At the Marvellous Mature Women’s meeting held weekly at Logan Central Library, mayoral candidate Brett Raguse took to the floor to enlighten the members on his plans if he wins the election next month.

Mr Raguse started talking about his past two attempts to become mayor in 2016 and 2020 and that his supporters said it was a travesty and he should have won.

“If you do remember the outcome of that 2016 election, the former mayor (Pam Parker) had some need for that person (Luke Smith) to be elected, supported him, openly supported him and on polling day there were signs,” said Mr Raguse.

“I just smile because politics is politics and you understand that if your opponent can out smart you or make a manoeuvre, that’s what it is, and I have always believed that the end of the day the public get it right.

“If people don’t have the information that they need to have, they make a decision based on what they know and the 2016 election, it was unfortunate because a lot of stuff people didn’t know, and they thought the decisions they had made were right.”

For the 2020 election, Mr Raguse decided that he would not contest the mayoral candidacy if Cr Power was going to run.

After talks with Cr Power around Christmas 2019, no decision was given two weeks later and so Mr Raguse made the decision to run for Logan mayor.

Another two weeks on, Cr Power announced he would be running for mayor and won at the election with Mr Raguse second.

“Nine months ago, Darren Power, rang me and said, ‘I’m not going to contest the next election, you must run’ and I said there’s no way in the world,” said Mr Raguse.

“I’ve had my time in the sun, I was a federal member of parliament, I did all those great things, I ran for the mayor twice, it’s time for the next generation.

“I said to Darren to make sure you have some succession in place, you got to have the next mayor lined up. So unfortunately, the succession didn’t work and with Darren pulling out after one term and it was very late in the day and there was only one person standing and he is not experienced enough to run this city.”

Mr Raguse said that he was not going to talk about his opponent other than to say he doesn’t believe he is the person that has the experience.  

“Nothing against him personally,” said Mr Raguse.

“He came from Ipswich 11 years ago, he was an asbestos removalist, contractor, he then became a councillor and has been a councillor for eight years.

“For me there is no business experience, community experience, other than what you get in council, I’m not taking that away from him at all, but his mantra is that I’m too old, I’m out of date and that you can only be a mayor if you’ve had experience in council.

“The reality is, I understand what he’s saying, it’s not true, I was in council for two years as a senior manager – media, marketing and community engagement – so I spent two years in council as a bureaucrat at council after I came out of federal parliament, so I know the inside workings.”

With the late start to his campaign, Mr Raguse is making sure he is out as much as possible to talk about his plans for the city. Mr Raguse said in 2016 he had the vision and things needed to do to take the city forward and be proud of the city and eight years later none of it has been achieved.

“I think it’s quite ironic that had I won in 2016 there would have been no sacking of a council, I probably would have gotten a lot of my agenda in place, and I’d be stepping down now saying here’s a successor, everything’s fine and I’ve done my bit.

“But here I am standing before you in 2024 saying I’m putting my hand up again.”

Mr Raguse believes that the biggest problem Logan is facing is infrastructure charges and the impact it is going to have on the annual budget.

Due to the land mass in the city, the state government are looking to use this to fix the housing crises and it is going to cost the rate payers. Mr Raguse has said that as mayor he will tell the state government that council will not be responsible for all the costs.

Mr Raguse believes that stopping development without infrastructure is a must and that developers should be responsible for roads, sewerage, and water infrastructure costs.

“Our borrowing (Logan City Council) is now at $400 million on infrastructure and by 2027 it will be $1 billion to afford simply the roads and sewerage for these developers to take advantage of,” said Mr Raguse.

“I love developers when they spend their own money, but they’re not going to do it to us without us saying nope, this is what we got to do.”

Another subject Mr Raguse is passionate about is the rate charges. He wants to work on making sure rate payers are not going to be charged amounts that they shouldn’t have to.

“The very first thing I’ll do is I’ll put a stop on the budget, because that budget, and this is how the officers of council – they’re very professional people, not knocking them at all, I was one at one stage, what they do is the new council comes in, the very first budget they have a vote, what they call the quadrennial budget, so it’s for four years, the wages of the councillors,” said Mr Raguse.

“And they smile when the new mayor and councillors sign off on the next budget because in that budget will be the salaries that will be paid to councillors the next four years.

“That’s one of the things and why I will put a stop to the budget.

“Three things I’ll review, infrastructure, fees of the state, and what the salary rates will be for councillors. Now I may have difficulty pushing back on that because there’s a history around that.”

Mr Raguse has promised that he will stick around for eight years if the people want him after four years.

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