TRRRA Candidate Questions
- Why are you running, and what do you think you can offer Tamworth Region?
The reason I am running for Council is because I am less than happy with the current Councils failure to represent the average rate payer in a number of areas. I believe that I have the ability to stand up to the Bureaucrats’ both Local and State to achieve what is needed for this community.
- How do those of you with political affiliations address the issues that arise serving two masters?
I have no political affiliations nor do I intend too, I have seen first hand what being affiliated to a party means as I was a member of the Labor party for a number of years and didn’t like it.
- Every candidate says that they always put the community first. But what does that mean to you?
I have a proven record of community involvement and service, I have served on the Board of Oxley Community Transport for the past six years and currently the Chairman. I also serve as Vice Chair of Multitask Human Resources Foundation a disability organisation that advocates for people with disabilities. I have served two terms on Council and instigated a number of projects such as CCTV in the CBD and the Equine Centre working group.
- What are your views on the interaction between Councillors, senior council staff and developers documented and available on public record?
I believe that all dealings with Council should be transparent and made available to ratepayers even Closed Council matters after the commercial in confidence requirement has expired.
- How would you improve transparency and accountability for Counsellors and the Council?
I would love to see a tribunal of say 3 Councillors to bring into the same room at the same time all complaints regarding planning. This would eliminate the current practise of Council using a Councillor as the middle man and I believe thus solving a number of issues that create ratepayer outrage.
- 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?
It is currently to easy to place items in closed Council, so that needs to be reviewed as a matter of urgency. All other matters that have a confidential requirement should be vetted to see if they should remain as a closed item and if not they should be removed, whilst the rest should be made available for public consumption when it’s commercial in confidence has expired.
- Would you support a review of Chaffey dam water management?
Most definitely I would support a water management plan, not only for Chaffey Dam but the new Dungowan Dam as well before it comes on line. Slowly but surely the water rights of Tamworth have been allowed to eroded by a failure of Council to adequately represent ratepayers, this needs to stop.
- 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?
Frankly I believe that if our water is managed in a more appropriate way then there would be no need to purchase more licences. An example of this would be if the water where to be piped from Chaffey Dam to the treatment works (not just when the dam drops below 20%) then you would double the capacity of usage just by doing that. You would also halve the current cost of bulk water by not paying for water that the State currently use as environmental flows thus negating their responsibilities to the environment.
- Do you believe the community should be advised before the sale of community assets?
Most certainly, after all that land is owned by a collective known as ratepayers, Councillors are charge with that responsibility and should be accountable for that consultation with ratepayers, which is currently not the case on a number of fronts.