Councillor Column - Cr Brett Ireland
Published on 10 May 2022
Well, I have now been a councillor for 18 months and in an upcoming series of articles I want to give you an insight into how I think and also processes, frustrations, etc, that a Councillor faces.
Not knowing what I was getting in for, I initially became very excited when a new piece of infrastructure was announced, but then frustrated as to how long it takes to implement, generally not being the Councils fault, but a range of things such as cultural assessment, high or lack of suitable tenders, etc.
In my early days, I engaged in a debate with one of my town residents who said "you've been elected to serve Jeparit." I didn't (and still don't) see it that way. I believe my priorities to be the responsible use of ratepayers money, the ongoing stability of the shire as a whole and the survival of all our towns. If something comes along that you can grab for your own town it is cream on the cake.
I entered life as a Councillor wanting to be available 24/7 and answer every call straight away, but it soon becomes apparent that you also can't solve every bodies problem. Thinking you will be someone who can be all things to all people soon becomes un unachievable dream.
My short term aims are to brush up on my meeting protocol, continue to spread myself as wide as possible through all the communities and increase the supply of information to the people. I feel the live streaming of meetings has gone a way to achieving this.
These articles are to be ongoing and I hope I can give the public a greater insight into council life.
My greatest high to date is helping 2 nurses in Rainbow avoid having to move interstate due to Visa complications.
My greatest disappointment is feeling helpless regarding a planning permit (which couldn't be altered), and not returning the odd phone call, thinking I know the negative answer but the person still deserves a hearing.
I will attempt to talk honestly in these articles hopefully helping an understand for all.
Cr Brett Ireland