Shire of Broome election: Mark Harris (Sharky)
Written on the 18 October 2017
Broome Chamber of Commerce & Industry
2017 Shire Election Candidate Questionnaire
Name: Mark Harris - Sharky
Q. Describe in your own words the core function of the Shire of Broome?
In a Broader context, as one of Australia's three spheres of government is Local Government and is the sphere that most closely affects the daily lives of citizens.
Q. Describe in your own words the core function of a Shire Councillor?
In Broome there are 9 shire council positions and the shire president and deputy shire president are elected by the nine standing councillors. The role of a single council member is to bring with them skills, knowledge and passion to the table. The position needs to be unbiased, open and accountable to the local community. The Council elected makes all of the major decisions that affect the community's growth and prosperity.
Q. In the Chamber's recent business survey, 53% of respondents said they do not believe that the Shire is small business friendly. What do you think the Shire of Broome can do to improve conditions and support for local businesses?I totally agree, as a small business owner, I was of the opinion then and now that the Shire is not business savvy nor, are the services provided directed at being helpful to initiating the catalyst to growth and small business development. It is common knowledge that the biggest employer network in Australian is made up of small business.
My solution is simply to engage the front counter staff, and they should be trained to provide a helpful service, which includes start to finish advice on how to get your business up and running, with support through the maze that is the bureaucratic red tape that stifles the development of small businesses.
Q. It is expected that capital works on the Chinatown Revitalisation will be happening for a large part of 2018, what would you do to ensure that the local retailers are not adversely affected by the disruption in the peak trading periods?
The contractors who are successful in their tender for the works will be required to provide access in a staggered and strategic manner, this means that there will be access to the shops in general and during peak sessions. The traffic management plans will encompass access to walkways and entry ways to the shops and there will need to be better use of public transport
Q. What's your thoughts on the sealing of Cape Leveque Rd, and do you believe this will change the dynamics of business in Broome and the Dampier Peninsula?
Yes. there will be an impact on the dynamics of the businesses on the Peninsula, and it will need to be monitored in the best interest of the community and its residents. I support development of environmental impact assessment, social impact assessment and a Management Plans. As long as the Traditional Owners of the land are in control of all aspects of access and environmental monitoring, through their prospective Ranger programs it is also important to note that there have been previous assessment and social impact studies, the most comprehensive being the report compiled by Sharon Griffith. The impact on Broome town site will be different than that of those people who live on the Peninsula.
Q. With regard to Cape Leveque Road, what efforts would you like to see in working with Traditional Owners and alleviating red tape - having foresight to put measures in place to help fast track approvals when needed and creating more self-sustainable communities?See above
Q. Where do you sit in regards to mining and tourism - How do you perceive the balance of these two industries; 50/50, 70/30, 80/20 etc?
We also need to ensure that these companies contribute to our community at all levels and that local government should be at the negotiating table to ensure rateability is recognised.
Whereas in all state agreement acts and other vehicles used by state and federal government for development in the region and that the rights and interests of the Broome Shire, be recognised as a key stakeholder and that their rights and interests are upheld.Q. What's your opinion on economic growth and development of the future of Broome and the Kimberley?
The Shire of Broome should be supporting new businesses, national events and other opportunities for future development. Streamlining of services and information should be also a high priority for growth and development in Broome. Local government is best located to assist in the development of projects in the region, and the makeup of the Kimberley Development commission should be used more.
Q. Do you have a plan (or ideas) for lobbying more support from state and federal government?
Q. On a personal level, why do you live in Broome and what do you love about the Kimberley lifestyle.
I identify mostly with Matt Damon, because of his role in "Good Will Hunting"
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