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Q & A

Q & A Jos Mitchell OUR NEW MAYOR

Jos Mitchell is the new Mayor of Redland City Council. She convincingly won a three-way contest from former Federal Member Andrew Laming and a promising Cindy Corrie. Mayor Jos is our Q and A guest and we congratulate her on her election

Q: Congratulations on winning the Mayoral election. Will it be small steps to start with?

A: Initially, it will be a matter of the newly elected council coming together, coming up to speed with council process and finding commonalities in approach. We have a general meeting and budget consideration only a week or two after swearing in, so there will be a great deal of information coming through from the previous term.  The next step will be to look at putting forward policy platforms.

Q: Your campaign dwelt a lot on accountability. What does accountability mean to you?

A: Accountability, is making sure the councillors and the organisation operate in a professional, best practice way. Accountability is one of the principles of good governance.  

Q: And when it comes to accountability, are you referring just to the role of councillors, or to the council as a whole?

A: I am referring to both - There are two arms to council and we need to work well together to get the best for our community.  

Q: Accountability goes both ways, are there areas of council services do you feel need to be more accountable?

A: I have formed opinions from the point of view of being a resident, but I want to learn more of the internal operation to get a complete picture.  I know there is always room for improvement and that is what we should strive for.

Q: Your coming from a fresh direction compared to councillors who normally elevate to the Mayoral position; do you believe this could be an advantage by being able to look at issues with a different perspective?

A: Yes, particularly given past dynamics. Despite the election process and some on-going commentary, my message is the same and I am hopeful we can simply concentrate on delivering for our diverse and wonderful community. I have skill sets from past positions I feel will beneficially add to the mix.

Q: Despite some people saying ‘it isn’t so’ there are different and opposing factions in all levels of Government, is it possible to work together with all councillors for the best possible outcomes, despite possible allegiances?

A: I certainly hope it is; that is clearly what our community wants. That has been my approach and message all of the way through this campaign. Working collaboratively, means we can get more done for our community.  

Q: Many councils have a ‘can’t do’ approach; is a ‘can do’ council that works for the good of all ratepayers, a possibility?

A: I think it is.  While we feel there are many no’s, it’s important to remember there are positives too.  We have to understand the psychology behind it.  Sometimes, when the news and feedback is entirely negative, shutting down is a reaction.  That is why increasing community engagement, collaborating and opening communication pathways is so important.  

Q: Our island have gone without much for many years. Our roads program is vital to our islands; are you supportive of a fair distribution of capital works funds for island infrastructure?

A: I am very supportive of an equitable approach. I’ve made over 37 SMBI visits during the last year to ensure I get a good understanding. I’ve noted road conditions and amenities. I want to see vibrant and well supported island communities - It’s great for our total Redlands wellbeing. 

Q: The election that voted you Redlands City Council Mayor showed distinct and different voting patterns between the islands and the mainland, can you see the day in the near future that our six islands deserve a separate and their own Council Division where the councillor can work specifically on island issues, rather than the current situation where loyalties are divided?

A:  I’m not sure it’s a case of divided loyalties.  People move from mainland to island and back again constantly so there’s a need for connectivity.  ECQ controls electoral boundaries.  No doubt, with population growth, that could occur.


Q1: Good luck with what is ahead of you. We hope you are successful in uniting the council for better outcomes for the Redlands Coast and our islands?

A: Thank you very much. I’m really looking forward to working with the other councillors to see what we can achieve during the next term.  See you in the islands! 



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