2 February, 2024
Chong vies for Mareeba Shire election
A LOCAL solicitor and Muluridji traditional owner, Shaquille Chong, has entered the race for the upcoming Mareeba Shire Council election this March.
Recently returning to Mareeba after several years working for the Commonwealth in Canberra, Ms Chong is ready to step up in her local community and help create positive change.
“My campaign is focused on three topics. One is presence; I believe a great leader is someone who is present and available to the community and the community's needs,” she said.
“I will actively engage with the community and bring forward their interests and concerns at every opportunity.
“(Two is) motivation; I am a highly motivated and energetic young person with the community’s interest at heart.
“I am passionate in my desire to see the people of Mareeba Shire given every opportunity to see their community flourish, and I will ensure that I strive to meet the needs of the growing Shire.
“I am someone who will work with the community to set targets that are achievable for change and growth from a fresh outlook.
“(Three is), collaboration. I believe the Mareeba Shire needs leaders that are willing to collaborate with the community, stakeholders, traditional owners, schools, sporting clubs, health sector, organisations and businesses to ensure the community is actively working together to create a better outcome for all residents within the Mareeba Shire.”
An area that Ms Chong is keen to address is youth issues. She believes there should be stronger law and order enforcement and is prepared to go above and beyond to make it happen.
“This will include an immediate community forum to pull together the issues, resources, and ideas to establish working groups with stakeholders within the community and the Member of Parliament to address youth criminal activity,” she said.
“There needs to be stronger restorative justice programs within the community that ensure the safety of the community is upheld as a priority while ensuring that young offenders are receiving tailored restorative programs that address their offending behaviours and home lifestyles.
“Engaging leaders within the schools to create working groups is also something that I will be advocating for to ensure the voices of younger people are heard, and younger people can contribute their ideas and opinions on how to improve safety within the community, and to create opportunities for young people to help make change.”
Ms Chong also plans to advocate for better infrastructure in the shire, including a new shopping centre, more playgrounds, better roads, a bypass and an alternate route to Cairns.