Bundaberg Now spoke to Cr Judy Peters ahead of her retirement from local government after 26 years as a Councillor.
When Judy Peters started as a Councillor 26 years ago it was to find out what was really happening in her city of Bundaberg and create a way to keep the community informed about the good that was being done by many.
Coming from a shipping industry background, where documentation and attention to detail is paramount, it was still a steep learning curve, as it is for every new elected member.
“Local government is unlike any other business or government level you can work for,” Judy said.
“One thing that I did understand when first elected is the importance of working as a team and the huge amount of networks that were available to support and grow the liveability of this City and then Region.”
Council provides important services
“Council is not just about roads or drainage, arts, aged care, water or zoology but a collection of services provided to make this a great place to live, work and raise a family whilst always being mindful of your duty to the community.”
There have been many highlights during Judy’s time.
“The completion of the new CBD in Bourbong Street where parking and people were the focus, creating footpath dining experiences, development of the Rubyanna Wastewater Treatment Plant, the creation of skate parks for our young people, and returning the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre into a showcase for performances, along with so many major projects to ensure the future growth of our region,” Judy said.
There have been many highs and lows, but Judy has always kept her sense of humour.
She certainly needed that sense of humour when she took up extreme sports.
“The Walla Street skate park – built to host regional extreme games finals – necessitated a ‘trial run’ so the skaters believed as the youth portfolio councillor I should do just that.
“So with skateboard underfoot and four skater friends we took off from the funbox and up the halfpipe and circled back into the bowl … scary and wonderful at the same time.”
Love of community is key
Judy’s love of community is evident.
“I trust that the legacy I leave is one of empowerment in our community because together we can achieve so much more,” she said.
“Whilst I never set out to have a career in local government I did set out to give my time and my every effort in bringing about a well informed and connected community and I trust that together we have achieved this.”
While Judy has loved being on Council, particularly her work on the Community and Cultural Portfolio, she believes it’s time to start a new chapter and devote time to some of her many interests.
“I’m looking forward to having more time to give a greater commitment to the State Boards I am a member of and the community groups that I belong to, along with some part-time work which will see me use my skills and knowledge,” she said.
“So many people have made my local government journey possible and have been my mentors, friends and confidants that I wish to thank them individually and collectively for their time, respect and friendship they have shown each and every day.
“So, to everyone, thank you for the privilege in serving you as your Councillor.”
In the next few days we'll catch up with Cr Ross Sommerfeld and Cr Scott Rowleson.
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