Tracey McPhee.
Tracey McPhee.

Cafe owner aims for council role

ALOWISHUS owner Tracey McPhee is campaigning to become a Bundaberg Regional councillor.

The cafe owner said the business was in a good position and that she had planned to enter local politics for about six months.

She will be running for division 4, which is so far uncontested given that its incumbent councillor Helen Blackburn has thrown her hat in the ring to become mayor.

Mrs McPhee’s focuses as a councillor would be in attracting five star resort style accommodation, filling empty shop fronts in the CBD, and emphasising the need for residents to buy local products.

She would have run for council regardless of Cr Blackburn’s decision to run for mayor.

“When Cr Blackburn vacated division 4, that just works,” Mrs McPhee said.

“We live here, we work here, my kids go to school in division 4, it just makes perfect sense to run in division 4.”

Mrs McPhee’s three businesses employ about 55 staff members, but she was confident in their capabilities to enable her to step back from daily operations.

“I feel I’m in a position now to make some positive change and just be more involved in the whole community,” Mrs McPhee said.

“I’ll still be involved in monthly planning meetings and things like that … on a day-to-day basis I’m certainly not worried.

“Our team’s very capable of steering the ship there.”

Mrs McPhee said she had been happy with the current council’s performance and said there had been many positive changes in Bundaberg.

But she wanted to see an incentive scheme to encourage store owners to restore their buildings to make the CBD more attractive.

She also wanted to see Bundaberg Airport, which is owned by the council, offer direct flights to Sydney and Melbourne.

“That would be awesome, because currently if you have a business trip or you go to one of those other capitals, it is two days. You can’t do it in one day,” she said.

Mrs McPhee said she was nervous about entering local politics, but considered it a challenge worth taking on.

“If your goals don’t scare and excite you at the same time, then they are not worthy goals,” she said.

“I have some reservations. However, I do have broad shoulders as well.

“I’ve always had the attitude that if people are saying things about me, it’s really none of my business.

“I operate my business the same way. I focus on what I can do best.”

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