Off the sidelines and into the lions den
A GRANITE Belt identity is fed up with ‘sitting on the sidelines’ and has decided to toss his hat in the council election ring this March.
The owner and operator of Granite Belt Motel, Michael Jensen, is the latest personality to join the Southern Downs race.
“I love this region and my hometown of Stanthorpe and have become quite disheartened with the direction of council and see this as a great opportunity to make a positive difference,” Mr Jensen said.
Mr Jensen and his wife, Lucille, took over the Granite Belt Motel last year and also operate Pink Poppies Living Creatively in Stanthorpe.
He’s a familiar face within the region’s sporting fraternity, having served on various committees, acted as a volunteer and been employed by Queensland Rugby League.
Connection to the community and transparency is paramount in local government Mr Jensen said.
“I cannot make a significant difference to the performance of our local council by sitting on the sidelines watching anymore.
“I think the council can do a better job in listening to the community and having meaningful engagement prior to making decisions.
“I believe I have the necessary local knowledge, business acumen and communication skills to be an effective councillor for the whole region.”
Mr Jensen is the youngest son of Stanthorpe identities Peter and Neta Jensen, and his grandparents Bert and May Smith, from Cottonvale, were highly respected apple orchardists for many years.
“If I am lucky enough to represent our region I will be advocating for new water solutions for the region, helping to empower local communities and groups to have a greater say in the direction and action taken in areas like tourism, sport, and business.
“Focusing on financially affordable solutions to ageing infrastructure, encourage greater local buying by council where possible, making business easier for developers, addressing the poor state of town and village entrances across the region, and maintaining the existing green space of the region to a much higher standard than has been experienced in recent years.
“I believe a priority for the next council is to provide greater transparency of council discussions and decisions.
“Our region deserves better,” he said.