Council candidate Q&A: Final appeal for your vote

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Group O lead candidate Kaye Sharples
Group O lead candidate Kaye Sharples

“I am running to empower the people of Tweed Shire who currently feel that Councillors do not listen, ‘hide behind’ Council Chambers and make decisions, which are not based on what residents want. Many people think that Council wastes their rates yet are not accountable for this squander of their hard-earned money.

The best solution to these concerns is to introduce a WARD SYSTEM, which has been GROUP O’s platform right from the start.

Another advantage of the WARD SYSTEM will be to reduce the influence of major political parties in local government, which has been something I stood against.  in the 2012 election.

At the pre-polling booths I have been bombarded with voters who don’t want to vote for any of the ‘old’ Councillors; residents want a ‘shake-up’, a change for the better.

If elected I will ensure that Council puts in place profit sharing arrangements so that staff have incentives to meet budgets and our community get jobs done on time. Further I will introduce zero-based budgeting – a management system that will improve productivity and efficiency.

Our Council needs to be run by professionals and my team has a fully qualified accountant and financial planner to do just that job.”

Group C lead candidate Jayne Henry
Group C lead candidate Jayne Henry

“My five top priorities as a Councillor will be:

  • To lobby for funding to improve our roads and an overhaul at the current process used for repair, maintenance and upgrade of our infrastructure.
  • Accountability to reduce rate rises.
  • Supporting new and existing small business which is paramount to employment opportunities and is the heart of our communities.
  • Water security
  • Improve tourism initiatives and set achievable, relevant and regional significant KPI’s.

A vote for Group C is a vote first and foremost for community. It is a vote for change.  It is a vote for confidence. It is a vote for capable, competent, consistent and committed representation. It is a vote for communication and creating dialogue with communities and all key stakeholders.  It is a vote for a caring, compassionate, considerate and courteous representative. It is a vote for credibility and capability. It is a vote for co-operation and collaboration with others and it is a vote for common-sense! Vote 1 Jayne Henry, Group C, and together we can make the Tweed Shire thrive.”

Group J lead candidate Kevin Skinner
Group J lead candidate Kevin Skinner

“Five of my top priorities-

  1. Return to basics-rates roads and rubbish
  2. Support pensioner rate rebate.
  3. Fight for government support to build identified infrastructure that will create a multiplier effect such as schools and training hospital.
  4. Support urban consolidation to protect our natural and built environment.
  5. Be proactive not re active eg Roundabout at Cudgen Leagues Club before someone is killed not after.

Vote for me because I am experienced, hardworking, honest, approachable and the only person I am beholding to is you the voter.”

Labor candidate Reece Byrnes
Labor candidate Reece Byrnes

“Reece Byrnes and Tweed Labor are asking for your vote on Saturday 29 October so we can deliver a Council that will drive our local economy, protect our environment and support our community.

Our main priorities include: creating local jobs, driving the local economy, protecting our precious environment, keeping the Tweed Shire Gas-Field free and fixing our local roads.

If elected, we will work hard for Tweed residents to ensure they have a Council that is focused on finding common ground so we can deliver for the community.

We will always listen, talk and work with locals and community organisations about the future of the region. Working together we can make the Tweed Shire an even better place to live.

I was born and raised in the Tweed Shire and understand the issues that are important to locals.

Tweed Labor will keep pressure on both the State and Federal Governments to make sure we get our fair share of funding for the Council.

The only way to get our shire working effectively and address the issues that face our community is by voting for Tweed Labor.

On Saturday 29 October, make your vote count and vote for a better future for our region – vote for Reece Byrnes and Tweed Labor.”

Current Tweed Shire Councillor Barry Longland
Current Tweed Shire
Councillor Barry Longland

“The right balance between progress and preservation is my highest priority. Our Councillors have to collaborate on the big issues to be addressed. Consensus decision making needs to replace self interest if we are to deliver for the community.

Water security has to be a priority for the incoming Council. I will continue my efforts to advance the upgrade of the Clarrie Hall Dam for future generations. The new Council has got to get behind this option.

I will work to implement the incentives that can support a vibrant business sector. I have been part of the development of the policy platform to achieve this and I want to see it bear fruit.

Tourism is delivering great economic benefit to the community. We have wonderful raw materials to showcase and projects like the Rail Trail and continued support for local produce/agritourism will be among my priorities.

Our natural environment is our greatest asset. Population demand will need to be sensitively managed to get the balance right – a commonsense, collaborative approach involving the wider community will be one of my goals.

Finally, I seek the support of voters as someone who is not afraid to stand up for the mainstream – to find the middle ground and vote on merit rather than ideology.”

Well known local Dot Holdom
Well known local Dot Holdom

“I am a big believer in good governance, community pride, not being biased, listening to everyone, understanding the relevant legislation & regulations, asking questions, reading everything in front of me and being mindful of legal advice. I will travel anywhere in the shire and I will always vote my conscience.

Securing our water supply concerns me greatly. Having watched the current council play political games and stuff everyone around instead of implementing the recommendation to augment Clarrie Hall Dam has been upsetting. Part of the pro-big-development agenda has been to build a massive and expensive new dam at Byrrill Creek which is unnecessary and part of a big-Tweed population boom.

I have been proud to play a part as both a councillor and a concerned citizen to help secure koala habitat in the Tweed shire, in particular, those all-important vegetation corridors, so essential to the species’ local survival and prosperity.

This is my fourth campaign, and I have never made promises to the electorate I wasn’t prepared to keep, which is no small order in a governing body of six other councillors. To see my campaign platform go to: www.dotholdom.com

Because I care – I’m needed back in that chamber!”

Group E lead candidate Michael McNamara
Group E lead candidate Michael McNamara

“I commit to:

  1. pushing for more collaborative and consensus decision making processes into Council.
  1. Council taking a more pro-active advocacy role in support of local community needs.
  2. keeping downward pressure on rates by pushing Council adopt new and renewable technologies to meet its power and other needs.
  1. addressing community infrastructure needs across the Shire, with priorities set in an open and transparent way.
  1. pushing for Council to support the development of a stronger sense of community by focussing on strategies to address homelessness, affordable housing, beautifying the approaches to Tweed Heads and Murwillumbah and other community issues.

Finally why should Tweed voters give you their vote? I have a track record of standing up for, and with, the community to defend the values that define us.

Since 2009 I have been actively involved in three community campaigns:

– The Repco Rally

– Water Supply and Demand Management (The Byrrill Creek Dam)

– Coal Seam Gas (CSG)

In each of these, while opposing the imposition of inappropriate activities, I proposed positive alternatives.

I based my arguments firmly on fact, evidence and science.

I won:

– My stand on the Repco Rally was vindicated by the Events Strategy adopted by Council earlier this year.

– Council has imposed a moratorium on damming Byrrill Creek.

– CSG has been driven from the Tweed and the wider Northern Rivers.

To ensure that we have a sustainable secure water supply for the future I will continue topush for a full, independent review of water supply and demand management options before spending up to $100 million on either dam option.

Whether you agree with me or not on a particular issue, know that, if elected, I will maintain my passion and commitment to defending the community interest with all my energy and effort.”

Current Tweed Shire Councillor Warren Polglase
Current Tweed Shire Councillor Warren Polglase

“Warren Polglase Group have an action plan to achieve outcomes.

Affordable rates

Streamline Council Operations, focus on 2-3% cost savings in Council Operations Rate Increase capped at CPI

Tweed roads

Additional Funding plus Operational Savings to be directed to maintaining Tweed major infrastructure our ROADS

Small business initiatives

Cut through Red and Green tape and fast track business DA’s Community Based employment initiatives Youth training programmes Support our productive and innovative farmers and producers

Help for our volunteers

Council support for our 14,000 plus volunteers with additional funding Streamline approvals for charity group fundraisers Support Tweed Recreational Fishing and Boating

Assisiting the Tweed’s youth and aged residents

Council operational savings to be directed to sporting facilities.

Support for youth training and educational services Support for aged transport services and volunteer groups Support for the disadvantaged with affordable housing initiatives

The elected Council can achieve all outcomes through their willingness to do so. The community wants a Council that can deliver outcomes and not procrastinate.

Warren Polglase Group have extensive Business, Community Experience and are passionate about Tweed Shire and want to put back in to make a difference so that our community is even better tomorrow.”

Group B lead candidate Chris Cherry
Group B lead candidate Chris Cherry

“My 5 top priorities as a Councillor will be:

To ensure all decisions made as a Councillor are led by the community, rather than imposed from above.

To work together with other Councillors to get the best outcome for residents across the Shire, we may not always agree in the chamber, but respect and courtesy go a long way towards finding a solution.

To be available to residents and businesses to bring their concerns to me and really be heard. To this end I will attend as many resident / business association group meetings as possible to hear directly what is happening.

To ensure all developments containing community infrastructure / assets have a budget source allocated for their future maintenance at the time of approval, ending issues like those that have arisen with the Anchorage Island Boardwalk, the Banora Point Canal system and Seabreeze water feature.

To examine closely the issue of water mining and water security and advocate to get legislation changed to protect our water and improve water security.

I ask people to vote for me because I have demonstrated strong core values of protecting the rights of existing residents in our Shire and our unique environment but I am also a team player.”

No High Rise Group Ron Cooper
No High Rise Group Ron Cooper

“It’s not about my five top priority policies – it’s about the community’s top priority policies.

And how do you find this out?  You ask – not announce.

Just like many of us today I sit in front of the T.V. and get angrier and angrier.  Politics should be about us not them.

I have spent the last four years speaking to literally thousands of people – the Lot 490 petition – the Heights of Buildings petition – the Future of Kingscliff Survey.

I am not alone and I am not giving up.  I don’t have that much time left, but I am having one last go at returning Local Government, at least, back to where it belongs – with the people.

Bureaucrats and politicians with the ‘I know what’s best for you’ mindset have got to change or go.

When major policies are considered, the community must be consulted – not sold.  It must be in plain English – it must contain the good and the bad – we must be able to discuss this with our friends and neighbours – we must be given an opportunity to reach a consensus.

So there you go.  That’s my policy – the rest is up to you.

If elected I will spend most of my time in Council making sure you have all you need to act as a true democracy – at least at a Local Government level.

It just might catch on in the other levels of government, but it will at least feel good for us.”

Independent candidate Dion Andrews
Independent candidate Dion Andrews

“As a Councillor I will make it a priority to ensure the Infrastructure needed is not ignored or put on a back burner. Our key centres struggle with traffic now, with well over 20000 extra vehicles due to hit our roads in the near future our town and rural roads will just not cope.

I vow to improve communication, transparency and rapport with the community. If elected I will hold monthly forums and Q&A sessions with the community. I will also encourage other Councillors to join the engagement, so that all voices are heard from the broader community perspective

As a Councillor I will search for innovative and exciting opportunities for businesses and industry in our Shire. For too long I have been seeing empty shop fronts and businesses downsizing or closing down.

The on flow from this is affecting the whole community, with unemployment above regional,

state and national averages and homelessness becoming a larger issue. Now is the time for us to be investigating better public transport and affordable or transitional housing.

I will fight against political parties imposing their own agendas on our shire. We have all seen recently how political parties impose their agendas with little or no community consultation. If the parties are not afraid to force their own plans onto the state, just imagine what they could do to our Shire.

The key issue that must be decided immediately is water security. No more time can be wasted on misinformation. We need to relay all of the facts transparently to the community and get a decision made, we need to stop the stalling and get things happening.”

Group H lead candidate Pryce Allsop
Group H lead candidate Pryce Allsop

“1. Business and Economy

Council needs to reassess the roll it plays in  businesses. Councillors and staff need to understand the impacts their decisions have on business and community. I want to strongly reinforce this message if elected.  A Reduction in red tape will reduce councils costs and cause improvements in council efficiency. Reducing fee’s to stimulate new business and allow community to create vibrant events through shows and festivals. I’d like to play a roll in the Tweeds success through businesses initiatives. Council needs understanding how tough business can be and be proactive.

2. Roads maintenance goes without saying but not without thought and consideration. Identify and prioritise. Sealing rural roads needs to be on the list of things budgeted for. Planning better flowing traffic routes and creating initiatives to reduce impacts of high density areas. Stop waist.

3. Tourism. Showcasing our area through Farm and large acreage blocks could aid in our Accomodation shortages and short term rental problems stimulating our economy through tourism and population. Boost our economy and Tweed shire abilities to raise revenue, instead of letting farmers struggle to maintain acreage made redundant by changing times. We could assist in creating wealth instead of struggle. Create a financial back bone and the benefits spread far and wide. We would do better to grow tourism than Tomato’s in this climate. The soils rich for that on our beautiful Tweed.

4. Environment . Parks and wildlife need help, getting funding is increasingly tough and seeking gold coin donations from tourists could go a long way towards helping maintain trails and paths and tracks. Maintenance comes at a price and the state government are continually  making cuts.  We need to make sure we can show off the Tweed and enjoy our home with good upkeep or improvements.

5. Sports and Recreation plays a major roll is our social connection and creates healthy mind body and soul. Improvements on sport and recreational facilities are high on my agenda. These facilities impact on our participation and the long term results

Why you should vote for Pryce Allsop?

Tweed voters should vote for me to get a real change of council direction and be sure you’ll get one councillor that wants to work in a collaborative team.”

Current Tweed Shire Councillor Carolyn Byrne
Current Tweed Shire
Councillor Carolyn Byrne

“5 Priorities

  • Keeping Council costs down, whilst maintaining services.
  • Planning and obtaining funding for infrastructure for the growing population of the region.
  • Promote Murwillumbah for its architecture, arts and regional food assets.
  • Continue to be contactable and talk with all residents who have a concern about local council issues.
  • Maintaining the pensioner rebate on rates.

I encourage people to vote for Carolyn Byrne, your current councillor.

I am educated, being a former critical care nurse, nurse educator and now a practicing solicitor.  I operate my own small legal practice called National Seniors Lawyers representing the older client with their legal matters; therefore I understand small business, local peoples’ issues and the laws binding local government.

I am professional, compassionate and empathetic and understand a broad range of issues.  I am NOT your single issue candidate, nor am I making promises that cannot be met.  I will attend council meetings and council information sessions, and will remain contactable and respond to people’s concerns throughout my term.

I represent this region as a member of the State Public Library executive and also on the Northern NSW Local Area Health Board, I will continue to work hard for this shire, the residents and ratepayers.”

Liberal candidate James Owen
Liberal candidate James Owen

“The number of residents in Tweed is going to increase by around 35,000 people by 2031. That’s almost a 40% increase in our population in 15 – 20 years. We need a plan for that and ours is to:

  1. Bring Leadership and Professionalism to Council.
  2. Be a loud voice to State and Federal Governments for the Tweed community.
  3. Deliver positive Environmental, Economic, Financial, Services Infrastructure and Lifestyle outcomes.

Finally why should Tweed voters give you their vote?

Because I love Tweed;

I’m a family who understands the dreams and aspirations of other families in the Shire

I’m a fresh face with no baggage;

I’m young and fit and healthy;

I’ve got 20 years business, government and community experience and I know what it takes to work at the top.

I have extensive relationships in State and Federal Government and the business Community.

I will put the community first.

If I am elected, at the end of my 4 year term I want people to say “That James Owen is a great bloke and he’s done amazing things for Tweed.”

Current Tweed Shire Council Mayor Katie Milne
Current Tweed Shire Council Mayor Katie Milne

“1. Increase jobs in the building industry with new ‘green’ jobs.

  1. Control traffic congestion from new developments.
  1. Improve cycling (eg from Tweed to Murwillumbah and school routes), advocate for the train, and stop the Rail Trail takeover of our rail corridor.
  1. Promote the arts and music in the streets to liven up our towns, and street trees to make it more pleasant to stop and shop.
  1. Invest heavily in more efficient energy to reduce Council’s $5M annual energy bill, address climate change, and put the savings to better services such as our massively underfunded libraries.

I have put over 400 initiatives to Council to make improvements.

My fellow Councillors have literally made only a handful of proposals between all of them over the last 4 years, except for Deputy Mayor Gary Bagnall who has also been very proactive.

Tweed needs a green energized Council or we will be the Gold Coast before you know it.

If you love the Tweed,….. vote Green Katie Milne, plus the 5 other groups we recommend for a progressive team, – Chris Cherry, Michael McNamara, Gary Bagnall, Ron Cooper and Reece Byrnes.”

 

And say “NO” to an increase in Councillors.  We need quality not quantity.