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Judy Coates


Judy Coates






Dip, of App. Sc. (Phys)



TRRRA Candidate Questions

    1. Why are you running, and what do you think you can offer Tamworth Region?
      •  I am putting my hand up for the role because I want to see our region continue to grow for the next generation.
      •  I believe I can better do that from a position on council to understand the process and be a voice at the table.
      •  I will approach the role as I do anything else – with hard work, integrity, honesty, underpinned by one of my greatest strengths – the ability to communicate well with people.
      •  I also have a desire to ensure that the different communities, both city-based and in the smaller towns and villages, have a voice when needed.


      What am I standing for?
      •  Transparency through improved communication.
      •  Ensuring housing is enabled through expedient, compliant development with appropriate zoning.
      •  Enhancement, expansion and/or provision of services where required (e.g. mental health, access to specialists) by lobbying state and federal governments and advocating for the diverse and varied needs of all members of our community.
      •  Sustainability of our natural environment and its resources, including heritage and history.
      •  Continuing the development of sporting, recreation, arts and cultural facilities, as well as supporting new tertiary education, as part of attracting and retaining services to the region.

    2. How do those of you with political affiliations address the issues that arise serving two masters?
      This is an easy question. I am not affiliated with any political party. I believe with affiliations it can compromise the work that can be done just with a change of government, be it state or federal. Nor do I have any alliances with other candidates.
    3. Every candidate says that they always put the community first. But what does that mean to you?
      Putting the community first for me means that decisions I make will be for the good of the greater community. I (would) take on the role not just with pride, but a strong sense of responsibility. After all, a councillor is a community representative, a voice for the people, an advocate.

      It is not dissimilar to the role I often played when I worked for many years as a physiotherapist. I was the voice, the conduit and the advocate between my clients and their GP, specialist or other medical professionals. I took that very seriously, and this role would be no different.

    4. What are your views on the interaction between Councillors, senior council staff and developers documented and available on public record?
      This is all part of the transparency process. It depends on what is meant by interactions.

      My understanding is that council has “preferred providers” (as do many large organisations) for the smaller day-to-day operations. Most of the larger commercial processes involving substantial investments and costs are usually done by closed tender bids.

      I would encourage anyone who is unsure of that process to go into your council building and have someone explain it to you. Remember it is your council, with representatives. The day-to-day operations performed by the council staff, overseen by the GM, with governance and decision making by your councillors.

      Also, if there are any major concerns (backed by evidence) there is always ICAC.

    5. How would you improve transparency and accountability for Counsellors and the Council?
      Improving transparency and accountability is all about listening, looking and learning and then questioning, questioning, questioning.

    6. Understandably, the Council needs to maintain confidentiality around some issues and be discussed in Closed Council sessions. How do you feel those Closed Council discussions impact the Council’s transparency and accountability?
      I believe these closed sessions could be perceived as “hiding behind closed doors”. However just like any other business there are some decisions that are made away from the general day-to-day running. As I haven’t been in a closed-door situation on council yet, I obviously can’t comment any further. However, I refer back to my answer on transparency, and the role a councillor has. Being trusted
      enough to be voted into a councillor position must be met with honesty, integrity and advocacy by a councillor. Having said that, there will obviously be times when the eventual outcome/decision may still not be the one the community wants, as I would only be one vote out of nine.



    7. Would you support a review of Chaffey dam water management?

      The issue of water management is a very complex and complicated one with many parties involved. One of the main issues is the inconsistencies in the price of water from the state government to the different users.

      I would make it a priority to develop a thorough understanding of the issues surrounding Chaffey dam water management and advocate for outcomes that are fair and equitable for all users.

    8. What are your views on TRC pursuing alternate water sources to ensure water security, e.g. purchasing some or all of the Peel Valley licenses from those willing to sell?
      I most definitely support pursuing alternate water sources to ensure our water security. Somewhere between 2041-2061 our population will reach 100,000. Obviously, that brings with it greater demand, not just for water, but other infrastructure. My opinion is that a range of alternatives should be considered, from water saving initiatives, use of recycled water, pipelines and dam construction, to name just a few. It is important that decisions take into account availability, sustainability, cost (initial and on-going) to the council and ultimately the rate payer.

    9. Do you believe the community should be advised before the sale of community assets?
      Yes, I do. Because it is just that – a community asset. However, there may be times when it is commercially prudent not to, especially if it may have a negative impact on the priced attained by the sale.


Northern Daily Leader –  November 18 2021Tamworth council elections 2021: Moonbi local Judy Coates stands for council with focus on mental health


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