Remy McCamley is one of the younger candidates in the race at just 33 years of age. In addition to his relative youth, his surname is an immediately striking feature. Mr McCamley is the grandson of esteemed beef baron Sir Graham McCamley.
Mr McCamley did not follow his grandfather into the beef business and has pursued instead a wide variety of jobs throughout his life. The diversity of his work experience has brought him into contact with a diversity of personality types and backgrounds, which Mr McCamley believes is an asset in his tilt for the job of mayor.
“I’ve worked in hospitality, retail, education, fitness and obviously the agricultural industry. Not just beef, I’ve been fruit picking and also crop harvesting. So I can relate to a good portion of people,” Mr McCamley said in a telephone interview with CQ Today.
Mr McCamley claims he is not especially political, but his keen interest in sociology pushes him to consider social problems and how they might be corrected. He is campaigning for mayor because he believes the city has not been adequately served by its political representation these last few years.
“I’m concerned for the region. Rockhampton is my home, and I don’t want to see it get the rough end of the pineapple, to be honest,” he said.
“I mean, without sort of finger pointing or anything, I think we’ve had a very long time of a lack of solid leadership. I don’t think the community’s had a strong direction as to where we’re heading. I think there’s been a lot of band-aid solutions applied, which just aren’t cutting it.”
He mentions the reconstruction of Quay Street as one example of Rockhampton’s penchant to pursue band-aid solutions.
“I’m glad the work has been done, it looks a lot better. But I don’t think it was done to the best standards possible. I mean, people often bring up the tiles but I think sort of more broadly than that. I would have liked to have seen a few more shells, shopfronts constructed along the way, just small places, nothing fancy, just to get small businesses happening in Rocky, and a bit of confidence in that sector. I mean, small business is the backbone of Australia. I’m a strong believer in supporting small business,” he said.
To improve local government, Mr McCamley promises an ‘open-door’ policy if elected mayor.
“I’ve got an open-door policy. And I mean, that’s sort of got two pillars, as it were. It applies not just to council, with getting sort of a little bit more accessibility and transparency and accountability happening in council. But also, Rockhampton’s view to the rest of the world. I think Rockhampton does need to open up. And we need to get people coming here for weekends and holidays,” he said.
Mr McCamley believes the airport is a crucial factor in helping Rockhampton to open up. He said if commercial airlines, or rural-based airline services, cannot be persuaded to bring in more flights to Rockhampton, the council should consider running its own airline service.
“I mean, there’s a lot of grounded planes at the moment. A lot of pilots out of work. What’s wrong with council taking a bit of initiative? Leasing a couple of planes for three years, employing a few pilots, seeing if we can actually do it ourselves. Just to get things happening. We need to get Rocky moving,” he said.
Mr McCamley believes people are sick of politics, and if elected mayor, will endeavour to change people’s view of politicians by “under-promising and over-delivering”.