0428 410 745
Union Regional Organiser
Carpenter and Joiner
Australian Labor Party (NSW Branch)
TRRRA Candidate Questions
- Why are you running, and what do you think you can offer Tamworth Region?
I am running for council as many people have approached me asking me to nominate. I visit many towns in the electorate and the main, underlying issue is a lack of consultation and support of those communities, especially since the amalgamation of councils into TRC. I believe my main offerings to the people of our region are and extensive understanding and interpretation of Legislation, policies, agreements and the Acts and Regulations relating to Local Government legislative requirements. I offer a practiced ability in consultation and participate in ‘Industrial Listening’s’ to work on what members want, this is translated to policies, conditions and needs to effectively give them their voice in negotiations/consultations.
- How do those of you with political affiliations address the issues that arise serving two masters?
I don’t believe I have 2 masters. My beliefs in the Labor ideals of equality, lifting those less fortunate up, that all people deserve equal opportunity, define me and not the Party. I am a local and my position is with the Local Branch, that is created by local members only. I will look at all issues before council on it own merit and my decisions will be made in consultation with local people, not the Labor Party. It is TRC residence I will represent as if elected it is they who would be my ‘masters’ and I will represent them and them only.
- Every candidate says that they always put the community first. But what does that mean to you?
It means consultation. Giving all residents and opportunity to engage in issues, development and other major expenditure projects. 355 Committee’s were previously established to give residents from all over the TRC region an opportunity to engage with council and I believe these should be re-established to give them a voice. It is we how work for the residents, not the other way around.
- What are your views on the interaction between Councillors, senior council staff and developers documented and available on public record?
- How would you improve transparency and accountability for Counsellors and the Council?
Councils decision making and engagements must to open, transparent, recorded and available for public scrutiny. Residents deserve to know what is being discussed and how decisions are made, and especially how public opinion/engagement has influenced decision making.
- 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 do not understand however this should exclude any councillor (unless a conflict of interest was identified) but any decisions reached should be reportable, justified and open to scrutiny, whether by audit or oversite. All councillors votes on decisions should be know to the public.
- Would you support a review of Chaffey dam water management?
I think a review is an absolute must once the business plan is finalised and opened to public review, consultation and opinion base on all facts being presented on costing, ownership, water distribution alternate options are considered.
- 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?
There are a multitude of alternate options, recycling, storm water capture, storage and usage. Purchasing back licenses it one of the options that should be explored.
- Do you believe the community should be advised before the sale of community assets?
Yes. Community assets are that, community owned. I don’t believe they should be sold of for short term gain, the community, not councillors should ultimately determine is assets should be sold off.
Northern Daily Leader – November 10 2021
Tamworth council elections 2021: Union organiser, former submariner Stephen Mears stands for council on Labor ticket