Brett Freese after the blue ribbon

Somerset Regional Councillor Brett Freese has a long history of careers in ICT, local government and agriculture. Picture: JACOB HAYDEN

Councillor Brett Freese is comfortable in the paddock and on the computer.

The newly-elected Somerset councillor brings with him a wealth of experience in information and communications technology, agriculture, infrastructure and local government.

“My background is farming, I’ve lived in Glamorgan Vale all my life apart from a few years in Marburg,” Cr Freese said.

“My family harkens back to the mid 1880s in Glamorgan Vale from when they came over from Germany.

“I’m the fifth generation, and we’ve stayed on that property all that time, as far as our farming business goes, and it continues to this very day on those properties.”

Prior to his current roles with council and Seqwater, Cr Freese has a long history of careers in telecommunication, IT support, working for Brisbane City Council and Ipswich City Council, and managing the tick fever farm in Wacol.

Cr Freese is the director of the Glamorgan Vale Water Board and is involved with numerous other community groups.

“I’m also on the board of Community Bank Lowood-Fernvale.

“I’ve been there since before its inception when we were still a steering committee back in 2008.

“Our charter is to provide financial services to the Somerset region but also to put our profits back into the community, and that’s been a great experience working with so many community groups across the whole Somerset region.”

Cr Freese said working with the Community Bank made him want to ‘make that next step’.

“The work I did with the bank opened my eyes to how great our region is and the opportunities that exist,” he said.

“It fuelled my desire to take my involvement to the next level and to put my hand up to run for council.”

Cr Freese said one of his top priorities was to enhance communication effectiveness, particularly regarding customer service requests.

“I’m committed to ensuring that every individual who submits a service request receives timely feedback on the status and outcome of their request,” he said.

“While this process may take some time to streamline due to various factors such as processes, resources, and systems, I am confident in our ability to implement solutions that close the communication loop effectively,” he said.

“We developed our Bin App as part of our waste contract, maybe we could have an app that looks after service requests.”

Another agenda item for Cr Freese is the search for a blue ribbon event for Somerset, similar to the likes of the Laidley Spring Festival, Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, or CMC Rocks at Willowbank.

“We have some wonderful local events in the Somerset region, our local shows, our campdrafts, the races, a number of social events – they’re really great events, top class,” he said.

“But I’d like to see a blue ribbon event in our Somerset region.

Other priorities for Cr Freese include supporting rural industry and facilitating accommodation and tourism.

“We’ve got development down in the southern region, and obviously we’ll see that region change over time, but we’ve also got to ensure we protect our rural lifestyle and our agricultural industry,” he said.

“Accommodation is a big issue, if we’re going to grow our tourism industry we need to, as a council, be able to facilitate and encourage the growth of our accommodation industry as well.”