Friday, January 13th, 2012 - Susie Douglas
Mayoral candidate Susie Douglas has announced her plan to build on the safety and livability of the Gold Coast in order to preserve its standing as a destination for families.

Her 100-day campaign will see her be announcing policies across ten key areas leading up until the Local Government elections on March 31.

Cr Douglas says ensuring the safety of all Gold Coast visitors and residents starts with addressing a number of fundamental social issues.

“It’s no secret that there have been a few incidents recently that we don’t want repeated on the Gold Coast,” Cr Douglas says.

“In order to start tackling crime, I believe we need to begin at a community level by addressing issues of inclusiveness—ensuring that people feel secure in their employment and they feel a connection with their surroundings.

“By working with all levels of government, we can undertake renewal projects around the city that will provide extra employment where it’s most needed, as well as helping to instill feelings of civic pride in those that work on the projects.

“Each renewal project around the city will involve the community improving social outcomes and joining up government funded services, whilst getting the residents to engage as active participants.”

Cr Douglas refers to Victoria’s Neighbourhood Renewal program as a blueprint for what can be achieved on the Gold Coast. This program sees local groups in disadvantaged areas being employed to undertake jobs such as transforming poor housing, and cleaning and improving public parks.

To date, the Victorian initiative has resulted in the creation of 6,000 jobs.
Cr Douglas says similar programs could have major social benefits if implemented across the Gold Coast.

“The fact of the matter is, it tends to be the most vulnerable in our society that turn to crime, but by creating more opportunities to contribute we can turn this vulnerability into accountability,” she says.

“The more that we can create a sense of ownership amongst our population, the less likely they are to commit crimes like those we’ve seen recently.”

Under her leadership within council, Cr Douglas has implemented several safety and community projects throughout Surfers Paradise, including helping to redevelop and increase the safety of Peninsula Drive, increasing lighting across a number of problem areas, and turning a vagrant car parking area at the end of Clifford Street into a park which is safe, clean and well lit.

Cr Douglas says these community initiatives can then be built upon by strengthening crime-fighting tools for the police.

“Our police do an incredible job of looking after our citizens, but that’s not to say that we can’t provide them with further infrastructure to help them do their job more easily,” she says.

“As the councilor for Surfers Paradise I helped to develop a strategy with the police and Liquor Licensing to improve communications between the GCCC camera room, the licensed venues and the police. This initiative has won awards nationally.

“I want to build on the existing network of CCTV cameras across the city. This has already worked well in Surfers Paradise, and by adding additional cameras in the northern and southern regions of the Coast and along main arterials such as the Gold Coast Highway, we can help to reduce police response times and ensure that more criminals are brought to justice.

“By tackling the roots of the problem we can start to prevent more crimes from occurring, but we still need to ensure that we provide our police with every opportunity to do their jobs effectively.”

While the Gold Coast looks set to expand over the coming decade, Cr Douglas says that the best elements of the city’s lifestyle don’t have to change.

“We have all of the benefits of a country town lifestyle with all the amenities of a big city, and I believe that’s something that we must preserve,” Cr Douglas says.
“Growing as a city doesn’t mean we should ever have to compromise on safety.”

Contact Profile

Bruce Nelson

P: 0439 860 521
M: +61 (0) 423 403 449
W: www.susiedouglas.com.au/

Keywords

Susie Douglas, Gold Coast Mayoral Candidate, Families, social issues, CCTV cameras, Surfers Paradise

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