I stood for election to Bega Valley Shire Council almost a decade ago because I believed that Council should better reflect our community’s demographics. Processes that were underway at the time involving a local playground simply failed to listen to young families like mine and many others.
It was clear to me that those making the decisions were not aware of or considering the importance of this playground to young families like mine, or the wider community.
Today as I announce my resignation from Council, having provided written advice to the General Manager, I am very proud that the shire’s playgrounds are better than ever. More than that though, I am pleased that the diversity of people involved in council processes is richer and that the community has more avenues to take part and be heard.
Having served two terms as a Councillor, including four years as Mayor, I leave the organisation in an extremely strong position – able to face the ever-present challenges faced by local government.
I am proud to have worked with council staff and other councillors to have achieved projects including the Merimbula Airport upgrade, Tathra Wharf repairs, sporting complex improvements, upgrades to water treatment plants, better library services, a professional child care service, improved local roads and bridges and to have implemented the Infrastructure Prospectus which has resulted in over $70 million dollars of additional funding through continued advocacy.
I want to thank the dedicated team at council that I have worked with. Dealing with a series of rolling natural disasters since 2016 has been particularly challenging.
We always put our community first and at times this was at the expense of Council’s operational and delivery plan and forgoing income to assist those most in need.
There is much we can be proud of, but there is still much to do for those impacted.
As the federal Member for Eden-Monaro I remain a champion for the Bega Valley, a place I have grown up in, live in and love.
As we move into a new year, I am more committed than ever to bring people together and find solutions for our community.
The next local government election is September 2021 and I encourage anyone with the best interests of our community at heart to consider standing for election.
Photo: With Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese and Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers at Australia Rock, Narooma.
Media contact: Ian Campbell, phone 0417 482 171