Port Stephens Labor candidates vow to consult with community

Port Stephens Labor candidates: Kelly Hammond, Jason Wells, Leah Anderson and Giacomo Arnott. Photo: Tara Campbell.


AS the Local Government Elections approach, Labor Party candidates for Port Stephens have made promises to involve and listen to the community.

With low scores in the recent community satisfaction survey, it’s clear that Port Stephens residents have high expectations for the nominated Council.

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Mayoral candidate Leah Anderson believes that this can be turned around, vowing to involve and listen to the Port Stephens community.

“We’ve got three main pillars to work on and the environment is one of those.

“I don’t think the current Council has done anywhere near enough, or really focused on it until right at the end, but both the environment and climate change are going to be things that we’re working on from the absolute beginning,” Ms Anderson said.

“I’m no expert on it all, but I know our community has excellent groups and experts in the field that we should be bringing in to help us make decisions and policies.

“For us, it’s about engaging with those in the community who may know more about these things and working together to make a change.”

The community satisfaction survey showed that a major point of contention for the community is road maintenance, with many residents frustrated at the lack of action in regards to this.

Ms Anderson believes the key to solving these issues is looking at successful examples from other Councils to assist in implementing new strategies.

“There’s one example in Moreton Bay Council where they’ve got cameras on the front of the garbage trucks, so basically they’re proactively reporting back potholes and then the Council can actually see them and take action before the community has to drive in one and have an accident or damage their car,” Leah said.

The Labor candidates are aiming to engage Port Stephens youth, believing that they should be involved with decisions about their future.

“I’ve actually got two children in the youth age bracket and it’s so interesting because they’re coming along this journey with me and they’re now actually understanding that they’ve got a voice that they can use to make a difference,” Leah said.

Giacomo Arnott, candidate for West Ward, is passionate about supporting the youth of Port Stephens to get their message out there.

“As an elected Councillor, I’ve noticed that there are times where the Council discounts what I say or do because of my age and the perceived lack of life experience.

“I think that half of it is engaging young people, and the other half is actually caring to hear what they’ve got to say.”

Setting high standards for their behaviour if elected in, the Labor team are looking to get the community involved and active in Port Stephens.

“Our Labor team wants innovative solutions and meaningful connections,” Jason Wells, Central Ward candidate said.

“We want to integrate the community groups that each of our candidates know and work with, with other groups to form mutually beneficial relationships within them for all involved,” Jason said.



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