In the Hot Seat: Interview with Bruce Tanti

Welcome to Glass’ interview series with the Brisbane Lord Mayor candidates! In these conversations, we dive into the issues that are important to students and ask each candidate why they deserve your vote. Our aim? To make sure that the QUT student body knows what’s going on in your community, so you can make an informed decision.

This interview is with Independent candidate, Bruce Tanti.

Bruce Tanti is a born and bred Brisbanite, who has lived in the city for most of his life. He has been working in IT, and has completed a Bachelor and Post Graduate degrees in mathematics and computing science. He has served the community through organisation such as scouting, and became a Christian believer and has been volunteering in church council. He has multiple ethnicities in his background, including First Nations Australian. Bruce has always had an interest in politics, and he is running for Lord Mayor because he believes in listening to the people of Brisbane and providing access to services that will improve their lives.

What is your vision for the future of Brisbane?    

Ultimately to see a safer, better and brighter Brisbane. Where Brisbane sparkles with unique surprises and displaying to the world its colours, vibrancy and uniqueness, and its potential to astound.   

What are your plans to revitalise the Brisbane CBD?  

I have a lot of plans to improve the CBD. I will look into building a large, wide hanging bridge connecting the North and South side of the city that can hold a garden, while still allowing pedestrians and cyclists to cross over. 

In the city centre, an awning that covers the footpaths of the CBD will protect people from rain, hail and strong winds, which will encourage more people to walk around the city and rely less on cars. And to have overhead footpath and cycle path connecting Roma Street Parklands to Countess Street and Petrie Terrace will also increase this accessibility. 

Adding more attractions, like a city observation tower that is far above the skyscraper level so tourists and Brisbanites can view the skyline and the surrounds, similar to the Tower Eye in Sydney or the Eureka tower Skydeck in Melbourne.  

How will you tackle the housing crisis?  

I believe we should be working on solving the homeless crisis in our city. People sleeping hard on the streets should be set up in either dormant council buildings or in council parks. We can create more accommodation by renovating old busses to make mobile homes and providing tents, clean drinking water and mobile kitchen, bathroom and laundry services at these council buildings, lots and dormant or underutilised parks. Everyone should have access to a service like this, so they have somewhere safe to live and to allow them the opportunity to save money to get their own rental property.  

Do you have any plans to improve the public transport system?  

My aim is to make public transport more accessible, more affordable, and to reduce traffic jams. 

I plan to extend City Cat ferries further up and down the river, as far up as Jindalee and far down as the Port of Brisbane. Thereby relieving the strain on the Ipswich motorway, the Western freeway and the road that connects Oxley to Indooroopilly. This will stop these roads from ending up perpetual bottlenecks.  

I plan to reduce bus fares by making them gold coin donations; $1 for elderly passengers, children and people holding a concession card, and $2 for adults. And increase bus services, both in number of locations and in frequency or services. Reducing distance to a bus stop to below 400 metres will make public transport more accessible for the elderly, parents with young children and those with disabilities.

What policies do you have to lessen the cost-of-living load on uni students and young people?  

My plan is for Brisbane City Council residents to have access to cheap and accessible public transport, to make sure there are footpaths on at least one side of all roads to make it easier to walk and cycle, to provide cheap accommodation to those in need, and to remove tolls (where possible, i.e. on the Go Between Bridge) to make commuting across the city more affordable.  

I would look into the feasibility of placing multi-story, free car parks near major shopping centres like Westfield’s Carindale, Chermside, Indooroopilly and Garden City, allowing people to park their cars and commute into the city on public transport. And then charge Westfield’s for it.  

I would also look at setting up scholarships in partnership with private enterprises, to allow bright but financially struggling students who don’t have access to financial aid to study. Another aim is to provide people with a free once-per-year dental check-up and clean.  

What is your policy on refugees?  

While this is a Federal and State issue, there might be some areas where the council can help refugees who live here. If they are keen to work and contribute to this community (including First Nations communities), I would be willing to assist in ways we can help to bring positive outcomes for them. I would look at engaging with them to see what areas that may be hindering them in getting work or accommodation, and find ways to help them to overcome the barriers.  

What plans do you have to improve community safety in Brisbane?   

Ensuring local roads have at least one cement footpath, improving blind corners and sealing up potholes in roads, and improving facilities for the homeless will improve community safety. 

I would also offer voluntary bumper stickers quoting verses of faith, that will encourage motorists from not thinking negatively to reduce crime and road rage. This initiative was implemented in Tagbilaran City in the Philippines, where crime and bad road behaviour was reduced a lot.  

Now for a fun one, what’s your favourite place in Brisbane?  

For me, it would be Kedron Brook across from Kalinga Park; we had the cheapest house in Brisbane but it was the best house for us kids. I grew up there as a kid and teenager, and have many fond memories of fossicking for plant fossils, making active sand volcanoes, and building hideouts in the bush. We would watch people play football in Kalinga Park, and race go-carts down Hamson Terrace. And as an adult leader in Scouts for my troop, we would make flying foxes across the creek.

Lastly, why should the students and young people of Brisbane vote for you as Lord Mayor?  

At the end of the day, if I am elected Lord Mayor I have a four-year stint at it. So, if I don’t perform and listen then I’m kicked out by the people. I’m not like the other four competitors I face, who are part of political parties who can spend massively on campaigns when 2028 elections come around.  

I’m an Independent candidate, so I am not controlled by party bigwigs or kingmakers. I’m not controlled by party dogma or hidden agenda done behind closed doors with party officials and developers. I want to listen to students, young people and whole communities and help where I can.  

It’s up to the students, young people and community to hold the other ward councillors to account, and to push them to work together, for I am only one Independent who needs to bring together all the parties and other Independents to work together. If they don’t, then warn your ward councillor and the party they are in that you won’t be voting for them in 2028.

If you believe in these policies, then bring your ward councillors and their parties to account to encourage them strongly to work with me to achieve these outcomes. And that way they will listen to me and work with me to implement these policies that I feel will help Brisbane be a safer and better and brighter place. 

Celeste Muller
Celeste Muller

Celeste (she/her) is a Meanjin/Brisbane based writer and Editor at Glass Media. She has a Bachelor's degree in Design (Interior Design) and is currently studying Journalism and Economics at QUT.

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