New hand up for Division 1
MARK Yore remembers Airlie Beach when the only roads were dirt strips and a sprinkler watered down the dust.
His family moved to the region in 1965 when he was just one year old and his father bought into the milk depot.
The family left in 1972 but now, four decades later, Mr Yore is back and about to try his luck as a candidate for Whitsunday Regional Council's Division 1.
A former communications advisor to Queensland Senator Sue Boyce and marketing manager for a financial planning firm, Mr Yore says one of the reasons he's running is a "reasonable degree of experience in outside things".
And looking in with an outside set of eyes, "I think we're potentially heading towards ruining what we've got," he said.
Pointing to current Airlie Beach building height debate, Mr Yore noted Noosa was now a concrete jungle "and the Gold Coast - well I don't even want to go there".
"But here there's still that sense of neighbourliness - and I think we've got to tread carefully over the next couple of years," he said.
"It only takes one or two developers to wreck a place."
Mr Yore believes the current council is "not a functional council".
"And a lot of that is because the first two years are spent bagging the hell out of the previous council and the next two years are spent picking other fights, but there comes a time when you've got to draw a line in the sand and stop worrying about who said what and just look at where we want to go," he said.
"Accountability has gone to hell and I was amazed to find out council took the minutes and agendas of their meetings off the website.
"It costs almost nothing to live stream a council meeting - four or five cameras and a half-decent internet connection - people should be able to see what their councillors are doing."
Asked what he thought the other issues facing the region were, Mr Yore spoke of a flat property market and high insurance costs.
"The big problem here is basic economics. It comes down to a couple of things: insurance is keeping the house prices down and the market has virtually collapsed," he said.
Speaking on the recycling debate, Mr Yore was incredulous these services weren't mainstream in Airlie Beach, saying "Isaac Regional Council has green bins out in the middle of 'woop woop', yet here in this pristine environment we're dumping things in the same bin".
Now living in beautiful Shute Harbour, Mr Yore said he loved the area and wanted the chance to use his skill-set to preserve it.
Semi-retired, he said the issue of councillors' pay rates didn't bother him.
"You don't actually have to increase the pay to get good candidates - people who actually care will do it whatever," he said.