May 13, 2024 | Local News

PROFILE: Division 8 Gympie Councillor: Gordon Maudsley

Vivienne Wynter

‘I’m a community person’

Newly elected councillor for Gympie Regional Council’s Division 8, Gordon Maudsley, is a renaissance man, meaning he has wide interests and is skilled in several areas.

He’s a carpenter and builder, has worked in the Torres Strait Islands, Bundaberg and Gladstone and is interested in regenerative farming and reconciliation with the First Nations peoples of the Mary Valley.

Runs on the board

As Vice President of Friends of Amamoor (FOA), Cr Maudsley had the idea of creating Amamoor’s Village Green (near the Amamoor Train Station) which once was a disused piece of land.

Amamoor Village Green in Busby Street is now a landscaped common area with a café, picnic green and renovated train station.

‘My wife and I went to the Port Fairy Music Festival and saw the Village Green there and brought the idea back to FOA,’ said Cr Maudsley.

‘It was a team effort. FOA President of the Julia Tidy got a $30,000 grant. Project manager Paul Meakin and a great group of volunteers renovated the structures, built the gantry and landscaped the area.’

Active in the community

Cr Maudsley, wife Lisa and their three sons moved to Amamoor in 2005 where they have a 67 acre cattle grazing property.

He has been active in the community for past 19 years, serving with the Amamoor State School P & C, Amamoor Hall Committee and Mary Valley Lions.

At the 2024 Local Government Election in March, he won the Division 8 Gympie Councillor seat convincingly with 2,786 votes to his competitor Ruth Golden’s 1,711 out of a total of 5,637 registered voters.

Now he’s got a few council meetings under his belt, the newly minted councillor has ambitions to advocate in three key areas for Mary Valley residents: roads, community groups and reconciliation.

Roads are top of the list

‘Roads are my top priority. Many of the Mary Valley roads are in a diabolical state.

‘I don’t have a magic wand but I will be advocating for improving road conditions.

‘This can be done by grading dirt roads more regularly and increasing the number of bitumen roads. ‘

‘It would be good to see widening of existing bitumen roads into two lanes so drivers don’t have to drive off the bitumen when passing, which degrades the road shoulders.’

Callout to community groups

Cr Maudsley also wants to be a conduit of information between council and Mary Valley community groups.

‘I want to understand what the groups are about and let them know what resources are available to share: things like crockery, a BBQ or marquee for an event.

‘Whether it’s Scouts, Rural Fire Brigades, hall committees or hobby groups, I want to hear from you about how we can move our community forward.’

First Nations cultural programs

Cr Maudsley supports the idea of local Kabi Kabi peoples delivering cultural education in the Mary Valley.

‘Working for the councils in the Torres Strait central islands was a great experience and gave me a whole new experience of First Nations peoples and their predicament,’ he said.

Cultural education programs in the Mary Valley could help to ‘build a true appreciation of First Nations cultures’.

Cr Maudsley said New Zealand’s record of addressing past wrongs with the Maori people was a good model for ‘lifting First Nations people up’.

‘We need to build respect and First Nations people will feel that,’ he said.

Gympie Division 8 Councillor Gordon Maudsley. IMAGE supplied by Cr Maudsley

Regen farming interest

Cr Maudsley has paused his building business to concentrate on being a councillor and applying regenerative farming methods on the acreage where he and his wife run a small herd of cattle.

As a local landholder he’s conscious of local weed problems and invasive species like Giant Rats Tail and Cat’s Claw.

‘I know pesticides have a role however, I would like to see all the options and considered approaches for controlling weeds other than pesticides,’ he said.

He’s in a position to do something about that, as a member of Gympie Regional Council’s Weed and Pest Advisory Committee.

Cr Maudsley is also a member of council’s Traffic and Road Safety Committee. Outside council he’s a member of the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Road Group and the Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee.

Division 8 residents can contact Cr Maudsley on gordon.maudsley@gympie.qld.gov.au or 0461 431 404.

PHOTO: Image of Gordon Maudsley from top of story supplied by Gordon Maudsley.

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