Categories
PODCAST the Moreton Bay Region NEWS

Ryan Elson – Moreton Bay Regional Council Division 6 Candidate


Ryan Elson has an extensive and colourful, at moments heartbreaking, past that makes him, in his view, the best person to represent Division 6 in the Moreton Bay Regional Council.

The former police officer and Tribe Social Belonging founder says he wants to be part of making his hometown better and provide leadership.

“I have put my hand up for my beloved little hometown because I just think we can do better than we are currently,” Mr Elson said in the podcast interview above.

“I feel that we are a magnificent area, I feel that we’re really close to a capital city, I think we’ve got great access to an airport.

“We’re on the waterfront and, well some of us are, sorry my Division is, sorry for all those that aren’t, but we’ve got massive unemployment which is ridiculous, like 8.9% is unacceptable, to say the least.

“Our businesses are struggling a little bit, our economy needs a bit of help.

“We’ve got some issues we need to deal through, there’s some clarity issues with development that we need to discuss in a reasonable, decent manner, not throwing rocks at each other, just have a chat about it but I think all those things require leadership.”

Further, Mr Elson also made the point that he isn’t just saying he will work hard in the community, he has been doing this for a long time and demonstrated his commitment.

“I have shown that I can do this, I’m not sitting here having to say, if I get in I’ll do this, man, stalk me, get online, google me, go your hardest,” Mr Elson concluded.

According to the Electoral Commission Queensland website: “Early voting will be conducted between Monday, 16 March and Friday, 27 March 2020.

“The timeframes for early voting will vary in different locations and detailed information about early voting times will be published on the ECQ website prior to the election.

“Election day is on Saturday, 28 March 2020 and polling booths will be open from 8am to 6pm.

“Details of polling booths will be published on the ECQ website.”

Read the Ryan Elson podcast interview TRANSCRIPT:

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Thank you once again for your company, I’m Andrew McCarthy-Wood. I have a very special guest with me right now. You probably know about it, we have an election coming up. Now according to the Electoral Commission Queensland website, early voting, it’ll be conducted between Monday the 16th of March and February, the 27th of March. The timeframes for early voting will vary in different locations and detailed information about early voting times will be published on the ECQ website, so you might want to check that out. Also, election day, make sure you keep this one aside if you don’t get to early voting, the 28th March, and polling booths will open from 8:00am to 6:00pm. I’m sure if you get there about 15 minutes before 8:00am, you’ll get those fresh sausages at those sausage sizzles, usually raising money for community groups around. Details of polling booths that’ll also be on the ECQ website.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Now we’ve got Ryan Elson, he’s going for Division 6. Ryan Elson, we’re going to learn a little about you through this podcast, before we find out what makes you tick, some of your background. I’ve heard a couple of other podcasts that you’ve got involved in. I’ve seen a lot of what you’ve published and that and you’ve got quite the history that’s got you to this point but for those that just want to listen to the first part of this podcast and find out what it is that they might be voting for. Why have you put your hand up for Division 6?

Ryan Elson:
Andrew thanks for having me mate, I appreciate it greatly. I have put my hand up for my beloved little hometown because I just think we can do better than we are currently. I feel that we are a magnificent area, I feel that we’re really close to a capital city, I think we’ve got great access to an airport. We’re on the waterfront and, well some of us are, sorry my Division is, sorry for all those that aren’t, but we’ve got massive unemployment which is ridiculous, like 8.9% is unacceptable, to say the least. Our businesses are struggling a little bit, our economy needs a bit of help. We’ve got some issues we need to deal through, there’s some clarity issues with development that we need to discuss in a reasonable, decent manner, not throwing rocks at each other, just have a chat about it but I think all those things require leadership.

Ryan Elson:
Now, my background is 10 years a cop, running my own business basically for 15 years in commercial real estate so I know how to deal with business and landlords and council through nearly four years of Chamber of Commerce President. I would like to lead us to a better place. I feel like I’ve got good ideas and I can speak to a great range of people about their issues. I am prepared to agree to disagree and not always be right which is interesting in politics lately.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah

Ryan Elson:
But, I mean, I have the best interests of the place. I want it to do well, I’ve done it through Tribe which we can talk about in a while which is a charity that I run, but even if I don’t get in I will continue to do that. But, I feel being in the machine and being in the system would be a lot easier than being out of it and throwing stones from the sidelines. I’m happy to be in the game.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah let’s have a look at all of that, just for al ittle bit of context for those who are listenting and wondering what on earth is going on in the background. We’re doing this podcast and we’re having a chat. We’re at a table at Beardy’s and for those of you who don’t know Beardy’s, awesome chips, awesome beer and even better, what are they, bacon and egg burgers. [crosstalk 00:03:10]

Ryan Elson:
This has the best burgers anywhere nearby and I’m happy to say that and quote, unquote. These guys are fantastic.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Absolutely we need to get through this interview real quick because we want to get into one of those burgers. But yeah, look, the incumbent who is not recontesting Division 6, Koliana Winchester.

Ryan Elson:
Mm-hmm

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Now her son is going to run essentially in her place. What are some of the big differences between the way that Koliana Winchester maybe approched the last couple of terms of council and what do you want to bring to the table? What are the differences for those voters that are out there listening to this?

Ryan Elson:
Well, Councillor Winchester was there for 12 years, eight years in Moreton Bay region and four years in Redcliffe before that. I have a reasonable relationship with Councillor Winchester but, we differ on a number of things. I am very much a yes with conditions kind of guy as opposed to a no guy. We need to go forward in this. It’s a fear of what might happen will hold you back every time. You can sit there and go what if it’s bad, but what if it’s good? What if it’s fantastic? What if making this tweak, making this change that will scare a few people sometimes, because some people are just scared of change [inaudible 00:04:26].

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah

Ryan Elson:
We need change. I mean for the councillors that have been there in the past and I don’t love talking abut the past, I’m more about the future but on their watch the issues that we’re sitting here talking about in the community at the moment, the CCC, the unemployment, development issues, all these things that happened on their watch. Now, I know Mrs Winchester isn’t running this time but, I mean, I don’t know what happens around the kitchen table at their place and the fact is, do we want more of the same? You can have exactly what you’ve had, it’s all available to you. It’s all sitting there, same old, same old guys abut oh…be careful, be careful.

Ryan Elson:
Well fear campaigns are so simple. All you got to do is work on people being scared. Don’t be scared people, this is a great place to live. It is really good. We have everything available to us but, we need to go and grasp it. We need to have a crack, we need to get up and find the direction we want to go in and walk towards it.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
You mentioned change and you’ve also identified that people sometimes struggle with change. Do you see yourself, you get the job post, the election, awesome, you’ve got the votes, you jump in there and you’ll run with change straight away or do you in your mind have a way that you’ll be able to bring people along so they understand the narrative, they understand what that change is about and why you’re doing it?

Ryan Elson:
I want to bring them along, but I want to do it quickly.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Okay.

Ryan Elson:
I have no interest in sitting around-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Why the urgency?

Ryan Elson:
Because people want change.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
I mean, look, there is a demographic in here that are scared and to be honest a lot of the older people in the area are frightened of change and the difficultly I have at the moment is I’m having trouble getting in touch with them because they don’t go on the internet. They have security doors, so I can’t knock on their doors and they’ve got no junk mail on their front box so it’s pretty tough to get a hold of them but they’ve got no need to be scared-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Your mail wouldn’t be junk mail would it? It’s precious.

Ryan Elson:
You guys should see my head but anyway that’s okay. But look, some things are easy, now some things are not. Some of the things that people are talking about in this election, you need 12 people, there’s 13 on the council including the Mayor. There needs to be agreement between those people, so you can’t just say I will do this but what I can say, Margate for instance, we talk about the economy.

Ryan Elson:
What I can say is for those empty buidlings there, that have been empty for a fair while and are struggling, I will call the landlord personally and say to them, “mate your place has been empty for a very long time and looks pretty bad, what can we do about this?” On the other side of things is too, I can ring good businesses that aren’t in this area and say to them, “guys, you’re missing out, why don’t you come out here, check out what we’ve got to offer?” And then have a chat to them about what might get them there. Now maybe they’ll be just thrilled to bits that wow we hadn’t seen this before because a lot of people don’t know how good we are. But the other side is too if it requires some, can’t remember the word now, help to get them here through council-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Some encouragement?

Ryan Elson:
Yeah, thank you and some financial assistance, well then I will talk to the other council members and say, “hey guys, I can do this here, I’ve got a deal here to do this, could you help me out with this?” And then I think we could do the same sort of thing in Strathpine. I think we could do the same sort of thing in Kalanga and other areas in our region that are struggling with. But I don’t need council approval or a budget to ring people and talk to people. A lot of these things are about that getting off your bum and actually having a crack at doing something as opposed to going oh, it’s a bit hard.

Ryan Elson:
Andrew the best things in life are hard. Nothing good is easy and I want to do that. I”ve been a commercial agent for 15 years. I know how to talk to these guys,

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
You mentioned that the unemployment rate is over 8% and the reflection on your face is that you’re not happy with that.

Ryan Elson:
No.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Look at the Moreton Bay region more widely and broadly you’d be one of 13 councillors including the Mayor as you said, a lot of not only do you have the unemployment rate as you stated, but a lot of people go out of the region to go to work. They go into Brisbane. Do you have any ideas or views on maybe how to get the employment rate down in your area but also maybe less people needing to drive into Brisbane and hit the Bruce Highway and those other networks to be able to go for a job? Have you given much thoght to that?

Ryan Elson:
I have. Look what you’re talking about is called retention.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Okay.

Ryan Elson:
Retaining people to the area to work, rest and play basically to take off an old ad. What we struggle with here a little bit in this area and this is a big deal with people talking about development and I’ve been getting smacked around the head for being pro-development. We have to be pro-development. If you’re not you’re living in a wonderland because we have estimated 240,000 people coming here by 2041. Where are they going to go? Now for our economy, that can be a really good thing because more people in the area means more shopping locally. If more shopping locally, spending locally comes along, businesses go better. If businesses improve, businesses employ. Then your kids, my kids, have got jobs, money in their pocket. Most importantly though they have purpose. If you have purpose, you’re not out robbing cars, you’re not sitting there, thinking about how bad your life is and having mental health issues as much, you have purpose, you are part of something because you’re part of a workforce.

Ryan Elson:
That for me, is the most important thing, when population is key, I’ll say Margate again, because I love Margate and I’m worried about it, but we’ve got a spot sitting there ready to go where the old Mamma’s Restaurant used to be We should look at incentives. Incentives was the word I was looking for before, businesses too.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
There you go.

Ryan Elson:
Thank you. Okay we have near the train lines, there’s incentives available for people to develop there, because the train lines were considered a good spot for students in the Petrie University and what have you. Hasn’t worked out that well, that’s okay because economic times are not going to sell that well. Let’s have a look at what we can do, talk to these guys about what we can sort out. We need more opportunity in our area for young people and for older people that need a job as well so let’s not discount them. But let’s look wider again. I mean in our region we talk about 8.9% unemployment. One of our bigger regions is Caboolture, now Cabo nothing’s to do with me as far as it’s not my area. It is.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
I’ll be the one voting on the entire region. Now speaking to the councillor that has been there, Adam Hain, look he’d love more development out there. He’d love it to be a better place to raise your kids and do all sort of things.

Ryan Elson:
What we need to do is not think of developers as people taking from us, they’re giving to us as much as anything. Developing’s a gamble, not every developer makes money. A lot of them go broke. And what annoys me a little bit is a lot of the people that are in the area are saying, no development, no development, are living on the seventh floor.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
Or a lot of people are sitting in their townhouse, going oh no developers are awful. Without developers you wouldn’t have a home. So you have to be reasonable about these things and consider this too. Everyone is loving a good chat about koala’s at the moment, it seems to be a very big deal within the election. Consider this-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
There’s 240,000 people coming here. You’ve got two options to home them. You can have urban sprawl and just go out wider and wider and wider, even if you’ve only got your 300 square metre lots which everyone says oh, they’re no good or you can go up, because if you go out you’re losing environment, you’re losing green space. You’re losing all those things. If you go up, you’re not. I’m not saying go up 70, a hundred metres, let’s look at our 30 metres and let’s plan it properly in the right areas. That will increase our economy. That will give us retention because people will be able to stay and work in the same area and will give your environment a bit of a good go too.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
And so with the extra-curricular activities for those people that are already living here and those people that come here, you do have a fair bit to do with the youth around the place, we see that on the socials.

Ryan Elson:
Yep.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
How do you keep them occupied and out of trouble when you have that sort of development happening.

Ryan Elson:
Well, it’s difficult… the biggest thing I think we need to do is engage personally with people. One of the reasons I started doing this, I get sick to death of people saying, oh someone should do something. Well I’m someone. So that’s why I step up, that’s why I do child social belonging, that’s why I do Employ Meets, that’s why I do job seeker training and whatever else you need to because someone needs to step up and have a go at these things. Now young people at the moment are quite frankly missing people to observe. Okay, it’s hard to be a good man if you’ve never met one.

Ryan Elson:
So if you see a kid that is having family issues and having no direction what are you going to do about it? Are you going to be their guide? Are you going to show them the way to behave? Better than that, with employment programme that I’ve run and developed, it’s about turning up for a day, it’s for an hour actually and we’ll provide you with coffee, tea, sandwiches. We’ll invite job-seekers and we’ll invite business owners will facilitate us to come along and meet each other because the problem is a lot of job seekers don’t know anyone and life is who you know.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah

Ryan Elson:
So their reference on their resume which was written by somebody else and has nothing on it, is the person who wrote their resume. It’s not their fault, they just don’t know anyone. So, we lost that somewhere along the line, okay. An entrepreneur is an easy thing to call me but the fact is I’m kind of just re-doing stuff that we’ve lost a little bit. If you want to make a difference you need to make it personally. You need to go and get in there and get your hands dirty and have a crack. If you’re not happy about the way things are going in your society, you fix it. Get up, have a crack. Help someone out for no reason apart from the fact it’s worth doing.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Tribe, you’ve mentioned it a couple of times now, so for the listener can you explain what it is and everything that’s attached to it and what it’s setting out to do?

Ryan Elson:
Okay yep. Tribe came about, I had a difficult few years, I split with my wife of 17 years and all the difficulties that come from that and then unfortunately my boy Jake, my son, got diagnosed with bone cancer in his neck and he died 14 months after he was diagnosed. Pretty dark times but I’m so lucky. I have so many people that love and care for me. I always had people that I could call in the middle of the night. Go and have a coffee with, go and have a beer with, have a hug, whatever I needed at that time to get through that. Now I started worrying during that point of time, this was before Jake left us too.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Right.

Ryan Elson:
But what if you don’t have that? What if you don’t have anyone and you’re going through whatever hell, is your hell? So, I was very lucky I was running Chamber of Commerce at that point in time and we have an event called the Business Mingle which is awesome. We go down the Belvedere, we have a few drinks and we have a chat and so much business comes out of it. But a lot of those people that were going to Mingle, not a lot but say five, six out of 60 either were retired, didn’t have a business, didn’t have a role that actually required them to network, they just wanted to be a part of something-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
Because belonging is important. So, I looked at that and I thoiught I could do this and we could do this networking stuff without being involved in business. So we had an event. First one we had, had 76 people there and everyone golf clapped but 50 of them were my mates so it probably wasn’t quite as big as what it looked. But from there it grew and most of the people who attend Tribe gatherings now, we have a few different one’s but are people that have been or are anxious, lonely, isolated for whatever reason and tribe is their opportunity to regain that sense of community. They meet new people, they talk about nothing.

Ryan Elson:
We’re sort of like Seinfeld, Tribe, a group about nothing, we got no real agenda, but we have night time gatherings at the pub once a month, I’ve just finished one this morning, 10 o’clock every Friday we’ve a coffee catch-up. We have a beach gathering once a month and we have trivia nights and we just do things to get people out. I’m not being a martyr at all doing that. That doesn’t help the pay packet to be honest but after your kid dies, it’s not really a big deal anymore.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah right.

Ryan Elson:
Whatever. But it makes your soul sing, and it makes you feel like you are having a positive impact on the world and your community however small an impact it is and I love it and that will continue if I’m lucky enough to get in because a lot of being a councillor is talking to people that need you. Well I’ve been doing it for two years now so let’s keep going.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah you’ve just about answered my next question and that is exactly with Tribe and everything you’re doing now where you’ve got the time to do that, do you see that remaining the same or maybe even changing somewhat should you get elected?

Ryan Elson:
I think primarily it will remain the same and the reason for that. Look, the things I do, let’s talk about Tribe and Employ Meet. They are people to people to people things.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
It’s not a big budget, there’s no money in those things. I don’t get any money, any government grants, I never have, but for a councillor to actually meet with his people in his area and talk to them on a face to face level in a group whatever it might be, is pretty cool. You don’t get a lot of that, it’s normally quite rough and tumble, if someone’s got a complaint, someone wants to say something, we don’t tend to have that, we just have a bit of chat.

Ryan Elson:
If someone wants to have a bit of a talk about something that I did this morning, but we talk about community and community involvement. Well that’s community involvement. I mean that’s about as deep as you can get. With Employ Meet, my biggest bugbear in this region is employment. So for me as a councillor to run once a month, once every two months or whatever, an Employ Meet in this area, but I’d invite every councillor that gets in to have a crack at it. It’s an hour, that’s it and it can do so much good. So why can’t our representatives take this on? What if we are the region that changes the way employment’s done and getting off our bum’s and doing it differently. That’s for me it’s integral in being a representative of the people.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
So, for Tribe and for all of those things you are doing now what are the extra benefits, let’s say put the community front and centre for a moment, they can be selfish in this when somebody’s going into the ballot box and they’re voting and they’re going, well I’ve got Ryan Elson here and I saw online with the ballot draw he didn’t exactly get in the best position.

Ryan Elson:
Course I copped a bit on that one but anyway.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah, that’s a bit hard.

Ryan Elson:
Such is life.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
But, with that they come across your name, they’ve heard it, they understand you’re already in the community, you’re doing all of these things, what are the extra benefits they’re going to get out of making you a councillor?

Ryan Elson:
Okay. I guess just to answer a little bit of the first bit-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
I’d like people to sort of, it’s easy to say you’ll do things, now if I get in I’ll do that, well most of the stuff I’m talking about I’m already doing, maybe not so much in discussing development but I’ve been openly discussing it in Chamber of Commerce so I’ve been standing up for awhile for what I believe in. It’s not new and it’s not about an election so much.

Ryan Elson:
I am not a politician. I don’t particularly like the way our average politicians work. I want to question things. I have some issues, simple things. Like, if a business, needs, for instance if you put a new hood in for your kitchen facility-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah right.

Ryan Elson:
There’s a fairly substantial fee, I think it’s about a thousand bucks if I’m wrong on that I’m sorry, for someone to inspect that. Why? In what way shape or form is that value for money for someone to come in and charge a fair amount of money to look and see if they have done it correctly which is a half hour visit and maybe a half hour to an hour report? That’s unreasonable. Why should that occur? That’s a why? Show me. With a jetty, for instance. We sit there in Chamber of Commerce, we had a Maritime Vision. One of the Maritime Vision parts is to have people visiting our region via vessel, via boat. Come in, dock in, moor it, come up to the restaurants, check it out, see what we’ve got to offer.

Ryan Elson:
At the moment, you need to have a licence to dock on the Redcliffe jetty. It costs you $270 bucks a year and every time you rope up on it, it’s $45 bucks. Why? No one does it because of that, so you’re not burning that money anyway, so why not just get rid of it and say come on people, come this way, come see what we’ve got to offer. We spend a lot of money on festivals and events and stuff which I think are fantastic, absolutely fantastic. But we do so many other dumb things that don’t help people engage with this place and love this place like I do. We’ve got to question why we do things because the biggest, baddest, dirtiest words I can ever hear in my life is, Ryan it’s the way it’s always been done. Because, it don’t work, so it’s not a mountain, it’s not an ocean, it’s a rule that someone made, that we can change so let’s look at it.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Ryan Elson, you sound like you’re the type of person that’s up for tackling at or at least looking at or thinking about any of the big issues and you mentioned events and that in the Moreton Bay region. Do you think that the region is well promoted so the Moreton Bay region and we know, Jodie’s actually with us, she hasn’t got a microphone at the moment but-

Ryan Elson:
Hello Jodie.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
But we road trip a lot and go outside the region and in Queensland you don’t need to go very far before people have no idea where the Moreton Bay region is. And quite often we joke about it but it’s a real thing and we see it time and time again, you’ll go into a pub out at Chinchilla or Charleville and they say, “hey we’re you from?” And for some reason they know we’re from out of town, we’re not local’s there and first thing we’ll say is we’re from the Moreton Bay region and just the way they look at you is utter confusion.

Ryan Elson:
Yeah.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Exactly and you go, you know Brisbane, and they’ll go, yep we know Brisbane, you know the Sunshine Coast? Yep, yep, know Sunshine Coast, well just in between those two. Oh yeah you’re a part of the Sunshine Coast, so there seems to be a bit of a struggle there. How do you see maybe putting the region on the map and bear in mind you’re talking about jobs and tourism. I think everybody accepts that tourism is a great job creator and bit’s sustainable work as well, you’re not eating up resources out of the earth or anything like that. What are your views around all of that?

Ryan Elson:
Look, firstly to answer your question on how we’re going. Our guys work really hard. MBRIT and all these other guys, they work hard. People have got political opinions on the whole thing.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
And MBRIT is Moreton Bay region industry tourism.

Ryan Elson:
Yep now they are a contractor to the council. I know the guys and they work hard and they do a very good job but we must remember on that too, the Gold Coast changed their name from whatever they were called like 60 years ago or-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
something like that, Sunny coast adopted it a fair while ago. We done it eight years because that’s how long, and if I’m wrong I apologise, but I think it’s about eight years since we amalgamated. That’s a big change. One of Redcliffe’s problems on tourism. One is the amalgamation they went from a city, Redcliffe City Council and all that sort of stuff, to part of the large region which has got nearly the same population as a state, my home state of Tassie. It’s a big area. We need to figure out our identity a bit still which kind of is still happening.

Ryan Elson:
It’s difficult to do though on the fact we have got from the sands of Bribie to the forest of Woodford area as well, so and to Arana Hills and other areas as well which are sitting there which are quite suburban in their ways. So there’s a lot of different parts to it. I think we’re doing a good job, I think we need to hold the course, and keep promoting.

Ryan Elson:
One of the issues we’ve got here and going to back to development once again, we have no short term accommodation in this place. We have so many people that come to these festivals that cannot stay so they don’t get the chance to get on the gas and have a few after the festival. They don’t get a chance to sit down at a restaurant because the kids are whinging and they want to take them home and do whatever. We don’t have enough short term accommodation. For that we must develop, we must build. So that’s another part of the issue. In regards to tourism. Tourism is dicey. Tourism looks great and it’s shiny but something like we’re going through this coronavirus which I think is a bit overblown if I’m honest but okay what if-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Have you stocked up on toilet paper?

Ryan Elson:
Not at all and I teased my missus the other day because maybe I should grab some and I said, you’re part of the problem, stop it, but there’s kinks and things that happen in either economy or health or whatever it is and tourism can go bang and stop. What we need here is industry and we need to look at how to do that again with what we’ve done and I’ll refer again to the Maritime Vision.

Ryan Elson:
We would like to have the Redcliffe peninsula as the number one place for Maritime industry in south east Queensland. Moor your boats here, get it decked out, get your chandlery done, get you upholstery done, get your notice sorted, all those things and we can do that here, we’ve got the capacity.

Ryan Elson:
Once again if you’re going to go the to the shed at Clontarf and it’s empty, no-one’s doing it, no-one’s looking for those guys, whereas I would call them and say guys, you know how you build boats, how would you like to build in Clontarf?

Ryan Elson:
How would you like to do it in Kippa-ring? Or even in Caboolture or whatever it is? Caboolture or what have you. What have you. But you have to have leadership to do this. And I went to ECB, the other day, East Coast Bullbars which is nearly a 50 year old company now, still manufacturing bullbars, I was there sitting there with them, they are still managing to do it.

Ryan Elson:
Yeah it’s tougher, but they can do it, not manufacturing overseas, they’ve got guys working there. Now, we need to get more guys like that in there. Because they are the breeding ground, the training ground, for our future workers. We need to invite those guys and make it an easier place for them to be. If we don’t make it easier they’re going somewhere else. So I think we need a bedrock of industry to coincide with tourism and many other areas you can get as well. But we got to work hard for it and decide what we are.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
You mentioned earlier about the CCC and some of the issues that have been going on with the last council coming to a close. Should the election happen shortly as it will, how would you see maybe more transparency and trust being created when it comes to politicians and councils and all of that sort of stuff? And more particularly, down to the Moreton Bay region?

Ryan Elson:
Look, I’m not a huge fan of extra rules.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
And that’s the way of doing things. I think you just need different people and I know some of the councillors and there’s a part of me that feel’s bad saying this because I don’t know the full story, I wasn’t there and I’m not pretending I know everything but, culture can be fantastic and it can be absolutely awful as well.

Ryan Elson:
The report on council that was bought forward spoke a lot about a toxic culture in the council. Now with that toxic culture that ran down to staff members not being treated the way they should, not having their say, being pushed to do things they didn’t necessarily want to do. Now that’s integrity, and that’s about you, no-one else can decide on your integrity, you know if you’re doing it wrong. You’ll know if you shouldn’t be doing something you are. You’ve got to sort that. Having more police in council, I don’t know you need that. I think everyone going in there, you need to understand the fact that you can’t behave like that. You’ve seen what’ve happened to the previous councilor’s that’s been in trouble.

Ryan Elson:
There’s a couple charged and there’s a few more investigation not from CCC but from another organisation. Keep your nose clean. Just don’t do it. Is it worth it? For me, I just can’t see anything worthwhile enough to have my name smeared in the mud for a few bucks. I’m just not that guy. I went for many good money as a commercial agent running my own business to earning bugger all running a charity and I’m happier getting bugger all running a charity, so it’s not worth it and it’s up to you and your soul.

Ryan Elson:
My biggest thing, people ask me often why I do the things I do and you’re going to get one last dying breath. You’re going get one and that’s your last conscious one. And I want to be able to say and I won’t use an expletive, but I want to say jeez [Ryno 00:29:13] you really had a crack mate, you did your best. And that’s up to you, so you need to find people with integrity, you need to find people that are giving their all for as best the reasons as they can. More policing, more rules, I don’t know. I mean, look, I’ll be honest with you guys right now, I’m concerned that maybe somewhere along the line during this campaign, I’ve done something wrong, because there’s that many rules-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
I wouldn’t know. I’ve tried to figure it out but you have to report everything. I’ve got a gentleman at the moment that would like to help me financially because I’m not self-funded-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
Didn’t have the funds, so, but, he owns some property and we need to find out if he’s a developer or not so that’s one of the rules that’s changed recently. We don’t know. I rang the ECQ, they don’t know. They’re not sure, so you just got to try and do the right thing. I don’t know, I just want to act with integrity. I make mistakes, I have often made mistakes. I apologise to someone the other day that in hindsight I shouldn’t have said. There’s no perfection going on in this little soul in front of you I can tell you, but as a bloke who has a real desire to do the right thing and lead them the right way. It’s all I can give you Andrew, really.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
One of the other things that you mentioned was culture. For a post Ryan Elson councillor for Division 6, turning up into council, pushing for change, pushing for the things you believe in, how do you see the culture of the Moreton Bay Regional Council changing? When I say that for the staff particularly, because they’re the ones that the report you alluded to, there was a lot of talk about how the staff have been treated, the culture inside the staff, so not just the councillors and their relationships to the executive side, but for the middle management person that’s getting up on a Monday morning and they’re heading into work, what sort of a culture do you see them going into and what are they going to be doing for the community?

Ryan Elson:
Well, to a degree that’s the CEO a bit and I’ll take responsibility for my bit in a second, but I’m very glad we’ve got a new CEO. I have heard this gentleman is Greg, his name escapes me I’m sorry, I’ve heard great things so hopefully that will be the start of the good thing in there. But from my point of view, appreciation for staff, I think the floggings will continue until morale improves. That doesn’t work. Appreciate your staff, give them a chance. I would like to implement by the way I behave and the way I conduct myself, a positive outlook, like I said, I really want a yes with conditions council as opposed to a no council. Can I give you an example on that? I don’t-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Go for it, no go for it.

Ryan Elson:
Okay last June, Winter Solstice last year, I’m a Tassie boy and they do a thing called Dark Mofo.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yes.

Ryan Elson:
And it is epic. It’s a Paganish, sort of celebration, mid-winter, because it’s cold down there-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
And they have fires and cooking oxen on braziers and just having parties and they just love it and I just dig it so much, it’s so cool. So I wanted to have an event for Tribe, because it’s about isolation and loneliness, so I wanted to have an event called The Longest Night. Now, Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year. If you are lonely and isolated, every night is the longest night of the year.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yes.

Ryan Elson:
So, I wanted to get people together on that night and say hey it’s cool we’re all here for you. The best way to do that is to have a fire. We’ve been sitting around fires for thousands and thousands of years and that’s your place of safety, light, warmth, what have you. So I sought council. I saw friends first and I spoke to Picnic Hill which are an amazing Redcliffe area youth space with just crackling great kids and great leaders there and they have Picnic Hill once a month. And they said don’t be stupid, don’t do your own thing, we’ll section off a little bit for you here and you can run your fire and just have that there. And I saw council with that plan and they said, no, and I said how come? Because no.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah right.

Ryan Elson:
And that was it. And so I went and had a bit more information, got a bit more and they said no. They said no sorry. So I got a petition, I did video’s on social media which I do a lot of. I basically showed them how stupid it was just to say no and that’s it what the people wanted and the people want to have a crack at this. Now part of the reason they didn’t want to do it was it had never been done and they were a bit scared. I said cool, let’s yes with conditions, not no. Yes with conditions. They made me jump through a fair few hoops. I spoke to the [firies 00:33:51], they laughed, they laughed and said mate, giddy up, we’ll be there, because firies love a fire. So on the night we hadn’t had approval yet-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah right.

Ryan Elson:
They hadn’t approved it. On that afternoon it started at 4.30pm. Three o’clock, we got inspected on our site. We had it all fenced off for metres. We had four firies there and we had, I’m a bit of a bugger, but anyway I got approved for a two by two by two fire or that’s what we were looking for.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah right.

Ryan Elson:
So why build a one by one by one fire just because it looked even more pathetic? So, the guy goes yep you’ve done everything you can do, so we lit the fire and we had a great night and we had councillors and all the public turn up that had seen this hoo-hah about doing it and said are you serious? They said no to that? That was ridiculous. That was three months almost of fighting these guys for a little fire and why? Because no was their first response all the time, and so much in bureaucracy, no is the first response. What about yes with conditions?

Ryan Elson:
Would’ve said Ryno you can do that mate no problems, but we need four metres here, we need a couple of firies on site, can you make that happen? I would have gone away, I would have praised council and said jeez they were helpful, they were so good. And instead I had to go to war with them publicly. Does that help them? No. It’s just stupid. No one would have heard about that apart from the good out of it and instead they wanted the bad. That affects staff. The guys who are telling me no don’t necessarily want to tell me no, but they’re not the guys that are making the decisions, there’s some guy up the back who’s shaking his head because that’s the way it’s always been done and we need to change that. We’re a brand new council, we’ve so many new councillors coming in, there’s a new Mayor, there’s a new CEO, what a fantastic time to make change and put us in a new, better direction.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
So with that event, what outcomes did you experience so when you were there, the community coming together. What did you witness and then what’s the future for that event even?

Ryan Elson:
Yeah I’m doing it again. I haven’t told them yet.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Oh breaking news.

Ryan Elson:
It’ll be on. Look.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
That’s okay you’ll be the councillor, you’ll be able to say yes.

Ryan Elson:
If I’m blessed in that manner then so be it. But, look it was a lot of people coming to see what it was all about.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
Finding out about Tribe and finding about there’s an option there for people to be involved with each other and connect. Which is opportunity, that’s what it’s all about. It was a bit of a talking point, you don’t often see a bonfire on council grounds. As I said they’d never done it so that was a bit new. And it made a lot of people, and this was an unfortunate by-product for council, feel like they were part of some sort of revolution. And the fact, nah we got it that’s fantastic. Look at us go. And look that’s, great because once again, it’s belonging.

Ryan Elson:
So, council’s a really big machine, but what is one of the big problems with council’s it forgets it works for us. Council works for us, we don’t work for council okay and the people in the community have to remember that. Yes there are rules, yes there’s regulations and a lot of those are all well and good and have to be there but having rule upon rule upon rule upon rule just because, is self serving and ridiculous. And I want to tear the joint apart for that to be honest so I want to get in there and just go why? Why is this a thing? And if someone says because it’s the way it’s always been Look out.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
You’ve just said the word again belonging and you’ve said that a few times and yet you’re talking about that very much in the context of Division 6, so for the wider Moreton Bay region, it’s basically just coming at the same questions earlier but probably a little bit differently, but what is it that the Moreton Bay region needs to do for people within that region to go, I’m a citizen of the Moreton Bay region and I’m proud of that, it’s an awesome place to live? We just don’t hear that.

Ryan Elson:
The thing is, you might have answered your own question a little bit, but people love saying they’re from the Sunny coast.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
They don’t say they live in a suburb of the Gold Coast, they live on the Gold Coast.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
And that’s what they say. Why don’t we do that? And I think it’s probably because we’re pretty young still and we got to give ourselves a little bit of time on that, there’s no jumping up and down.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
So what are some of the practical things that we can do to head that off?

Ryan Elson:
Yeah, establish some pride in our area, show what we have got and I’m not just talking the festivals and the shiny things and that sort of stuff. It’s interesting for me, I mean, look we can get rid of all this government crap to be honest.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
All the problems that are there and all the situations, lets scrap that and move on. And that’s maybe at the moment, there’s not a lot of recent to be proud of being under the Moreton Bay regional council flag and that’s a fact

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
It is what it is. But I look at these great things that no one knows about. I mean, I went out to the airport the other day, we’ve got an airport in Redcliffe, and so many people don’t know it’s there. So you’ve got some guys building planes out there, you’ve got student’s building planes and they’re selling them off and they learn how to do it and it’s a little teaching mechanism for them. There’s World Helicopter Day out there every year which is done by a mate of mine and it is absolutely belter. It is fantastic, you get to go out there and touch these things and look at them and have a look.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah right.

Ryan Elson:
Fantastic. No one knows. We’ve got some guys who repair planes and there’s 150 people who work at the airport and no one knows it’s there.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
And it’s just stupid. I get really annoyed at people who live on the pension and say there’s nothing to do. My weekend is chockers. My missus is peeved at me because I don’t do enough around the house because I’m out there having fun all the time and seeing people and checking out what’s going on. Be proud of that. Say Moreton Bay si amazing because it is. Okay I can get on my bike and I can take a ride with a few mates up to Dayboro, I can go up to Mount Mee and do all these other bits and pieces, I can go to Woodford Pub, I can do all these other bits, I haven’t even left the region. But it’s all different.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
So we need to establish some personal pride in the area we live in as per the Sunshine Coast, as per the Gold Coast does. It is early days, but be proud. We’ve got plenty to be proud of, yes we’ve got a few problems and on the 28th March you get to fix that if you want to.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Ryan Elson, the Ryan of today is a culmination of your experiences, for those of you who are still listening, we’re just hitting that 40 minute mark so you’re well committed. Let’s now go through and find out what has made you, you. Tell us your story.

Ryan Elson:
It’s an unusual one, I guess. Start at the start I suppose,

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
Mom kicked dad out when I was seven because he had a gambling and drinking problem and a few other issues and unfortunately she died in a car accident when I was nine. So I had guardians and foster parents after that for a term, I went to boarding school for a while which is funny because I only live 5 km’s from the school. Boarding school was amazing by the way. Twenty big brothers to play with, giddy up I’ll have a bit of that.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
I was on a pretty bad path, I guess. Through lacking a good man I guess. As I said before it’s hard to be a good man if you never met one. I got a couple that was a friend of mine from school, their parents and they cared. And they took me in and they gave me a chance and they fought for me a little bit. Especially in school my guardians were going to pull me out in year 10 because I was never going to be anything but a labourer. They said no that’s ridiculous.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah right.

Ryan Elson:
They went behind my guardian’s back and talked to the school and somehow I did Year 11 and 12 and with a bit of help from a beautiful teacher.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Wow.

Ryan Elson:
I passed that. Now both those things though are people sticking their necks out for a kid and giving him opportunity which that kid took. And that’s important too, that you can be presented with opportunity but if you don’t take it, well, nothing will change. I finished school, did okay, and there’s another opp there, I was at another friends place, another chick and her dad said, “righto Ryno what are you going to do with the rest of your life?” I said, “no idea”. And he said, “why don’t you join the cop’s?” I’ve had a little bit of a laugh because I”ve been in a little bit of trouble and he said no go and do it. And he was a superintendent at the police .

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Wow.

Ryan Elson:
He may have put my name forward, because life is who you know and that’s exactly what I’m trying to do with kids now but he didn’t pass the physical, he didn’t pass the interviews, he didn’t pass the academy and do all the other bits, I did that, but he gave me an opportunity to do that. So I was youngest cop in Australia, so I turned 18 on 29th August, I was sworn on April 11th.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Hang on, so you were the youngest police officer in Australia?

Ryan Elson:
Yep.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
That’s awesome.

Ryan Elson:
For about nine or 10 months.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah right.

Ryan Elson:
There’s a little thing for you

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Do you still hold that record do you know?

Ryan Elson:
Na. God no. They don’t get them too young anymore but I-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
Think apart from that I got belted a little bit by a couple of courses after me. I don’t think anyone would have joined younger than me particularly.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah right.

Ryan Elson:
Oh except for cadets, they used to have 16 year old cadets back in the day but they hadn’t done that for a long time. Anyway I did that and I did 10 years in the cops. I loved the first seven. I was in uniform for two, country for two, uniform for one and a bit and then I went to drug squad for two years which is heaps of fun I can tell you that. Then I went to CIB, the old, suit wearing thing and in truth it didn’t suit me particularly. I felt a bit fake thinking I was all cool with the suit on and whatever like that. In addition to that I’m better, sometimes I don’t do detail as well as I should if I can be honest with you.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Right.

Ryan Elson:
So if you’re going to be a detective in CIB, you want to be detailed.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
Its not like finding a crop, you’re looking for little bits and pieces, so I could have done better at that I guess. My wife and I at the time, we thought we would have one more baby and I had a step-daughter, she was one and we thought we would have one more baby and got twins so that was interesting.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Oh wow.

Ryan Elson:
Yeah and it was hard and that on top of being of a detective and doing all the other things I was doing, just got too hard really and so, I chucked the job in and that was scary as hell as I’d never done anything else and coppers are very much a cultural thing as well. You’re either in it or out of it and to be out of it was pretty scary.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah and you’re giving up the security of the pay packet.

Ryan Elson:
Oh absolutely. I had no idea what I was going to do so we came to sunny Queensland because I like palm trees and beaches so I thought that would be cool.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Is that what you got?

Ryan Elson:
Yeah we went to Harvey Bay so yes we did get that.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah right.

Ryan Elson:
And went there for a couple of years but I couldn’t get a job. I was doing a lot in youth trying to get in youth services. Doing what I do with Tribe to a degree now and whatever. Anyway I ended up applying for a Personal Assistant job which anyone that knows me knows I would be the single worst Personal Assistant there was

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
A P.A.?

Ryan Elson:
Yeah a P.A. Anyway I got knocked back.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Oh yeah.

Ryan Elson:
That was after about 15 knock-backs and I was getting frustrated and anyway I got a phone call thankfully. The phone call from the receptionist saying I’m sorry I’m just here to inform you that you…and I said no way… I won’t use the exact language I used, but I said no way, you haven’t even met me, you’ve read a piece of paper that you have decided I am no good for the job. Give me an interview. If you give me an interview and you don’t like me after that, I’m fine with that [crosstalk 00:45:09]. Anyway, I scared her a bit, she jumped off that phone, anyway she rang me back in five minutes and said can you be here at 11 o’clock tomorrow? And I said, ‘yes I can’.

Ryan Elson:
And I got in and thought, wow, here we go. And I rocked in there and I had a talk with the Principal and I had to look up what a P.A. actually did before I rocked in because I wasn’t sure what it was all about and anyway I left and went alright sort of thing and then I left and they rang up and said can you come back in 3 o’clock tomorrow? I said yep, no problems. Anyway I walked in and the Principal said you’d be the single worst P.A. the world has ever seen but you’d be a pretty good sales agent. Do you know what it’s about? I said no idea. He said have you ever sold anything? I said a cold coke can at a few footy games-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
So is that an insult or a compliment or?

Ryan Elson:
[inaudible 00:45:54] and I said I’ve sold an absolute heap of good ideas being a cop.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah right.

Ryan Elson:
Because that’s what you do.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yes.

Ryan Elson:
You say listen how about we take this path of action as opposed to what you’re going to do? Because if you do that one you’re going in the can

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
So let’s do my way. And that’s selling, it’s just a different form of selling. Anyway, I jumped onto real estate and I got rookie of the year in my first year for Ray White and I got-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Oh wow.

Ryan Elson:
A few other awards which was cool and then we moved away from Harvey Bay, went to Aspley for six horrible months and sorry to everyone who loves Aspley? But it’s not my cup of tea that’s for sure. I started a training agency

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yep.

Ryan Elson:
And I was doing that, just training agents which was good fun because I like teaching and I like helping and that sort of what I’m about a bit. Unfortunately I took a job that was too good to be true out here managing a real estate office. And after fighting with an owner that wouldn’t let me manage-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
I got sacked, which was an interesting experience which wasn’t fun, but out of a lot of the darkest times, came the best things and so out of that I jumped into commercial real estate which is sheds, shops, buildings, all that sort of stuff, nothing to do with houses and I loved it and I suited me. So I did that for a number of years with my kids growing up and being a dad and a husband and all those bits and pieces. Then I think I started to want to do more. My kids got a bit older. When your kids don’t need you as much anymore, you sit there and go okay what’s next? What’s important?

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
So I joined a couple of things that didn’t really suit me and then I joined Chamber of Commerce. We had 26 members at that point in time and we used to have about seven turn up to meetings that drove me insane so I respectfully took over, I hope I respectfully took over to the ex-president but I suggested it might be a good option and after three and a half years there we had 160 members and we have 50, 60 people turn up at most meetings and I’m most proud of that.

Ryan Elson:
We’ve done a lot of good things in regards to that but it’s sort of all a culmination of what’s important to you. I mean I don’t need the best couch, my old jeep’s sitting out there, it’s got 170, 000 km’s on it, it’s paid off, I don’t need anything else, I like it. I’ll keep that. But what makes my soul sing these days is making good change even if it’s just individual people, giving them opportunity, maybe showing you a different way of doing things, maybe being a guide. Maybe being a catalyst. You said before about what should council expect out of me? I don’t know, but let me tell you it’s not going to be anything they’ve had before.

Ryan Elson:
So because I’m not like that, I am a bit of a, I don’t know, I can be a wrecking ball, I can be courteous and caring, I can be considerate. I think differently and hence, the other things I do. I don’t wish anything to remain the same because it’s just too hard to change. Everything can be done but you’ve just got to set in and do it and have a crack. If I look back on my life, I guess, most of that has happened like Jake’s death which is horrendous, still is an opportunity to figure out what is best in the world and what is worthwhile and for me like i said I want to finish up-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Just on Jake’s death because you’ve talked about it a couple of times and there’s a lot of body language that goes with that for the listeners-

Ryan Elson:
It’s still weighs me down, don’t worry.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Exactly right, is some of what of you do, is that a way for Jakes’ purpose to live on as such?

Ryan Elson:
I don’t know if I’ve consciously thought of that but I think yes. I don’t want to waste that horrible experience. I loved my kid, my kid loved others and I want to continue that going. We did Tribe before he left us and he loved it and there’s photo’s of him in Tribe t-shirts and him turning up and him saying you’re doing a great job dad and all that sort of thing and yeah there’s not a lot of people say, was it all for Jake, no, it’s not, a lot of it’s for me to try and get through that to be honest because when everything’s really, really dark you want a little spark of joy and you get that in Tribe and you get that in Employ Meet and that’s a good thing but, I guess I’d like to think, we’re making good out of a terrible thing. I know he’d be rapt and doing in I know he’s be involved in it and I’m not spiritual particularly at all but I’ve been a lot more spiritual since he left to be honest and I hope there’s a glimmer of good coming out of that.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
To take this interview somewhere else, but I do want to bring it back very, very quickly just explore this a little bit further, but we have a horrific suicide rate, we also have a horrific domestic violence rate as well. Don’t necessarily want to tie the both together but, they’re both bad things and they both usually come out of bad situations. Have you felt or thought about either of those and how did you get through that? For somebody who may be going through something like you went through.

Ryan Elson:
Yeah I mean, of course, I mean I haven’t ever decided to consider suicide myself, it’s just not my nature, which is fine, but I get where it comes from.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
Because giving up sometimes would be pretty easy. I’m not suggesting that’s why people do it and when people suicide they’re generally very sick-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
And that’s the truth of it and that’s difficult for a lot of people to understand but in relation to those massive issues-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
Suicide and domestic violence, I think a lot of it is us firstly supporting each other, not a company or a wing of government, us supporting each other and us calling each other out. Okay, this could be good for those who don’t want me to get in, I’ll give you something straight up. I had a situation before I started running definitely, probably two months ago, there were three men at a bar that I was at that I frequent a lot and I was standing beside them and on young man offered the girl behind the bar a tip if he could put it down her top.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah right.

Ryan Elson:
And I shut up because I’m just sitting, but this young lady. I know her well and she’s old enough to be my daughter and she refused that politely. Then they made another crude comment towards her as well, not, overly crude but something that wasn’t necessary and didn’t need to happen. I was tensing up again because I’m not that guy and then the last thing, she poured the drinks for them, he took two steps back and said, I’ll only pay if you come out and give me a hug. Now she doesn’t need that. She’s there to pour drinks, that’s her job and she did her job. So I took him on about it and it turned into a bit of a scuffle so there’s a guy to run for council but I’m not putting up with that because-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
Part of what you’re talking about say for [inaudible 00:53:14] or say for anti-social behaviour. Whatever you put up with is what you’re prepared to accept and if you don’t step up and do something you are part of the problem. If you’re incapable of doing that, that’s fine but I’m capable of doing that and the fact is it got things got stopped fairly quickly. I feel fine about what I did. I hope those gentlemen think again before they do something like that because it is unnecessary and it’s unacceptable so what we need to do is respect each other but also call out bad behaviour. I’ve behaved badly in the past and I’ve been called out and I’m grateful for the people who have. Don’t think for any second that I’m going for council, I’m not going for a sainthood by the way. I’m no angel.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
So as a councillor, is that what we can expect if there is something you’re not quite comfortable with. It’s interesting because we’ve seen it over the period of the Moreton Bay region which has been around for about 12 years now, it makes the papers very, very quickly if one councillor doesn’t vote with the block and whatever else but if there’s something you’re not quite comfortable with doesn’t represent best interest of Division 6. What will you do? Will you simply negotiate if the negotiations aren’t successful? Whoops you didn’t negotiate right or will you stand up? How far will you take it?

Ryan Elson:
Yeah I’ll stand up. Look, negotiation is a big part of politics, there will be times where I’ll have to suck it up a bit to get what needs to be done. By the way you said Division 6, I love Division 6 and that is the region I’m going for. If there’s good things I’ll go for them, if there’s bad things I won’t go for them.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
And if there’s something I can’t hold my head high about afterwards, then it’s not going to happen. We haven’t talked about the past too much which is good but this trip will see stuff. Whether someone was directly involved or not it was on their watch so why wasn’t something said? Why didn’t someone come out and do this? Why didn’t they say it? I said to my beautiful partner, Emm’s, when I first started doing this. If I’m lucky enough to get in, and in three and a half years, my biggest issue is that I want to keep my job-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
Then I’ve done it wrong.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
It’s not what it’s about. It’s about doing what is good for the region and is good for the people. Bear in mind though, I can’t be everything to everyone. Some people out there are just going to hate me. I had a lady the other day who said, “I really like you, but I wouldn’t vote for anyone with a beard”.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Oh dead-set and we’re at Beardy’s. So.

Ryan Elson:
I’m not shaving guys so that’s done. That’s fine, that her call and people can make decisions on anything they want and that is democracy and I love democracy. But I need to be able to hold my head high when this finishes and I will do that and if I have shown it time and time again through Chamber, through plenty other blues I’ve had, I’ve been in plenty of scrapes, is that I won’t stand for something I don’t agree with.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
That’s integrity. That’s really what integrity is. Does it feel good in your gut? No. Then don’t do it.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Something I really want to understand is all the way through this conversation, it’s becoming more apparent and clearer every sentence you deliver, every question that you answer, that you just have this huge network of friends and it’s probably not even a question that’s great for you, it’s probably a question for all of these friends, but, what’s evident out of this is that we don’t have the resources to get around to all of your friends to ask us questions, I’m going to have to ask you.

Ryan Elson:
Righto.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Why the hell do you have so many friends and this isn’t something that’s come about recently, this isn’t something that’s come about since you’ve been at Redliffe, this is something you mentioned it that when you were a teenager, you had friend’s parents that would do anything for you, why is that?

Ryan Elson:
Oh god. Yeah good question Andrew, thanks. Someone else should be answering this but I’m here so I’ll have a crack. I would like to think that I’m not a black and white person-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
I tend to have a grey world in that I understand other people’s points of view. I’m not one of these people that and please and if people are shaking their heads that’s fine, that desperately needs to be right. I think once upon a time I might have been a bit but I think unfortunately I learned some hard lesson’s and they are probably my marriage to be honest. Sweating the small stuff wasn’t worth it. It was dumb and so I guess I might hope, it’s because I’m prepared to listen and prepared to understand. I am genuine, I am me, I’ve never been any different. I don’t want to shave and wear a suit and tie so I get your vote. I’m here and this is me and that’s how it is and I look after people I care about. I guess, I would love you to ask someone else because I would be interested to see the answer myself.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah absolutely, well if I can break it down a little bit because there’s two examples that stand out. One of them was mentioned in this interview so far, another one hasn’t been mentioned and there’s not many people that know about it. First of all, you were heading towards Year 10, your carer’s at the time were going, no this guy’s got no hope in seeing schooling-

Ryan Elson:
Yep.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
But you had friend’s parents that, I mean this isn’t normal, they-

Ryan Elson:
Yeah.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
They were so motivated, like we have to do something about it. The other one is far more recent and is to do with your son Jake’s passing-

Ryan Elson:
Mm-hmm.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
And somebody in the community, I know you know about this, I know about this, not many people know about this but somebody that you didn’t really see eye-to-eye with and you were quite vocal about it, went, hell no, this is not right and actually jumped in and supported you. Now, there’s got to be a motivation for this. That ordinary, normal people, don’t have this happening every day and I just really want to understand, I think this will get to the bottom of the type of councillor you’ll be as well. You seem to be able to bring people along. You seem to be able to have a very, very wide influence and people seem to be able to get your vision for some reason and this probably just isn’t a question for you but if you can just talk us through it, so that we can maybe understand it, because it’s evident on social on well, we see it. It doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s a multi, multi-millionaire or a person that’s down on their luck and life’s about to spit them out, you connect with them for some reason.

Ryan Elson:
Yeah once again I wish it’s a question someone else was answering but, look I think I’ve been a lot of places. I’ve done a lot of things, I’ve probably tried to be a lot of people, if you get my drift on that. Discovering, truly who you are is a journey. I don’t know if I’m there yet to be honest, but I’m pretty comfortable in myself at the moment. Why do people, I don’t know, gravitate towards me or why can I create the connections that I do? I think I love people to a large degree. I want to love people. These people that say no regrets, no regrets, oh man I’ve got hundreds-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Is anybody saying that being honest really? Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
Well, no probably not and some of them burn into my soul and I do wish I’d done things differently and I’m happy to talk to people about that, I mean… I guess I truly do my very best in whatever I’m trying to do, it doesn’t always go right but I love people and I want people to do well. I really get joy out of someone else doing well. Election campaigns are tough, this is my first and there’s stuff out there that’s stinging hard, I’m not going to lie about it-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
It’s not fun, but it’s their journey, if that’s the way they want to be, that’s the way they want to do their actions, that’s fine, the only thing I can control is me, so I need to be the best I can be and the best person, I can be. If I lose this election by being myself and being true to myself and having integrity, so be it. I just don’t want to be anyone else. That works for a lot of people. I’m polarising though guys-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
Those people out there that think I’m a dickhead. Maybe they’re right sometimes-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Can you take us through the campaign so far just the experience, for the listener. A lot of people don’t see what nine or 10 o’clock at night looks like for you, when you’ve

Ryan Elson:
Yeah.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
When you’ve seen what other people are saying about you or what, somebody else does something and you’ve got to make the call whether you do get involved and that or run your own race or any of that sort of stuff? Maybe just let people know what that’s like.

Ryan Elson:
It’s an experience. I haven’t found it particularly pleasant-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah right.

Ryan Elson:
To be honest, I struggle a bit with, there’s two sides you hear a lot from. One side is the people that just hate you and what hurts me about that and it does, I’m not going to lie that it doesn’t-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
What hurts you about that is they don’t know me and some of them do know me and it’s even worse because… I’ve got one guy that’s even cried on my shoulders because something had gone wrong through Tribe and now because he has an affiliation with another guy that’s having a crack against me that he’s just spouting all this garbage about me and it stings man. It’s not fun, I’m not that person, to indicate to other people that don’t know me that I am, is bullshit and it just is. See, that hurts-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
And like you’ve struck as answering questions, even if they’re not positively reflective of yourself, you definitely answer them from what I can tell so far is very honestly as best as you possibly can, but, for that individual and I don’t know who they are, this is the first I’ve heard of this-

Ryan Elson:
There’s a few to be honest but there’s one particular one-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
And, okay, this one particular one that you’re thinking of, come out the other end of it and you get elected or you don’t get elected and you’ve got Tribe, are you still going to be there for them to be able to cry on your shoulder if they need it?

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
I know, there’s an answer that’s very easy to answer and be the right answer but take us through-

Ryan Elson:
Sounds great Andrew of course-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah, yeah.

Ryan Elson:
Personally perhaps not. Now I’m not Tribe though and I want to make this clear, I never to be the Ryno show. It was never meant to be. Yes I lead it, yes I co-ordinate it a bit but Tribe is about all of us, it’s a Tribe. It’s not called chief, it’s called Tribe. So for me, if that person needs support, then I hope there’s a person there to support them. I’d love to say that I’m a bigger man and all at the moment I’m peeved about it-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah right.

Ryan Elson:
That will probably sit with me for a while because I’m a person and that’s the truth of it. The experience has been tough. I enjoy doing this. I had Chamber of Commerce with 130 people there and I got to give my views and reflect what I thought about the world and I dig that because that’s what I want to do. Do I want to argue about whose better or worse, or you’re not true? No, well not really because I don’t care them about them. I had to do a thing last week, which was funny, because I’ve got people who care about me and they’re beautiful-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
We’re still trying to get to the bottom of that[crosstalk 01:05:43] but it’s awesome isn’t it? Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
But okay I had a few friends sending me snapshots of what’s being said about me on Facebook, what flyers are being said and I said I don’t care, just stop-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
It’s not important to me what they’re doing, it’s important what I’m doing. I want to run a positive campaign as best as I can and I love a blue. I’m happy to go if anyone wants but, is that what people want? I hope not-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Yeah.

Ryan Elson:
To be honest because I want to be able to work with people after this and I guess in relation to what you’re saying about that person that I’m alluding to, I’d like to be able to work with him if I have to. I’m not going to invite him around for dinner and Christmas but that’s my personal choice on that, but I think the ridiculousness of hate… hate gets you nothing, hating someone only hurts you and if someone’s out there hating me that’s their journey man and I hope they can get away from that and I hope it’s not the continuation of their journey but if I take that on they win so go your hardest gang. I’m going to keep continuing to help the people that want help and if you guys want to sit in your corner and think the world’s a terrible place, go nuts.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
For those who have stuck with this and they’ve got to this point, make the case why are people voting for you, why are people voting for Ryan Ellison, Elson I should say?

Ryan Elson:
Yeah you’ve that done that to me a couple of times, Ryno will do-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Ryno – Elson’s important because [crosstalk 01:07:21].

Ryan Elson:
That’s with an E and ends with an n-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
There you go.

Ryan Elson:
Okay I would like people to support me because I have what I feel is a good vision for the community, I think I need what I need to do to lift all of us, that is the economy, community and employment, they’re my major things I want to do. I have shown that I can do this, I’m not sitting here having to say, if I can in I’ll do this, man, stalk me, get online, google me, go your hardest. I’m not the gambling guy, there’s a guy who’s a professional poker Ryan Elson, that’s not me, just so you know. but look at Tribe, it’s all there to see, it’s been going for a long time. Employ Meet going there for a long time. I did 15 years of real estate and I’ve got one bad google review and that’s not bad going really when you think of the environment that’s in-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Absolutely yeah.

Ryan Elson:
But look, I’m proud of what I’ve done particularly in the last few years, I think I have as good a vision for anyone, I think better vision than anyone for the area. I think I can sell the area but I haven’t talked about that very much but you talked about Moreton Bay. You need someone to get up and have a crack and tell them what’s here. I’m not a bureaucrat, I don’t push pen’s, I’m a guy that gets out and has a go-

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Well just for a moment, step sideways and sell the area.

Ryan Elson:
Oh why would you not be here? You cross that bridge coming from Sandgate? You’ve got Clontarf sitting there in front of you looking magnificent. Down the right hand side you’ve got all these great beaches and plenty of area for kids to play in, you’ve got jet ski there every Saturday, you’ve got people sliding in on parachutes and they’re kite surfing out the front there straight away.

Ryan Elson:
Let’s just go around the coast for a second. Drop down to Woody Point, gorge little village, the Belvedere which is one of the oldest and finest pubs around sitting there kicking ass and taking names. You go around the point there, you’ve got the [inaudible 01:09:19] going under a bit now to be honest there but you’ve got a great view over the top there. Magnificent area going around the coast around there. Just the bomb looking fantastic.

Ryan Elson:
Still plenty of room for development people so don’t think I haven’t forgotten that. You can vote against it if you like, but you rock into Redcliffe, you’ve got this wonderful little city feel, like town feel in there that needs more but still pumps. Everyone’s friends. Man, what a great spot, I walked down the road and it takes me half an hour longer than it should because I’m lucky enough to know a heap of good people. But you go up the other end, you go to Margate, man I’ve got plans for Margate brother. I want to get that place pumping.

Ryan Elson:
Scarborough’s going great, not in my div but I don’t care it’s beautiful. You’ve got all this great little field there, you’ve got the fig tree’s there that my kid’s have played on for years. I mean, you go right up Newport, outstanding all the canals and old boats and all those guys enjoying that. This is all on one little piece of land, right and then you’ve got Rothwell with all the great new families quite often moving into there, going into [Dee Bay 01:10:19], same sort of thing. Dee Bay, been having a crack at Dee Bay for years, you watch, that place will go off. It’s sitting there in a great spot and it’s coming along beautifully.

Ryan Elson:
Man to go to the Sunshine coast and spend an extra hour driving to have a day out, you’re off your head, you’re missing out. We’ve got it here, 25 minutes, 40 minutes from where you are. You turn up here I’ll guarantee you a good time and even more important than that if you want to live here and enjoy everything we’ve got to offer, you can have lifestyle and business in the same spot. So, if you don’t like that, I can’t help you.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood:
Ryan Elson, Ryno, but Elson if you’re looking at the ballot paper, thank you very much for your time.

Ryan Elson:
It’s been a pleasure mate, thanks for having me.