The Westerner

Ferny Grove candidate profile - Geoff Wilson

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Name: Geoff Wilson

Party: ALP

Age: 59

Suburb of residence: Mitchelton

Occupation: Member for Ferny Grove and Minister for Health

Bio:  Elected in 1998, former public servant, barrister and industrial advocate.

What do you think are the most important issues for Ferny Grove this election?  

Building better public transport and tackling traffic congestion are key priorities. Continuing the provision of high quality education for our children, delivering new children's health services at Prince Charles Hospital, Chermside, protecting our environment locally and statewide, for example through growing our national parks and Wild Rivers legislation are all vitally important.

If re-elected, how will you help to improve the state’s health and education systems?  

Health and education will continue to be top priorities for a re-elected Bligh Labor Government.

Education - at a local school level, I supported the delivery of $10 million funding for new classrooms and school facility upgrades, and new kindy programs for four year olds in local child care centres. I strongly support moving Year 7 to high school, and the new national curriculum. This is especially important for our Defence Force and other families who move from state to state as a result of their employment. I also strongly support new innovative programs to create alternative educational opportunities in our local area such as Grovely State School's Montessori program. I am helping parents with moving Year 7 to High School through a local primary schools parent network. I did this when Prep year was introduced and it was great value for local parents.

Health - Queensland Health is being broken up to provide better services. Management of health services will be decentralised to the community. New professional governing councils will be set up in the Metropolitan North (Brisbane) and other regions across the state. That means decisions on delivering health services will be made by locals, for locals in their local community. Doctors, nurses and community representatives will all have a role with the councils. As the local Member, I helped save the old Keperra Hospital and turn it into a modern community health centre providing for north west Brisbane families. I also set up a community advisory committee for the centre so the local community has a voice in running the centre.

What are your main policies on employment and the environment?

Environment - Protecting our environment such as the D’Aguilar National Park, Bunyaville State Forest and other conservation areas, making sure South East Queensland Regional Plan remains strong to control development around Brisbane, protecting the green belt surrounding Brisbane, especially in the north west.  At a State level, protecting our Wild Rivers, phasing out of sand mining on North Stradbroke Island, and protecting the Great Barrier Reef are all vitally important environmental priorities. The Border to the Beach Green Belt will give our wildlife the sanctuaries it needs to survive threats like climate change.

Employment  - Jobs and job growth will continue to be a major priority for the Labor Government.  This Government has a proud record of job creation and our economy is growing. We believe in ensuring our workforce has the skills and training to take advantage of this growing economy. Our Government will continue delivering building programs for schools and hospitals and other major public works projects (eg. $100 million Ferny Grove public transport hub) which all provide significant employment and training opportunities.

What do you think have been your main contributions to Ferny Grove?

As the Member for Ferny Grove, I have worked hard to deliver many positive outcomes for my local community.  I am delivering:

* a new $100 million public transport hub at the Ferny Grove Station, providing 1000 car parks and 15 minute off-peak services

* a major upgrade of the Samford Road/Wardell Street intersection

* a new Samford to Ferny Grove bikepath

Other important projects I have previously delivered include:

* the passing lane on Samford Road over the range

* a major road safety upgrade at the Camp Mountain/Samford Road intersectio

* the first Samford to Ferny Grove commuter bus service

* a new ambulance station at Samford.

I also successfully opposed a Western bypass through Samford Valley.

If re-elected, how would you improve Ferny Grove in the future?

I am fighting for:

* Extra commuter bus services from Samford to Ferny Grove

* Resurfacing of Main Street, Samford

* Upgrading Bygots/Samford Road intersection

* Continued protection of the South Pine River habitat

I will keep working hard and getting results for local residents and their families. I will also continue to work closely with community members and community groups to ensure our community receives its fair share of funding for important local projects and to ensure all projects have significant local input.

We live in a beautiful part of Brisbane with a wonderful natural environment and an engaged and thriving community. I want to ensure we maintain what makes this area special and continue to encourage community involvement.

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