Williams brings accounting expertise to mayoral run
Brett Williams has more than 20 years’ experience in local government and believes Rockhampton could be governed more efficiently.
Born in Mount Morgan, the mayoral candidate said he was willing to be the region’s “full-time” mayor, guided by his work and life experience as a labourer, army medic, and council adviser.
With an accounting degree from CQUniversity, most of Mr Williams’ knowledge has to with finance.
“With the basics type stuff, if you go back to your basics and look at what you’re doing, you can usually improve and do them better,” he said.
“You can find ways of making it easier for yourself and saving money. It’s not all about increasing rates and getting more money. Sometimes you can save money by doing things more efficiently.
“That’s what I’m looking at. Get the roads, the water, the sewerage, the garbage – the things that people really want. You don’t need to have big buildings or statues or anything else. Get the basics done first.”
Mr Williams has worked with councils in Queensland and New South Wales.
He said in Rockhampton, bureaucracy was becoming more and more frustrating for individuals and businesses.
“From what I can hear, there’s a problem with council getting back to people. Why? Give people information. People are happy if they know what’s going on.
“Look at the red tape. I know a lot of the red tape comes from the State and Federal Goverments and it’s passed down to local government.
“I’ve been hearing from businesses some of the fees that council charges. They’re huge. Are they really necessary to have such huge fees for something? Lets look at our fee structure. “There’s a whole bunch of financial issues that we need to look at. The council serves the people.”
Mr Williams denied the efficacy of a rates freeze and the idea council should not accrue debt.
He also touched on the problem of crime in Rockhampton.
“You can’t do a rates freeze,” he said. That doesn’t work: I’ve seen it fail at many councils. Debt is not a bad word, by the way.
“Obviously we need to do something about the crime in Rocky.
“The mayor and the council can talk to the State Government about increasing the police numbers.”
About “hoons on the street”, Mr Williams said car enthusiasts and hobbyists should be given somewhere to play away from residential areas.
“Maybe council could support that a bit better,” he said. “Publicise it a bit so that people know about it. We want to give them somewhere safe to do it.
“A good idea is a good idea. Nothing is impossible, we just haven’t done it yet. That’s how I believe we should be looking at it.”