Cr Molhoek throws his hat into mayoral ring
By YVONNE McLEAN
WHEN Rob Molhoek contests the Gold Coast mayoralty his ticket will be apolitical ? no party political affiliation, because in his carefully ocnsidered opinion the Gold Coast community majority is for a council unaligned with 'party'.
Nor is he a member of any political party ? a question sure to crop up during a campaign.
Responding to reports and rumours of a poll earlier than the March 8 election, Cr Molhoek says he is ready to go.
Brimming with self confidence after bringing down the council's first billion dollar budget and a 10-year program of costly 'catch up' infrastructure, he speaks of his mayoral bid as if it were a stepping stone of his new career path. It seemed so soon after his election to the city's centreal division four that his peers elevated him to chair of finance. His budget this year has met with resounding applause from the business community, although he will undoubtedly be seeking answers to budget bad news for many unit owners hit with general rate increases.
Questioned about the benefits of chief of finance (should he continue in that role after the next election) as distinct from mayor who must spend time in ceremony, Cr Molhoek said he saw mayoral responsibility to speak out in the corridors of influence including state and federal governments about the human needs of a city such as the Gold Coast, as well as the quest for funding. A leader had an entre to those who could do the most good.
"I have a deep love for the place where I was born and bred, and I know are a real need behind the happiness that abounds for all to see. There is a desperate need for affordable housing, for accommodation for homeless kids, for urgently required action to combat drug use, protection for women at risk of abuse and especially we need to do more for our elderly population," he said.
(The Mail must acknowledge the initiative of Mayor Ron Clarke who initiated the Council Cab service to transport the disabled and elederly to shops and other essential visitations at minimum cost.)
Should he win mayoralty, Rob said he would use his influence in the hope to see many homes built for abandoned kids. His many community commitments include support for youth advocate Ruth Knight of Gold Coast Reconnect Life House and Hetty Johnston's Bravehearts. He left a lucrative business career for council.
"I want to earn the right to speak out about social problems that exist," he said.
He believes because a local authority is the closest to its people and those members of it have a duty of care.
As a councillor, he speaks of his surprise and even concern that as a team members do not sit down and talk about agendas.
"The CEO does have workshops but it is a shame we as individuals elected to the job don't have more to do with the agenda process. I think officers are looking for a strong lead, a clear direction in a number of ways."