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‘Busy mum’ wants to win hearts, wards … and mayoralty of Brisbane

Arts industry development worker Trina Massey was announced last week to be running in Central Ward against LNP councillor and committee chairwoman Vicki Howard.

Meanwhile, change-management consultant Donna Burns will face down LNP councillor and committee chairman Peter Matic.

The Greens hope that, spearheaded by current The Gabba councillor Jonathan Sri, such a diverse group will break into council and win seats from the LNP administration.

Ms Angus said both she and Ms Dillon were “regular people”, busy parents who believed the community had been left behind in daily decisions made by the council.

“… I would like to see a lot more power in the hands of residents,” Ms Angus said.

“I want to see a beautiful and connected Brisbane that everyone can access.”

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Ms Dillon became interested in town planning laws when she joined a community campaign against a high-rise apartment development next to Buranda school approved by the council.

Her frustrations about that situation triggered her decision to run.

“I realised the only way to do something about it was actually to run for council and get more people to run for council,” she said.

Ms Angus, meanwhile, had no plans to run for council despite encouragement from friends to do so.

She said Ms Dillon’s encouragement and confidence gave her the motivation to put her hand up.

“It’s really empowering – last council there were no women as mayoral candidates so I feel that makes it a really exciting time, and a challenging time,” she said.

Ms Dillon agreed, noting the priorities of parents were sometimes at odds with those of local government.

“Often mums are at the coalface for understanding how various council decisions affect our families,” she said.

The challenges of unseating a years-long administration, and a weaker Labor opposition, are many. But both Ms Angus and Ms Dillon believe they have a fighting chance, with results from the state and federal elections giving the Greens plenty of momentum.

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“For both of us, we’re regular people, we’re busy mums, our biggest challenge is just going to be juggling time,” Ms Angus said.

“One of our greatest resources is the people who support what we’re doing.”

The Greens’ platform for the 2020 election will be one of fighting to bring community voices back to the table, particularly in issues such as neighbourhood plans.

Ms Angus said residents were frequently disconnected from local politics simply because they felt they didn’t have a say – something she is determined to fix.

A “binding referendum” on the final drafts of neighbourhood plans would be one way the Greens would change town planning if elected, she said.

But first, they have to win hearts, votes and wards.

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