OPINION: Meet the candidates at Macksville Showground


DEAR News Of The Area,

LAST Thursday evening, I attended Macksville Showground to hear the prospective platforms of the Nambucca Valley local election candidates.

There was a good turn out of ‘grey heads’, and a significant absence of 18-30 year olds.

Each candidate had three minutes to deliver their message, and each candidate was then asked the same three structured questions to reply to.

There was no opportunity for any formal directed questions from the audience for fuller disclosure, transparency and increased public awareness.

Susan Jenvey presented a vigorous list of progressive initiatives, with a background as a macadamia farmer, and an established history as a current councillor.

As an incoming Mayor she is offering strong leadership to face head on, the new challenges this area faces to deliver real outcomes, equipped with fresh energy, ideas and scoping for additional resources.

She talked about the inclusion of community initiatives, collaboration and real commitment to lead us forward to 2030.

Peter Sobey talked about growth employment opportunities accruing from renewable energies, that simultaneously address climate change, as we career towards critical emission reductions by 2030.

David Jones talked about the reintroduction of multiple occupancies as a strategy to create affordable housing options for families, to keep their families on their existing properties.

He talked about his work in the community, meeting locals regularly, and hearing and giving voice to their concerns representatively.

Councillor Martin Balangarry raised his long standing work in mental health and the current issue of mental health issues facing young Indigenous people, and ongoing goals of Reconciliation work.

Many candidates raised the issue of retaining the beauty, splendour and natural environment of the Nambucca Valley via safeguards against inappropriate and threatening future development that could destroy the outstanding amenity that we presently enjoy, which attracted many sea changers to this area originally, and during Covid from 2019-2021.

The current Mayor, Rhonda Hoban, relied on her resume of the past 14 years of achievements, but warned that the purse strings were tight for the coming term and that the money would be thinly spread.

Without adequate funds expensive road upgrades cannot be guaranteed.

I concluded that we need a new breed of progressive, smart thinking, innovative and hard working councillors with fresh energy and vision who can demonstrably lead us through our immediate pressing issues proactively as we career towards the 2030 climate change deadline, as part of the bigger goal for us as a nation.

Having the opportunity to vote, enables every person on the electoral roll to have personal power in deciding their future and quality of life, and is therefore a responsibility and opportunity to make change happen.

Nambucca Heads.

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