Total Pageviews

Sunday, 2 September 2012

My Preferences



I have had a few people ask me what will my preferences be, and will  I be telling/asking/advising people how to vote at this election.

To which the short answer is no....

I can't honestly do this as a true independent.

The reason for me not declaring preferences isn't as obvious as it may appear. I have made up my mind about how I will personally cast preferential votes at the local election on 8 September 2012, but I don't wish to provide information about How to Vote in the classic sense.

This is for three reasons:

 There is obviously a cost issue to printing flyers and distributing them at every polling booth etc.
And whilst I don't like unnecessary costs, and it is even more abhorrent to me beucase it is such a 'use once' product. It just doesn't sit well with me.

Plus, once incurred, I would have heaps of paper work to fill in with regard to the election funding authority, whether voted in or not. So my strategy is to campaign electronically, at my own time (and therefore without financial cost).

Once printed, a How to Vote flyer must obey many rules imposed by the NSW Electoral commission, including being registered.
I think these rules are wise but technology has made them redundant - because if I distribute my information electronically, via a blog or an email with an attachment etc, then the rules wouldn't apply - obviously not the intent...A word of warning though - these rules would apply (repeat, would apply) once this info is printed, but to the person printing them.....not to me. Hence I am encouraging everyone not to print my info :)

 Being an independent candidate is difficult at the best of times, no money, no party support, noone else invovled to help me out, etc etc. Boohoo...

But if I did declare my preferences, something strange would happen - I would inevitably then be linked to those other candidates' general philosophies/histories/track records no matter how good, bad or otherwise those candidates reputations might be perceived by the voters....

The association, once made,  will inevitably stick.

Which I don't want to do.

I am quite clearly and proudly an independent - my decisions and my votes are entirely up to how I perceeve the situation - not how someone else tells me to vote (like every party representative) or 'group of like minded people'...

HOWEVER - isn't there always one?
I would encourage people to think about the following when casting their votes:

As a true independent I am not aligning with any other candidates.
Of course I will be casting my own vote with preferences, but I would encourage my supporters to simply Vote 1 Ivan McKay and then follow their own inclination based on existing issues that are important to them.
I would however encourage others to consider these principles when trying to choose their preferences:

•To promote change in our council we have to change the council - Vote 1 Ivan McKay and then place subsequent numbers (at least 2-5) against the names of new candidates;
•To encourage gender and age balance we need younger councellors and more women - Vote 1 Ivan McKay for a younger, more energetic council. Then place subsequent numbers (at least 2-5) against female candidates names to ensure that we don't have a council full of old men.

• Our council is clearly struggling with the day to day management of core council activities (legislative  and community demands) let alone planning for our future.
• Some councillors have been elected for almost a decade and they still can't seem to put aside petty differences for the greater good or have the capacity to cope with council demands.
Shouldn't we expect more from the people whom want to represent us? Vote 1 Ivan McKay to make it better!

• Isn't the purpose of being a councillor to be representative of the community, not just to be on council?
• How many existing councillors have demonstrable broad community interests? Most councillors and candidates are oriented in only one primary interest area: business, sport, agriculture/farming, the environment or disadvantaged groups....
shouldn't we expect more diversity, capabiltiy and complexity in the people seeking to represent all of us? I do - Get real, get local, vote for someone who cares about the interests of the whole community, not just those they are personally interested in. Vote 1 Ivan McKay to bring the whole community back into the council.

• Our council has a perceived history of being secretive, inconsistent and failing to recognise that due process is there to protect and represent the majority of our community, not as an inconvenience for the influential minority to overcome.
Is this really how you want your local community managed? I don't.  I want our council to be open, transparent and representative of the community, not the interests of large developers or the philosophies of national party machines. I expect more from our local councillors. Vote 1 Ivan McKay for a better council.

•We need more disciplines and experience on the council - there are too many lawyers and too many farmers. I am not a lawyer or a farmer, Vote 1 Ivan McKay then place subsequent votes (at least 2-5) against those candidates that are not farmers or lawyers.


How to Vote/Why to Vote for me at the 2012 BVSC elections!


so we are down to the nitty gritty now. Only 5 sleeps to go...

If you want the council to change, if you think, like me, that the way our community is managed should be better, then make your vote count and change the council at this election.

All but one council member is an old, retired,  white man....the other councillor is an old, white retired woman. sigh.

They certainly don't represent me, they don't seem to have a collective plan for us and most just don't understand the role of IT and the knowledge services economy that is sweeping the world...

Council can't solve fuel prices, or immigration, or education and health funding

but they can REPRESENT their whole community, they can reduce redtape to make innovation easier and encourage entrepreneurs to want to start up their business in our shire, not Moruya, let alone Batemans Bay, Canberra, Sydney or Melbourne.

They can respect and value the natural assets we have here, the very things that drew almost all of us here it the first place. And it is these same things will bring more investment and more innovation to us than anything else.

It is this forward thinking and planning which will provide an exciting future for our children, not nimbyism and the same old same old respsone to the same old problems that just wont go away.

So, if you want things to change, start by changing the council - vote 1 Ivan McKay this election!
and at least 4 others, so your vote is formal!

we get the council we deserve - we voted for them!

My speech at the MNW/MCoC Thursday 30Aug12

Hello there,

here is my 2 minute speech that I was invited to give at the the Sapphire Club in Merimbula on Thursday 30 August as part of the "Meet the Candidates" night, hosted by the Merimbula News Weekly and the Merimbula Chamber ofCommerce.

Where:                                         Sapphire Club Merimbula
Duration:                                     2 minutes max
When:                                           30 August 2012
Why:                                              Merimbula local council 2012 elections

Hello everyone,

My name is Ivan McKay and

I’m up here because I want you to put a number 1 in my box at the council election

– plus vote for at least 4 other candidates…..

So that’s the easy part over with.

The hard part of course is why should you vote for me?

I have three reasons:

I think our council should be better. But to fix things means changing the council. This is why I’m here tonight.

I chose to live here.
In fact I sold everything to move here. It is my profound commitment to the shire which makes me a good candidate for council. The very things that attracted me in the first place are the things I now feel protective about: the natural beauty, our abundant resources , the infrastructure and of course the lifestyle. I know how rare it is to find all of these things in one place and I wont take them for granted.

What I didn’t do was choose to live in a franchised blob of a town just like every other one on the map – is this what we really want? I don’t.

And last but not least, the third reason
you should vote for me is I have the skills, experience and proven track record of just getting things done.

I will be transparent and consistent in my decisions and I will represent the community as a first priority, every time.

These are serious issues that all candidates should be able to demonstrate to you if we want your vote.

And the only way to be sure that these things are important to each candidate is to look at their history, not their clever words or advertising.

And my track record speaks for itself.
Prior to moving here I was a successful engineer managing hundred million dollar projects for SBS TV and Radio, rolling out infrastructure in councils just like ours across Australia.

And since moving I have been involved in many local community activities, like setting up the Merimbula Mens Shed, being a Board Member of the Mumbulla Foundation, running an Australian first IT “Start Up Camp” in Pambula, to name just a few - as well as being a former small business owner, a devoted family man, owner/builder and full time employee of a local training company.

In summary, if you think counsellors should be capable, consistent and transparent in their decisions, if you want genuine community representation, then things need to change. Vote 1 Ivan McKay this election and make it happen.

Thank you

Response to MNW sent 29Aug due 31Aug

Dear Denise/Liz

thank you for the question/s, some good ones for the final week!

My responses to your questions are included below.
I have not yet made up my mind about preferences, but at the moment I am not inclined to be directing any, however I may change my mind (it will basically be how I think I would vote, which, Iamnot yet settled on).

Q:The extension of the Merimbula Airport runway (This is the extension not the repair)
A: I don’t see the value. We have better things to spend money on.

Q: Rebuilding Bega Town Hall (as opposed to refurbishment)
A: Heritage is worth preserving. If the Hall is of heritage value then it should be protected.

Q: Increasing the base rate to allow a lower ad valorem
A: No. This only benefits some at the expense of many with no obvious advantage to council.

Q: Staying within rate pegging
A: If council was well run, well planned and stuck to core business we should be able to stay within rate pegging. Anything else should be publicly justified and be in accordance with the plan for the shire.

Q: Extending the sewerage system to include Bemboka and Quaama
A: What have they been doing all this time?

Q: Changing the location of the Wolumla tip
A: If it’s feasible, I am in favour of it.

Q: Pambula hospital poll question - how are you voting - yes or no 

Response to BDN due 30Aug12

Dear Ben,

so I don't miss the 10am Thursday deadline again - please find below my response to your 3rd question.

I am happy with this response at the moment, but reserve the right to send an alternative closer to next Thursday - if I have a new one that is :)

BDN Q&A due 10am Thursday 30 August
Q: Which sector/s do you see as having the most potential for the Bega Valley? Which do you intend to champion if elected? Industry, commercial, health, tourism, arts and culture, and sporting groups would be some examples, but I’m sure there are many others.

The sectors that would be of most interest to me as a councillor would be those that demonstrate and allow for a community to thrive and be healthy, which is more than just the basics like employment. Some are probably more important than others in predicting whether our community will thrive or merely survive in the future.  There are many examples of community collapse because of an over-reliance on just one sector or industry, or an inability to ‘see the writing on the wall’. I don’t want to live in that sort of community and I doubt anyone else does – the trick seems to be not having our eggs all in one basket, and having a broad community plan to judge opportunities against.  If elected I would champion the establishment of a community plan which allows the most flexibility and integration lifestyle and development to allow all sectors to flourish.

Response to WRAG re Wolumla CWF sent 24Aug12

Dear Jeff,
thanks for your email updating me on the feedback you are receiving wrt to the CWF, and might I just say congratulations (from an 'admin' perspective) - it is great to see the collected responses (to date) of the candidates (those that have responded so far) on this issue but most importantly all in one place - it allows a real appreciation for the range of responses. Some weasel spin words in some of them.... :)
and a pity that council decisions aren't also so plainly visible. If elected I would hope to make this part of the council process more obvious.
WRAG has certainly become much more very sophisticated, which is great to see.
I have had some time to go over the responses and your earlier email, and find that I am tending to agree with two logical approaches that are important to me :
1) if council has made a legally binding decision then this needs to be carried through, so in that respect I would support the defined usage of the CWF as outlined by previous council. If this decision could be changed then I would consider support this also, eg if we can find a suitable piece of crown land (as offerred by Andrew constance/NSW Gov) and whatever other important factors line up to make it feasible. Big ifs here...
My understanding with this offer is that it is merely lip service at this stage - the council would still have to find and investigate the land, do an EIS and explain to the larger community the benefit of moving the CWF after so much time and money has already been wasted.
2) however, when the facts change, I am inclined to change my mind as well....
But I don't think the facts have changed here.
Whilst one of my key positions is to be proactive for the tech sector and innovation in general, in this context I am not sure of what the increased value this NBN faciltiy brings to the shire if located in the CWF - it is an upload satelite station, whom will relocate a small number of skilled staff from elsewhere to man it, and it wont bring the NBN to our region any faster....there are many other accessible mountain tops with good satellite access in the BVS, so I don't understand the necessity for this to be part of the CWF.
I hope this clarifies my position with you


Response to Bega District News 27Aug12

Dear Ben,

please find below my response to the BDN election Q&A forum for candidates, for 6th September (in advance - I may vary this response between now and the 6th...)

BDN Q&A due 10am Thursday 6 September 100-150words
Q: And a few from BDN readers (as requested in a recent editorial of mine) – What importance/priority do you place on: Rural roads? On Ecologically Sustainable Development? The idea of a planning commission independent of government?

Prioritisation is difficult – without focus you can’t expect to get things done, but achieving goals to the exclusion of new information is just as bad. Our shire faces the uniquely regional problem of maintaining services to a dispersed population, something our plans for the future must address. If we stick to rates, roads and rubbish then a tug of war between dwindling resources and increasing costs will be the result. It’s obvious that we can’t hope for some other bureaucracy to save us - we need to become self sufficient in meeting our needs and to pay for the services we want. Taking risks, investing in innovation, attracting new industries to the shire like IT and knowledge based services and properly valuing what is unique about where we live will allow us to grow our resources and maintain our quality of life. Paying for our services then becomes much easier.


Response to Eden Magnet's Q&A due 27Aug12

Dear Sarah,

thanks for asking me to participate in the Magnet's Q&A for candidates in the upcoming BVShire council elections.

Please find my responses to your two questions below:

Q1: What are your thoughts on a kerbside waste collection service for bulky items such as televisions and old furniture once or twice a year? Or, alternatively, the suggestion that people be permitted to dump their bulky items council’s tips for free on one or two days a year?
What a great idea, bringing us in line with other councils and reducing illegal dumping. Cost should be a consideration and if elected I would recommend the council run both options to see which might be more effective, starting with the ‘free tip day’.

Q2: What are your thoughts on the inclusion of the yellow bin collection at 2000 selected rural properties? The Magnet was told one pensioner had been charged $370 for the service and says they do not need it.
I believe in user pays, but it’s also about balance –taking advantage of all the benefits of living in a community sometimes means you have to pay for services you don’t want, like these bins, but in return you get access to services that you haven’t paid for directly out of your own pocket, like roads.

kind regards

Response to MNW 31Aug12 regarding preferences

Dear Liz, Deniser

as a true independent I am not aligning with any other candidates. Of course I will be casting my own vote with preferences, but I would encourage my supporters to simply vote 1 Ivan McKay and then follow their own inclination based on existing issues that are important to them.

I would however encourage others to consider these principles when trying to choose their preferences:
1) I want to encourage change in our council and the only way to do that is to change the council - vote 1 Ivan McKay and then place subsequent numbers (at least 2-5) against the names of new candidates, not any existing counselors.
2) I would encourage gender and age equity on our council. Vote 1 Ivan McKay for a younger, more energetic council. Then place subsequent numbers (at least 2-5) against female candidates names to ensure that we don't have a council full of old men.
3) I would encourage more professional disciplines and experiences on the council - there are too many lawyers and too many farmers. I am not a lawyer or a farmer. Vote 1 Ivan McKay then place subsequent votes (at least 2-5) against those candidates that are not farmers or lawyers.
4) I would encourage a broader geographical representation of the shire - I feel that the current council representation (and candidates)  favours the north of the shire. Vote 1 Ivan McKay to spread the geographical representation further south and then place subsequent numbers (at least 2-5) against candidates from the south of the shire.

kind regards

Response to Eden Magnet Q&A due 4September 12

Dear Mr Law,

here is my response for the Eden Magnet's latest Candidate forum questions, due 12 noon Tuesday 4th September (100 words in total).

EM due 12 noon Tuesday 4 September, 100 words response in total
Question 1: Eden has been facing difficult financial times in recent years. Shops are closing, sporting teams struggle for numbers as families move away, and should the situation worsen, there is real concern for the future of what retail assets we have left and the town itself.
With those factors in mind, what are your ideas for stimulating growth and employment opportunities in Eden?
Answer1:This is a sad predicament all over. But if council can’t lead the way, it should get out of the way. We can’t buy jobs or predict the future, but we can reduce redtape to encourage new business, innovation and entrepreneurs to come to Eden and give it a go.

Question 2: Are you taking the option to preference other candidates for this election? If so, who have you chosen to preference?
Answer2: As an independent, I haven’t aligned with any candidates or political parties. But if we want change, then the only chance we have is this weekend. Vote 1 Ivan McKay for a candidate with genuine community activities, new perspectives and a proven track record. Visit to find out more.

Response to Timber Industry questions sent 20Aug12

Dear Jim and Noel,
thanks for your letter outlining your concerns for your industry and Eden and the Shire in general.
I am pleased to provide you with my response.
Question 1:
You are a candidate for the forthcoming Bega Shire Council elections.  Can you please tell our Branch what your views are on the future operation of the Chipmill and Blueridge Sawmill in Eden and the timber industry in general. 

I am not aware of any outstanding issues concerning these companies with the current BVS council, however my views and philosphy are as follows:
1. I believe in transparency, being responsible and willing to be held accountable for my actions.
To that end, if elected I would endeavor to uphold the existing due process of the council when considering issues put before the council.  Further to this, I would consider it unreasonable to vote against the legitimate outcome of such a process, and would find it unconscionable to do so.

Having said that, when the facts change, I reserve the right to change my mind - but I would explain this when voting, not hide behind any smoke and mirrors. Further to this, if the due process is wrong, then I would endeavour to have the process changed as well, not simply 'accept defeat' of the bureacracy.

Currently a councillor is not required to explain their vote, which I find ridiculous - every councillor should be required to explain the reasons behind a vote that does not follow the advice given to the council, and such contrary reasons should only be allowed given certain factors have occurred (I don't know what these factors might be, but they would have to be compellling enough to  warrant going against the advice being received by the council).

Question 2
Do you understand the issues around Eden for example, fishing, abalone, wharf usage, and of course the timber industry.

I do not profess to be aware of all the issues around Eden, or even understand the background behind all of them.
However, I am aware of the industries in Eden (fishing, forestry, new wharf precinct/plan).

However, I am happy to be informed and if elected would endeavour to do my own research for each issue rather than simply rely upon other councillors or the media.

Question 3:
Would you also enlighten us as to how you want to better serve ALL the towns in the Shire and what you see as the most pressing issues for the Shire.

The issues facing all towns in the shire, are pretty much the same. And the same as they have always being. What to do about aging infrastructure (roads, bridges, buildings), an aging population, options for our children, jobs....
One approach is to hold the hand out to the State Government for more grants, and yes, this needs to continue - but we also need to be able to remove the barriers which stop things getting done, so we can turn these challenges into opportunities - how can we take advantage of renewable energy technology, revitalising existing industries whilst creating new ones, turning our existing economy into a grener economy with a knowledge focus. I don't know how, but I do know that continuing as we are isn't the answer.
Hope this gives you an idea of where I am coming from?
all the best with your campaign