Meet The Candidates: Dheera Smith’s Greens Group

Dheera Smith – Greens’ Lead Candidate.

 

AS Local Government Elections approach, News Of The Area is introducing you to the candidates for the Election Group.

Dheera Smith is the lead candidate for The Greens’ MidCoast Council ticket and is a teacher and former news journalist living and working on Biripi land.

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Joining her are Jessica Harris, Denis Duval, Eleanor Spence, Helen Holiday and Sally Colechin, all devoted members of the community in one way or another; in teaching, nursing, medical research and the arts.

“The Greens have chosen to stand for MidCoast Council this election because of the urgency for actions that benefit our environment and climate in every single decision made on local council.

“We are standing for the environment and as a party which values grassroots democracy, ecological sustainability, social equality and economic justice, peace, non-violence and disarmament,” Dheera said.

A proud, public high school teacher in regional Australia for nearly twenty years, Dheera enjoys the challenge of teaching country students about the wider world and helping them appreciate and explore their own unique selves and culture.

With two adult sons educated at government schools and universities, Dheera believes that the Mid Coast can only thrive if its people have access to quality education.

Jessica Harris is number two on the ticket, a Pindimar resident who is an active member of the Myall Coast community.

Jessica is a past President of the Myall Coast Chamber of Commerce and runs an eco-tourism business in Tea Gardens.

Passionate about conserving the local environment for recreation and for future generations, Jessica also works in health policy and would like to see better access to health services, child care and housing for all residents of the MidCoast council area.

“The Greens are committed to sustainable development policies and practices.

“All development should take into account the potential impact on ecosystems and communities.

“We know that we are already losing too much native bushland and habitat for our native animals, this also has an impact on recreation and increased heat within suburbs.

“If elected to Council the Greens will push to ensure that development applications do not overstep already established guidelines, that native habitat and community spaces are protected and developers pay any relevant levies if their applications are approved,” Jessica said.

The Greens are also committed to transparency in government and state that none of their candidates have connections to developers.

Alongside this, the group hopes to implement better climate action policies.

“If we don’t plan for climate change, we are planning to fail.

“We have a vision for a zero carbon MidCoast Council – meeting and beating current council goals; attracting green industry and finance for solar, wind, green waste management and rechargeable transport.

“The MidCoast deserves a funded biodiversity and environment plan which protects waterways, trees and habitat for all new developments and redevelopments, including a wildlife corridor which joins with adjacent council areas in order to support biodiversity in a changing climate,” Jessica said.

The Greens hope to make a change on Council this term, working with all the communities of the MidCoast to create a democratic Council which listens and actively works with the community.

“Resident opinions must be heard, respected and responded to,” Dheera said.

 

By Tara CAMPBELL

 

Jessica Harris – Greens’ number two.

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