs and not for profit organisations, Mr Ireland said he knows his community well.
“At a young age my mother enrolled me in swimming squads which then moved to Surf Life Saving later in life,” Mr Ireland said.
“I was an active patrol member and Treasurer at Yeppoon Surf Life Saving Club for many years and was also Club Vice-Captain at Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club on the Gold Coast while living there.
“Since my return to Yeppoon I have been actively involved in the Light the Night campaign for Leukaemia, am on the Board of Anglicare CQ which is NFP organisation providing services to Children at Risk and the Disabled, including housing to low income earners and the homeless.
“I am also on the Board of the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service that oversees hospital and public health services in CQ.”
With his local government experience, Mr Ireland said he is ready to bring his skill set to the Livingstone Council table.
“I have a strong customer service ethos gained through my business experience over the past few years which has taught me the value of customer service,” he said.
“My business is in the hospitality industry and its success is attributable to the level of customer service provided to our valued clients. Hence, I want a customer service culture to permeate throughout all areas of council, as the community expects and deserves.
“My parents and teachers instilled strong values and ethics into me growing up, and I have always applied these in my personal and business dealings. I simply don’t know any other way to be, and I want to see greater levels of respect, courtesy, and tolerance in Council.
“I would like to improve collaboration with neighbouring councils because we need a regional approach in order to grow.
“I genuinely believe it is time for a change at the Mayoral level. The present incumbent can be proud of his achievements and contribution to the community, but it is time for a new approach, new ideas and new leadership.
“My skills and experience in local government mean I can hit the ground running to bring a new vibrancy to all areas of Livingstone.”