Thinking local the key to growing Maranoa
AS A former small business owner, the implementation and continuation of shop local incentives is high on Wendy Taylor's priority list to help transform Council.
Having lived in the region for almost forty years and successfully running Taylor's Parts Centre with her husband for thirty-one of those, Mrs Taylor has officially nominated herself as a candidate ahead of next month's Council Election.
"I have time now, and the time is right," she said.
"When we were in business, we had a lot of trouble with people shopping local, and I felt like Council weren't doing enough, despite having promoted it.
"I feel like if I was successfully elected, I could gain more of an insight and understanding to hopefully change that."
Mrs Taylor said she would like to see everything bought locally.
"I don't know what Council do at the moment, but I would definitely like to know more. Like where do they buy their mops and buckets from? From a local business? If not, then why not - and what will it take to make it happen?" she said.
"Perhaps it might be a little bit more expensive to source things locally in town, but at the same time that could end up employing another half a person somewhere."
Transparency is therefore another big-ticket item for Mrs Taylor, who said she believes there needs to be greater access to Council from its constituents.
"I just think the Council need to regroup and be more transparent in what they do and how they do it," she said.
"I don't know if that's possible because it is controlled to some extent by the State, but I'd like to get in and have a go anyway and see if I can make some positive changes. If I can't, I'd like to be able to explain to the public the reasons why I can't change it.
"At the moment, local residents just don't see this kind of transparency from Council."
Mrs Taylor said she wasn't sure what to expect if her bid was successful, but said she was happy to learn on the job.
"I don't know what the others (running for Council) are offering, but anyone that nominates obviously cares a lot about their community. In this respect, I think we're probably all of the same mind-set and know what the people of the Maranoa Region want."
"Having raised and educated three daughters locally, I understand the importance of focussing on the youth of the Community. Having run Taylor's Parts Centre in Roma and Charleville simultaneously, I understand first-hand what it is like to run a small business in a small town and the need for communities to look to shop local. With owning and running our cattle properties in both Roma and Mungallala for decades, I know the hardships producers face on the land.
"Though I have not had a lot of time to give back to my community in the past, I now believe I do have the time and would like to give back to the people of the Maranoa Region - the region that has been supportive and loyal to us for many, many years."
On how she'd like to see the Maranoa move forward and continue to grow, it all comes back to small business.
"I'd like to see Council be more involved in helping small businesses to grow," she said.
"If Council start to buy from small businesses locally, it will improve the whole situation - bringing people into town and keeping people in town.
"I believe Council needs to be simple, strong and trustworthy. With a fresh set of eyes, I would like to offer my business-sense and knowledge to try and create more jobs and to help new businesses and young business owners to thrive.
"Whilst I don't have all the answers, I am willing to give it my best with all that I have. So let's start thinking local, and grow the Maranoa together."