TRRRA Candidate Questions
- Why are you running, and what do you think you can offer Tamworth Region?
I am running to continue standing up for my communities and focussing on the seemingly simple things, the basics – roads, kerbs, gutters, rubbish, footpaths, parks, gardens, water security. I am fearlessly independent and have demonstrated that on numerous occasions. I believe in a more open, transparent and accountable council even though attempts at getting that transparency haven’t always been met with success.
- How do those of you with political affiliations address the issues that arise serving two masters?
I do not serve two masters, I serve the people of our LGA without fear or favour.
- Every candidate says that they always put the community first. But what does that mean to you?
To me the question means listening, having empathy for the impacted resident(s), seeking changes to proposals, or voting against proposals if they are detrimental to the extant residents properties or lifestyles. During my time as a councillor I have demonstrated that in many many situations I have put the community first.
- What are your views on the interaction between Councillors, senior council staff and developers documented and available on public record?
This is an area I would like to see change and have attempted to seek change without success in recent times. I proposed a policy and register of interactions held between staff, councillor and developer to no avail. I am confident that one day this will change.
- How would you improve transparency and accountability for Counsellors and the Council?
Adopt a policy then a register via a simple phone or pad application that records details such as times, dates, parties, outcomes and any other relevant information. My proposal was designed to address negative community perceptions.
- 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 would love to think there is an opportunity that more items in closed council could be held in open. The late Ted Mack, Lord Mayor, State and Commonwealth Independent MP when he was a councillor brought many closed council issues into open to enhance transparency and accountability. Precious few items are currently brought out of closed and into open council.
- Would you support a review of Chaffey dam water management?
Absolutely. I was appalled near the end of the recent drought that my fellow councillors doubled down and refused to seek an explanation from the NSW Government about the water releases from Chaffey dam during the 2017-2019 water years. I believed that was a low point for our council, a failure of our responsibilities to advocate and stand up for our communities. It was done by a council loaded with councillors with affiliations to one political party because they didn’t wish to rock the boat. I believe the recent appointment of our former mayor was for services rendered, he never rocked the boat of state and federal Nationals.
- 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 believe that is a great idea and opportunity to enhance our region’s water security and I support it as I support purifying recycled water.
- Do you believe the community should be advised before the sale of community assets?
Yes, I learnt my lesson following the sale of the former Prince of Wales park for a Woolworths and Dan Murphy’s centre between 2012-2016.