Environmental crusader: Candidate tackles coastal mitigation
BUNDABERG Division 4 resident John Valuch, 58, was part of a protest criticising lack of climate change policy in Buss Park last year, when someone said to him, “you should run for council.”
And he thought, “well, why not?
“I’ve been quite outspoken for a number of years on a number of issues,” he said.
“When they chopped that amount of forest in Baldwin Swamp it really got my goat, yet another environmental disgrace in this town where development seems to be at any cost.
“We’re no better off for the development, we’ve still got a huge unemployment queue.
“The council refuses to declare a climate emergency which we’re in the middle of.”
The Division 4 candidate runs against cafe owner Tracey McPhee and pharmacy assistant Tanya Lee Jones.
He said he was unemployed, which made him sensitive to any rates increases.
He said rates had to remain as low as possible considering the high demographic of welfare dependant residents.
“Council should be sticking to water, rubbish, roads, and the environment,” he said. “And if possible identify the areas the council shouldn’t be involved, bringing rates down.”
But he would also advocate against coastal development. He said it was in ratepayers’ interest to retreat from rising ocean levels.
“I wish all this climate change stuff was bull***t and wasn’t true, but reality sucks,” Mr Valuch said.
“I know you can’t get this all in your report but … the point I’m making is these are the decisions that more and more the council is going to have to look at.
“It’s too late down the track when they’ve let it get built out completely because developers wanted to.”