Sherrill Stivano will appear on the Maranoa Regional Council ballot paper next month.
Sherrill Stivano will appear on the Maranoa Regional Council ballot paper next month.

‘Future needs transparency’: bush stalwart in race

A MOTHER-of-three and passionate bush advocate has thrown her hand up to run for council, stating the longevity of the region is reliant on transparency.

Born and raised in the region, Sherrill Stivano and her family have been operating local Bellevue Feedlot since 2003, and has raised three children with husband Justin.

She is well known for her involvement in agribusiness and a number of local clubs, namely tennis.

Mrs Stivano said she is committed to working for the Maranoa community, and is hopeful her ideas will see her elected on March 28.

“Maranoa region’s next team of councillors must focus on working transparently for their communities to ensure the region’s younger generations have a better change of a viable and prosperous future,” she said.

Greater transparency and accountability; improving council’s processes to reduce red-tape, and to promote new business growth; and a more creative, problem-solving approach to planning for the future are the three areas Mrs Stivano said she would focus on.

“I’ll be pushing for council to adopt a back-to-basics approach to increase transparency and accountability around its decision-making process,” she said.

“Community frustration has been growing for a long time about the lack of information around Council decisions and the barriers people face when they seek answers.

“At the most basic level, Council’s general meeting documents must provide better information, for example, meeting items have no background information, reasoning or context provided to support recommendations, leaving the community in the dark.”

Mrs Stivano said she would also call on council to explore ways of reducing red tape to attract a range of businesses to the region, in order to strengthen the local economy and reduce current reliance on the oil and gas industry.

“We know coal seam gas has a limited lifespan, so we need to be looking now at what we can do to sure up our future,” she said.

“We know this region is a great place to live and has so much to offer, but I’d like to see Council taking a fresher, more creative approach to attracting the right businesses or industries – and how we can attract new people and families to our region and all it has to offer.”

Mrs Stivano said another priority of hers was to push for council to take a more out-of-the-box and proactive approach to supporting the community during tough times.

“We know there are people in the community who have been hit hard by the drought and are struggling to make ends meet at the moment,” she said.

“I’d like to see Council investigating ways it can harness their skills, knowledge and experience to benefit the whole region, as well as providing them with a temporary income.”