TRRRA Candidate Questions
- Why are you running, and what do you think you can offer Tamworth Region?
Many ratepayers and residents are looking for a change – and they want Councillors who are more representative of them. I believe I fill that brief. I am a person who will focus solely on the needs of those who are voting – not anyone else. I have worked for many years as a volunteer and I have strong skills in working collaboratively, listening and completing projects. I can apply these skills as a Councillor.
- How do those of you with political affiliations address the issues that arise serving two masters?
At the local level here in the northwest politics is dominated by the National Party. Several candidates are strongly affiliated to the National Party and will vote as a bloc. Recent decisions some of them have made reveal clearly that they are serving at least two masters. I am honest with the voters by standing as a Labor candidate. I will make my own decisions. The masters I will serve are the ratepayers and residents of TRC.
- Every candidate says that they always put the community first. But what does that mean to you?
Listening. Being available to respond to the community’s concerns. Asking for advice from Council staff – who are experts in their field. Challenging our State and Federal members to seek funding for the Region. Making decisions that are in the best interest of the majority – not the minority (read: developers/wealthy/outside companies etc)
- What are your views on the interaction between Councillors, senior council staff and developers documented and available on public record?
My understanding is that the General Manager has a strong influence on some current Councillors. I don’t have first-hand evidence of this. Other senior staff have been dismissed, or their project and concerns are ignored – some not even brought before Council. I will do everything I can to change this culture. All interactions should be publicly available. Open and transparent – that is the only way.
- How would you improve transparency and accountability for Counsellors and the Council?
With greater availability to the community so that they can have input to the decision making process. Hold “community hall” meetings around the whole of the TRC district so that all community members have a voice. Hold Council meetings in locations other than Tamworth.
- 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?
Agreed – closed meetings are sometimes needed. However – a summary of these meetings – and how each Councillor voted could be public information.
- Would you support a review of Chaffey dam water management?
Yes. Water management (on the whole) appears to be a misnomer – is management even happening? Where is the water going?
- 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?
A full review is clearly required. TRC must be open to all options – and avoid strenuously any decision that gives ownership of the water to the State Government or powerful conglomerates.
- Do you believe the community should be advised before the sale of community assets?
Absolutely!! And there should be a mechanism for the community to share their opinion with Councillors. (This one is a no-brainer)