The Logan City Local Government Elections scheduled for March 16 will see seven of the 12 divisions go to the polls.

Here, both candidates for Division 12 were given the same questions and below are their answers. This will give a little more insight into who they are.

1. Tell Logan about yourself.

Karen Murphy – I grew up on the family farm at Munna Creek, about an hour and a half Northwest of Gympie. It’s where I learnt the value of hard work, helping mum, dad, and the extended family on the farm. We raised cattle and I often had to help with odd jobs before and after school. It was bloody hard work, but it was worth it.

I went to Munna Creek primary school where there was one teacher and at its peak, a grand total of 13 kids in the whole school.  We were all part of a very small, tight-knit community where the locals had to all work together to get things done. I carry this community spirit everywhere I go. 

After selling the farm my family moved to Gympie.  I spent a lot of my teenage years playing sport. I would spend hours upon hours at the local netball club or little athletics.  This is where you would learn to fundraise, volunteer, coach and just give back to the community. 

After high school I did the big move to Brisbane. My first career path was in the childcare industry.  This experience instilled in me a great appreciation for the long hours our hardworking early childhood workers do.

A change in vision saw me take on a career in banking where I worked for Suncorp, Metway and Westpac. I learnt a lot about finance and the value of financial education. I also made a lot of wonderful friends along the way.

I moved to Mount Warren Park in 1989 to follow Cameron and love. My grandmother, aunts and uncles had already lived in and around Beenleigh for a long time, so the area was well known to me. 

This community is where Cameron and I chose to call home.  We have lived, worked, and raised our family here ever since and I’m very proud to call 4207 Heaven home. 

I have always given back by volunteering in our community. I have been involved in the P&C’s when our children were growing up, sporting clubs, chamber of commerce and the various service groups we have in the district. I was even President of the swimming club at one point! Everything from coaching, fundraising, being on the committees to doing the washing of the uniforms, we did it all! 

We have had a great life in this community, and we love to give back as much as we have received.

Nate Hamon – I am primarily an educator. I owned my own RTO delivering vocational education for almost 15 years. Many of my students still train people in the area or have opened local gyms. I have lived around the world including Fiji, Tonga, Louisiana, Hawaii, and New Zealand. The majority of my life has been spent in this area. In 1988 my family even owned a video store called “Blitz Video” down from where the Hyperdome is now. I was still playing rugby until recently and I also love playing racquetball and pickleball. I’m also in a band (Mayan Fox) and our biggest achievements have been touring internationally (incl. NZ, Canada, and the Philippines) and opening for Jet & Powderfinger. My favourite dessert is lemon meringue pie.

2. Why are you interested in our community?

Karen Murphy – I’m passionate about our youth, because they are the future leaders of our community.

We need to make sure that we are handing over a better world for them and future generations and I want to be part of this movement. 

Nate Hamon – So many reasons! It’s a pet topic and passion of mine but I’ll try to be brief. Community is to me the lifeblood of a town. If a community is strong, it can affect the strength of the wider area. Local businesses and economic activities thrive in strong communities. This can lead to increased economic stability and sustainability. Strong communities can improve opportunities for education and skill development. Strong communities often translate into a vibrant civic life and a sense of shared responsibility for the common good. Crisis response, cultural preservation, environmental stewardship, social and mental well-being… I am interested in community because we all, including my family and I, live here. If community can improve our existence, then it stands to reason that it should be our focus. 

3. Why did you decide to run?

Karen Murphy – After been elected on 2020 and working hard for my division and the city for the last 4 years, I wanted to get re-elected to see the projects that I have started through until completion.

The investment of $23 million of the Beenleigh pool upgrades will be one of the largest projects in the city. This development should start very soon and I’m proud of the advocating that I have done.

This is just one of the many projects planned for division 12 to be completed. 

Nate Hamon – I decided to run for two main reasons. The first is that I believe in good democracy but that takes choice. If I am blessed to be voted in and I get to the next election without looking like being challenged, I would sincerely encourage people to put their hand up. Challenges can help keep government honest. Secondly, while I admire the work that our current councillor has done, and can imagine that she has a future in higher office, I believe that for this place and time, what I have to offer, with my knowledge, skills and experience, will help create fresh opportunities for Eagleby, Beenleigh and Mount Warren Park to move forward.

4. What do you think is the most important skill of being a good councillor?

Karen Murphy – Council has been a completely surprising journey.  No two days are ever the same and I love every moment of it. The skills and experience I have gained throughout my life has helped me to be the best Councillor I can, so I can get the job done for locals. Experience matters and I have a wealth of it.

Nate Hamon – Knowing that we are not the drivers of change but the navigators. It is the people that have the ideas, concerns, skills, understanding of issues who we should be listening to and then helping to show and guide through the pathways that will get things done. So this means that a councillor has to not only be a very good listener when things come their way but also be proactively seeking out and tapping into the thoughts of the community. So the short answer would be someone who can communicate with the people, then communicate with the decision makers to enable progress.

5. What distinguishes you from the other candidates?

Karen Murphy – My life experiences have shaped me into the woman I am today and the way I serve my community as your Councillor for Division 12. 

I have a working background in banking and real estate.  This has given me a solid foundation and experience for the role in council. 

I have also served as the Governance Chairperson and on the Audit and Risk Committee. 

Nate Hamon – My life experience would be different. I have lived an extremely diverse and cultured life that helps me to understand the variety of needs of our wide-ranging demographic. I have been homeless but also a successful business owner. I have travelled the world and I have discovered the secrets to building community even in diverse societies. I also have no desire for higher office. I simply want to continue serving my community, but from the inside of local government. To close this answer I would also say, there are certain items that have been voted on in council that I would have voted on differently than my fellow candidate. For example, I would have voted against the new flood mapping release. I’ll leave the voters to decide whether that is something that matters to them.

6. What would you like to see happen in your division over the next 4 years?

Karen Murphy – To continue the projects that are planned and to see them through to completion and plan for the future. 

  • Beenleigh pool redevelopment
  • Chris green park Clubhouse
  • Doug Larsen playground upgrade
  • Upgrades to divisional community assets and much more 

This also includes the growth of the city, solid infrastructure and development, business growth and a stable financial position for the council and our residents. 

Nate Hamon – I want to see all our parks with better accessibility for wheelchairs, mobility scooters, prams etc. I want our main streets (and the area as a whole) activated through strong placemaking initiatives that involve local businesses, the local art community and event enthusiasts. I want to see the council do our part in crime prevention by enacting a solid “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design” (CPTED) agenda. I want to work more closely with the State government and local charities to address the homelessness crisis. I want to see greater access to our rivers. That’s a start!

7. Why should voters cast their ballot for you?

Karen Murphy – I’m a strong voice in council and so that I can continue to get the job done for our community.

Nate Hamon – I have proven commitment to the community and enabled change for years in my spare time, and voluntarily. Imagine what I can do, and what we can do together if I can commit to this full-time!

Voters know that it is not just campaign rhetoric, because I have walked the talk.

When I work and fight for town progress, I make it personal. My family, your family, our community – we are all affected by town issues, but the bright light is that we can all participate and benefit when the town progresses. 

8. Anything extra you would like to add?

Karen Murphy – I’m a team player. When you have a stronger team in council you can achieve a lot for Logan.  

Nate Hamon – Talk to me. I am here to listen. We are all in this together.

To follow the candidates – Karen Murphy or Nate Hamon

NOTE: Both candidates were sent the same email asking the same questions. Their direct responses have been published.

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