13 February, 2024

New candidate joins running for Somerset

An “attachment and love of the region as it changes and grows” has led to Michael Bishop nominating as a councillor for the Somerset Regional Council at the upcoming election.

By Liam Hauser

New candidate joins running for Somerset - feature photo

Mr Bishop has resided in the Somerset region for the past 10 years, while his family has had an association with Glamorgan Vale and Lark Hill for about a century.

“My early childhood was spent on farms around the Kingaroy area, where my grandparents had a newsagency in the main street for 25 years,” Mr Bishop said.

“My mum was a nurse and it seemed only right that she taught our family to be compassionate and how to care for others, which is how I became an occupational therapist.”

Mr Bishop’s work history also includes running a peak body in Tasmania, where he had to work closely with political representatives from across the spectrum to represent the interests of a group of organisations.

Mr Bishop said the Somerset region was changing, while the pace of change seemed to be accelerating.

“The first task is to ensure there is strong governance and the ability to work together on the core issues impacting the region,” he said.

“Hopefully the elected councillors and mayor are passionate about strengthening the communities and hopefully they will speak up about what they see and hear from residents.

“It is their community, and their views are important.

“Secondly, the Somerset Regional Council must have strong relationships with both the State and Federal Governments.”

Mr Bishop said people wanted to live “in a beautiful area, which is close to the city and the Sunshine Coast”.

He said local government leadership was crucial to preserving the values, look and feel of the region, while preparing for the future growth and demand.

After talking to numerous businesses and residents in the region, Mr Bishop said there were a few key projects he would like to achieve if elected.

The first key project is ‘Disaster Readiness and Community Recovery’.

“I would like to lead a community consultation process and ensure that the Somerset Regional Council provides a first rate immediate and longer-term response,” he said.

“I note from talking to people that repairs still have not been made to key road infrastructure two years after the last flood.”

The second key project is to establish a Neighbourhood Centre at Kilcoy.

“Neighbourhood Centres provide a safe place for everyone to belong and participate in their local community to make a positive difference to the world around them,” he said.

Mr Bishop said centres also provide tangible support and assistance to local communities, particularly people and groups facing hardship and vulnerability.

The third key project is to “lobby for all schools in the Somerset Region to have electric safety signs during school hours”.

“‘Hit the skids not our kids’ should be the catchphrase for our communities,” he said.

“Although it has been promised in the past, there needs to be results achieved in the safety of our school zones.”

The fourth key project is to develop a heritage plan.

“Consult with businesses and residents to develop a heritage plan (supplementary to the current tourism plan), ensuring significant historical stories and sites are preserved, and the region never loses sight of the work that has gone on before,” he said.


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