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Thursday, 23 August 2012

LEtter to the BDN editor to appear 23August 2012

Hi there,

here is my response to the Bega District News (BDN) Q&A for the upcoming elections on Saturday 8th September.

It was due at 10am Thursday 23 August, but I stupidly missed the deadline - so it probably wont appear, but maybe in another edition.

However, I am still copying it here for posterity and completeness...

BDN Q&A 10am Thursday 23 August 100-150 words
Q:Where do you stand on the big developments proposed for the Bega Valley Shire? (examples include the Central Waste Facility, Bega McDonald’s, Bega Civic Centre/ Town Hall precinct, Tathra Ring Road, Merimbula Airport extension).  What are your views on shire growth and, if elected, how do you intend to follow up on the proposals already in motion?

I would respect previous council decisions, particularly the CWF. Our heritage should be preserved and if I could I would move the Bega McDonalds. It is a disgrace that previous councillors flaunted due process and seemed unable to forecast predictable major works, like the airport fiasco. If elected I would yank the council’s head out of the ground concerning planning, technology, energy and tourism. If the council doesn’t lead the way, then it should work out how to ‘get out of the way’ so our entrepreneurs can create opportunities locally. We need to look at how other councils are thriving or dying and learn from them. If elected I would look at capitalising on existing industries like tourism, new opportunities including energy production, new technology (IT/the NBN and the knowledge economy), the establishment of “innovation parks” and removing barriers to innovation in the health and aged care industries.

Letter to the MNW editor for 22 August 2012

Hello there,
 here is my letter othe Merimbula Ews weekly containing my Q&A response for the newspaper of the 22.

100 words is still a tight word limit, which I don't think encourages honest responses, but that's politics, right? Actually, I don't think it should be, the more we dumb things down the more we think problems can be resolved in simple sound bites, but life just isn't that simple. but we can't change stuff overnight...

Dear Liz,
Thank you again for allowing me to participate in the MNW’s council election Q&A, please find my response to this week’s question below.
100 words is still very tight….whilst I do understand that it makes us candidates get to our point(s) very succinctly…it also forces us to only skate on the surface of what are really weighty and important issues....and might be hiding that for some candidates this might be as deep as it does get….
If, however, you feel that this limit might be increased in the future I would appreciate any advanced warning that you can give.
Of course, I appreciate that if I was really concerned about the issue I could provide a more in depth ‘media release’ about the topic.
FYI (although you probably already know) the BDN is allowing 100-150 words per topic they have selected, and have provided their topics up front.
What would you do to generate jobs growth in the Bega Valley Shire ?
My strategy is to create a modern community with a long term future of sustainable growth, not react in a knee jerk fashion to every ‘crisis’. I don’t have all the answers, but I do believe that a council needs to have a clear vision which allows innovation to prosper, not turn in on ourselves. We face many challenges, including becoming a knowledge economy, an aging population and preservation of our environment. Innovation allows problems like these to be turned into opportunities. Investing in our local people and unlocking and releasing business potential will see these opportunities turn into reality.

Letter to the BDN for 17 August 2012

Hi there,

here is my response to the Bega district News (BDN) Q&A for the upcoming local council elections for this Saturday 8th september.

BDN Q&A due 10am Thursday 16 August 2012 – 100-150 words
How do you feel the council is regarded by the ratepayers? Is it representative of the entire shire and effective in responding to public issues raised? If elected, how do you intend to foster/alter those perceptions?

I feel that the role of the council is still respected, but it has lost its shine. Most ratepayers I have spoken to are confused about the role of the council, how it makes its decisions and how an ordinary person can engage with a councillor to represent them. I think the perceived parochialism needs to be dealt with openly, and any other issues raised over the next 4 years need to be measured against a grander community vision and value system rather than being reacted to in a knee jerk fashion. My vision is living in a vibrant, energetic and sustainable community, full of opportunities for young and old, enjoying a quality of life that is the envy of Australia. To achieve this our council must represent us; listen to and respect our skills, strengths and experiences and provide value by breaking down barriers and speaking plainly.

Letter to the MNW editor for 15 august 2012

Hi there,

here is my letter to the Merimbula News Weekly editor for their Q&A for the upcoming local council elections on 8 September. This appeared in the MNW on 15 August.


MNW Q&A 100words due 5pm 10 August
“What is your vision for the BVSC for the next 10 years, and how do you expect to achieve it?”

My answer:

My vision is a vibrant, energetic and sustainable community, full of opportunities for young and old, enjoying a quality of life that is the envy of Australia.
To achieve this our council must add value to our community. We need to allow the skills of our community to be utilised and to allow input into our council activity all the time, not just for one day every 4 years. We need to break down barriers which stop things getting done, openly prioritise what these things are, show how our money is spent by the council, and report in plain English.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Why vote for me in this council election?

Hi there,

I sent the following letter to the editors (Merimbula News Weekly, Eden Magnet, Bega District News) this week (Tuesday 7 August 2012), as there appears to be a lot of people telling any potential candidate what the important issues are, how to vote on them, or indeed a number of potential candidates with buring passions of just one persuasion, which I doubt would have the capability or drive to provide representation to all the community across all the issues, known and yet to surface...

To whom I say - if you want something to happen a certain way, then the only way to it ensure a satisfactory outcome is to probably just do it yourself...nominate your own candidacy. And if you have the guts to stand, then have the guts to state what you stand for...

I want to create opportuntiy for our shire to be a great place to live, a future where our children could choose to stay and still find good employment and education, a vibrant and energetic community balancing fairness and diversity without compromising opportunites for genuine growth. Phew! to do this we need a real vision for our future, transparency in council processes and decisions and more community involvement, not just a bureacratic spending plan.

here is the letter:

Wow, all these people writing in with their expert advice, guidance, instructions, directions, and outright demands for what issues should be hot topics and the expected behaviours for any candidates in the upcoming election…but only on their pet topics of course! And don’t they make it seem easy, the answers obvious! Puhleese! Representing your community just isn’t that simple – you just can’t please everyone all of the time. But if we get the government we deserve, then surely we deserve better! If they want something, then they should do it – don’t demand someone else to do the hard yards for you, because it won’t happen. I think betting on someone making decisions for my community for the next 4 years based on a single issue or belief is irresponsible. Representing your community requires someone with the guts to be willing to be informed and then make the hard decisions – not someone whom thinks they know all the answers already, or follows a leader. I am nominating because I want my community to be vibrant and successful, because I want my children to have good local choices in their future. Isn’t this what we should be demanding? Isn’t this what we deserve?