Fourth mayoral candidate puts pen to paper
MAYORAL candidate Jay Nauss isn’t afraid to share his views with the world.
For years he’s been making his opinion clear in the form of more than a thousand letters to the editor, published in newspaper across Australia.
Now he’s putting his money where his pen is, stepping up for a tilt at the top job.
The Canadian-born mayoral candidate has lived on the Southern Downs for the past 29 years.
Having worked in three countries in dozens of jobs, he believes he has the experience for the role.
“I think I have a fair clue of what’s going on in the world,” he said.
“I’ve learned a lot from the school of hard knocks.
“Because of past experiences I believe I can make a positive contribution to the running of the Southern Downs Regional Council.”
If elected, Mr Nauss has set himself some big goals.
He lists reducing the debt by half (a reduction of more than $14million), capping rates rises to CPI, establishing divisional representation and holding fortnightly meetings among his goals.
Mr Nauss also said he’d like to reduce “excessive” charges, localise the workforce, buy local, conduct council meetings in outlying areas and cut red tape.
Mr Nauss said he saw rates as the biggest issue on the Southern Downs.
“Ratepayers can’t cop another rates rise. It’s not sustainable,” he said.
“There are people doing it hard. People are struggling out there.”
While the mayoral candidate said he’d like to freeze rates, he knew it wouldn’t be possible.
He’s also pushing for greater transparency and taking aim at bureaucracy.
“The mayor and councillors don’t always know what’s going on,” he said.
“There’s bureaucracy and faceless people behind the scenes.
“There has to be a better passage of information to the people.”
While Mr Nauss acknowledged he had no local government experience, he believed it wasn’t a necessity for candidates. “I don’t think you have to have a degree in business management to be on council,” he said.
“It takes someone with common sense.
“I don’t think you need to be an ex-CEO to have that.”
He said he believed there were many things stifling people on the Southern Downs.
“The cost of running a small business in huge,” he said.
“The best policy is to be debt free. Debt is being used as a weapon.”
Alongside the election in March there will be a referendum on four-year terms for Queensland politicians – a referendum Mr Nauss does not support.
“My advice is for people to vote ‘no’,” he said.
“If it goes through, the people wouldn’t be able to get rid of a bad government sooner.”
He believes the mayors of Queensland need to stand up to the State Government on a number of issues.
“The mayors of Queensland could put a lot of pressure on the State Government to change things,” he said.
“I would want to try and get better support from the State Government.
“Councils are the grassroots level of government. They have more pull than they think they have.”