“Thank you chair

I am delighted, honoured and proud to address the Council Chamber today as the new Councillor for Bracken Ridge Ward.

What big shoes I have to fill.

My predecessor Amanda Cooper, has been an inspirational and effective advocate for the suburbs of Bracken Ridge, Bald Hills, Carseldine, Fitzgibbon, Aspley and Zillmere since 2007. 

Everywhere I go in the Bracken Ridge Ward, locals and community leaders continue to sing her praises because she has listened to them and worked with them to make Bracken Ridge ward the best place to live, work and raise a family.

As a part of Team Schrinner, Amanda has achieved so much from parks and street upgrades, improved transport; she has listened and delivered. I commit today to continuing that legacy of delivery across my ward.

Amanda’s work in our local community is not finished and I look forward to working with her when she becomes the State Member for Aspley in October 2020.

I am so honoured to be a part of Team Schrinner and intend to work with our Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner and our great team of councillors to make them proud and achieve for my community. In particular my northside colleagues – Fiona Hammond and Tracy Davis – who I will be working alongside particularly with our shared suburb of Aspley.

Mr Chair, What a privilege it is to represent the community I grew up in.  To have the honour of working in grass roots politics in my grass roots.

I’m a Brisbane girl who has always called the North side home.  I went to school at Bracken Ridge State High School and from there to University to become a teacher.  My first practice teaching was at Aspley State High School before I headed west to Aramac and then Mackay.  Thirteen years later I returned home to the north side of Brisbane, where I taught at Craigslea and Albany Creek State High Schools.

My children Courtney and Jordan attended St Paul’s School from 2003 to 2009.  Courtney has recently returned from Cambridge University with a PhD in Pathology and works at the University of Tasmania.

Jordan finished his final assessment on Friday to complete his Honours in Psychological Science at the University of Queensland. 

Jordan has been working in disability support and healthcare since 2008 when he began a school based traineeship in nursing at the Jacana Acquired Brain Injury Centre in Bracken Ridge. 

I am very happy to say he has been offered and accepted a place in the EY graduate program in 2020. 

Courtney and Jordan make me a proud mum every day and they are my greatest achievement.

I want to take a moment to acknowledge Kayla and Hayley who I am so fortunate to have in my Ward office.  I know Amanda would like me to pass on her sincere thanks to them for their drive and commitment to the residents of Bracken Ridge Ward, who also sing their praises.

I have so much to do and a vision for making Bracken Bracken Ridge ward even better than it is today.

Mr Chair. One of my core values is the development of community.  Wherever I have lived I have done my best to build on that community.

From volunteering my time and energy to playgroups, schools, scouts, music and community groups; to being a JP and to rolling up my sleeves with the hundreds and hundreds of other Brisbanites as part of the mud army when the devastating floods affected our great city.

Other than bringing my children in to the world, by far the most rewarding thing I have ever done was to foster children.  I encourage those who are in any way inclined or considering becoming a foster parent, please take the plunge.  You will never regret it.

I want to acknowledge and pay tribute to the extraordinary Louise and Ken Flugge. Ken was a bus driver for Brisbane City Council for 25 years, based at Toowong Depot.

The wonderful Flugge family have cared for and loved over 100 children in my community and given them a greater chance in life. 

Unfortunately Ken is no longer with us but his wife Louise, who is a most beautiful soul, continues to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable families making our community so much better.

Mr Chair, I see my role now as the Councillor for Bracken Ridge Ward as the spokesperson for my community.  I will be available and I will listen.  My community are my eyes and ears and together we can deliver on outcomes to constantly keep building on our great ward in Bracken Ridge.

The recreation hub that Amanda envisioned in her maiden speech has well and truly progressed under this administration. I want to continue with that vision and build upon the activities and facilities already in this precinct so that Roghan Road, Fitzgibbon and Telegraph Road, Bracken Ridge are united bybike paths and walkways and forms the heart of my community.

The infrastructure we have delivered is not only in parks and greenspace, the LNP administration has delivered major road projects such as the replacement of the Telegraph Road open level crossing, as well as a major upgrade of the road through Bracken Ridge to the Gateway Motorway, including the replacement of the former roundabout and widening of Lemke Road.

But while we have delivered new infrastructure in suburbs of Bracken Ridge Ward, there are some major infrastructure projects that have been ignored by the State Government.  Council has committed 40 million dollars towards removing the Open level crossing at Beams Road and all this State Government can do is procrastinate and stall with so called feasibility studies.

 We know what the problem is, we know what needs to be done to fix it, so let’s get on with it.

This Labor State Government needs to come clean on another project in my Ward that is long overdue: the Linkfield Road overpass duplication. Claims from this Labor State Government to provide funding for this project are hollow as there is no funding in the forward estimates.  They need to stop playing politics and get the job done.

Mr Chair, You can’t do this job without the support of your family behind you, and I have one of the best.  My mum Joan, brothers Steven and Craig and sister Karen. My Brother in law Geoff and sisters in law Kristine and Grace.  My nieces and nephews, Christopher, Justin, Adrian, Jesse, Victoria, Amy and Tegan. And their partners, Tracy, Emma and Sian. My great nephew and Niece Baylen and Charlee.  Even though my amazing Dad, Des, is no longer with us, I feel his guidance and love every day and I can hear him saying “go get ‘em girl”.

And to my friends.  I have been so very blessed on this journey to have such dear friends.  They have taught me so much and influenced the person I am today.  I don’t want to leave anyone out so I am not going to name them, however they know who they are.  And they know how grateful I am for their support and love.

I want to thank my LNP family who work so hard campaign after campaign for our great party.  The LNP, with its values of family, small government, free enterprise and sound economic management, working hard to secure the future of our children and their children.  And the greatest bonus has been the friendships forged along the way.

I want to acknowledge one of my mentors and friends, Peter Dutton, who has always backed me and taught me so much.  Thank you also to another mentor and friend, Tim Mander, who has given me the courage and confidence to take on this new and important challenge.  I would not be standing here today without them.

I want to thank the Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner, my fellow councillors and the incredible team in the Office of the Lord Mayor who work so hard behind the scenes to get things done.  You have been so welcoming and I look forward to working alongside you as a member of Team Schrinner to make sure that the Brisbane of tomorrow is even better than the Brisbane of today.”