Five issues for Goodwin

Southern Downs Mayoral Candidate Lindsay Goodwin.

As Lindsay Goodwin announced his mayoral candidacy in the last hour before the nominations closed he was not able to provide his top five issues alongside the other two candidates. This week Warwick StanthorpeToday reached out to Mr Goodwin to ask what he believed to be the top five biggest issues facing the region and how to address them. Here’s what he had to say.

The council not acting as a combined unit.

The Southern Downs Regional Council is made up of a mayor and eight councillors. This group must work as an independent but cohesive unit. There have been reports of our council not working as a united unit and there have been complaints made by councillors against other councillors. Large sums of money have been used to pay legal fees defending complaints made by councillors against councillors to the office of the independent assessor. We need our council to work united. It’s hard to believe our elected councillors cannot work together for the good of our community, they are not working as a team.

Being an independent and strong leader I will lead a united council. I will expect every councillor to vote and discuss issues on his individual beliefs which is for the betterment of SDRC. I will work with our CEO to have the best benefits for our region. And I will provide strong leadership to have a cohesive council for the betterment of the SDRC.

Efficiency and red tape

Development applications are taking too long to be processed from application to completion.

I understand the staff in the planning Department are very busy and work long hours trying to complete their duties.

The quicker we can get these developments approved brings more finances into the council coffers more rates, and more houses for the new residents of Warwick.

Head works costs have doubled in the last 12 months, this $20000 plus water, sewerage and roads make it a very expensive development in our region. If the development time can be shortened to when lots can be sold and houses built council will be receiving multiple rates instead of only one. If we want more industry and increased business growth we need houses for the extra workforce to live in when they come to our region. Maybe only charge the head works on completion so they do not have to pay interest on money to council. Reduce the interest bill of the developer.

If Ban B‘s and campgrounds are approved it will bring more tourists to our area. Tourists all spend money when they travel. They boost our economy. The CEO can review the process with staffing interactions with the community to make development freer flowing and get a quicker result. The staff can go through the planning application with the applicant.


We need more open meetings and more itemisation. There needs to be transparency by breaking down costs on how money is spent.

It is important to spend time in the community getting to meet the ratepayers and listening to their concerns. I think there should be ’meet your councillor meetings’ monthly in a different location so the locals can come and tell us their concerns or their ideas for example; “How to bring more tourists to their area”

Review councillors and divisions.

We have a very large number of councillors compared to the number of residents but we also have over 7000 sq kilometres of land to maintain. If we went back to divisions it would give each councillor ownership over an area and give residents someone to approach if the person is their elected representative. This also gives people ownership of their councillors. It would cut back wages, expenses, and stationary consumables. I believe we would have more community consultation if this occurred.

Back to basics Roads Rubbish Rates Gardens Water

We have over 3000k of roads to maintain in the Southern Downs region, and this is a very important job to keep these roads trafficable.

Roads and Rates are the single most talked about problems when out and about talking to residents and businesses.

In consultation with the CEO, I would try and get a grader, roller and water truck over all our roads preferably twice yearly.

Depending on budget appoint a person in each smaller town even on a casual basis to keep all the local parks, gardens and council grounds mown. The Parks and Gardens department in our major towns will look after their areas and have council-appointed operators to keep the road verges mowed because it’s very dangerous and looks untidy to our visitors, tourists or prospective residents driving around.

We must maintain our roads, parks, gardens, and road verges. For example; when a new prospective resident arrives in town to buy a block they will look at the roads, find a block and ask how much the rates are before deciding.

Also, water is very important to us all, without water, we all fail. We all need a guaranteed source of water whether we source it from Wivenhoe Dam via Toowoomba and then send it to Stanthorpe and the smaller towns.

Emu Swamp Dam will be high on my list to be built. During the last drought, the Granite Belt orchardists spent millions of dollars carting water to keep their fruit trees alive so they could supply Australia and parts of the world with their produce. There might be a small number of producers but they feed millions of people.