Former councillor’s advice for new, returning councillors
LOCAL state politician and former councillor Jim McDonald has issued some advice for new, and returning, councillors.
Mr McDonald served as a councillor in the Lockyer Valley council until he was elected as the MP for Lockyer in 2017.
He said one of the biggest pieces of advice he had was to treat council funding as if it were your own when making spending decisions.
“Make decisions about money as if it’s your own, you can’t go wrong then,” Mr McDonald said.
He also implored councillors to think long term and ask questions about all aspects of their jobs, particularly around decisions, to get the best outcomes.
While it might be a daunting task for new councillors to settle into the role, Mr McDonald had some advice to making the jump into the new job.
“It’s really basic, but read everything and learn as much as possible,” he said.
“And if you’re not sure, ask questions and understand the process.”
He also encouraged councillors to challenge each other and officers on decisions in a constructive manner.
“The best decisions are made when people challenge each other,” he said.
He finished with warning the new council they would have their work cut out for them dealing with the impacts of the coronavirus in the coming weeks and months.
“They are really going to have to get their head around (it) and there will be different opportunities that the council can do to assist the community to recover,” he said.
“It’s going to be a massive challenge on top of business as usual.”