Fisher Advisory Councils
My personal mission is to make the seat of Fisher the place to be for education, employment and retirement. I strive to be a member of parliament that listens to my community. That is why I formed five advisory groups, made up of people who live in Fisher. These roundtable Councils are designed to bring together a selection of local residents and business people several times a year, to tell me about the issues that are important to them. They also give me the opportunity to get some feedback on my own policy ideas.
My six Councils are:
- the Fisher Youth Council;
- the Fisher Seniors Council;
- the Fisher Business Council;
- the Fisher Tourism Council,
- the Fisher Fishing Industry Council and;
- the Fisher Defence Industry Council.
The Fisher Youth Council
I believe it is the responsibility of all politicians to engage with young people in our electorates. It takes a village to raise a child. The next generation of Australians will not feel listened to, or be inspired to take on our values of democracy and civic responsibility, unless we play our part in hearing our young people and showing them that democracy works best when people become engaged with their communities.
The issues that young people have raised in the Fisher Youth Council show how considered and insightful their views and ideas are. They constantly contribute by not only identifying problems but by providing innovative solutions in important policy areas like affordable housing, youth engagement, and vocational education.
The Fisher Seniors Council
The seniors of the Fisher electorate are a lively and a wise lot! They are both politically and financially astute and collectively, they bring many years of business, military, family and real-world experience that should be listened to. At our first series of Fisher Seniors Council meetings, we have already discussed many issues, including the increasing unmanageable cost of electricity and gas supply, and the need for Australia to further develop energy security; housing affordability; fixed four-year terms for federal governments; Senate reform; and same-sex marriage.
The Fisher Business Council
Ensuring the success of our local business community and bringing new job opportunities to the Sunshine Coast are critical to the success of our region. The Fisher Business Council is made up of some of our leading local business owners and industry representatives. We have discussed a wide range of important policy areas including new transport infrastructure options for the Coast, CCTV and crime, cutting red tape, encouraging a highly skilled workforce and generating new jobs. Their input helps me to target our activities in Fisher to get the maximum impact in creating greater prosperity for all local residents.
THE FISHER TOURISM COUNCIL
Tourism on the Sunshine Coast generates $3.75 billion to the local economy and employs at least 16,000 directly with many more indirectly supported. Tourist numbers on the coast have been growing strongly, with international visitors up 20 per cent over the past three years. However, we need to do more to encourage high-net-worth visitors to the Sunshine Coast, and we need to encourage all visitors to spend big in our local businesses. My Fisher Tourism Council brings together some of the sector’s leaders locally to discuss how the Government and I can help to do just that.
The Fisher Fishing Industry Council
We all know that the Sunshine Coast has the best beaches and the best seafood in Australia. What is less well known is that we also have the largest long-line tuna and prawn fishing fleets on the East Coast. You could say that Mooloolaba is our nation’s fishing capital. Fishing on the Sunshine Coast generates $42.5 million in direct sales every year, with more than $30 million in exports. The Fisher Fishing Industry Council brings together some of the innovative owners of fishing businesses in Mooloolaba to discuss issues such as environmental management, encouraging greater exports, quality and regulation, as well as creating new jobs here on the Coast.
The Fisher Defence Industry Council
Traditionally the Sunshine Coast has been reliant on the construction and tourism industries to provide jobs for the people who live here. In the future I believe that we will need to diversify our local economy and make sure that there are many more highly skilled and varied jobs available here in Fisher. I am absolutely committed to encouraging this diversification, and one industry where I believe there are significant opportunities is in Defence. The Government is spending an unprecedented $200 billion on Defence Industry capabilities over the coming 10 years and I want to see some of that money spent on the Coast. Fisher is a perfect place for a local Defence Industry – we have a number of businesses already here who are succeeding in this space, a great many veterans with important Defence experience, and available industrial facilities in which to grow. The Fisher Defence Industry Council is made up of representatives of local businesses who are already succeeding in the sector and is the advisory body for my Fisher Defence Industry Initiative.