Wednesday, 10 August 2016
Peter Ellem posting on The Clarence Forum, 8 August 2016:
OK, the ink had not dried on my nomination for Clarence Valley Council before conservative trolls got to work on another Facebook group. For the political pygmy who couldn't wait to question my ethics, I post my media release:
Peter Ellem, 'fighting for us' in the Clarence Valley
YAMBA resident Peter Ellem, a Walkley Award-winning journalist and former Federal policy adviser, has nominated as an independent candidate for the Clarence Valley Council election on September 10.
Mr Ellem edited The Daily Examiner and Coastal Views newspapers from 2001 to 2007 before becoming the Grafton-based policy/media adviser to the former Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin from 2007 to 2013.
In November 2011, Mr Ellem gained further political experience by standing as Country Labor's candidate in a by-election for the State seat of Clarence. He is running as an independent candidate for CVC and funding his own campaign.
Mr Ellem said his forebears had helped pioneer the Clarence Valley from the 1860s, and he was motivated by a desire to serve all local communities to make the Valley the best possible place for families and individuals to prosper.
Mr Ellem and his wife Susan have raised three daughters Zoe, Tess and Lily here in the Valley.
“Clarence Valley Council is our largest employer and its staff do a lot of good work in the community, but its long term financial position is unsustainable and should be of concern, particularly to ratepayers, but to all residents,” Ellem said.
“As an editor, I led the popular Not A Drop campaign against moves to dam and divert the mighty Clarence River westward, and campaigned for the Grafton Base Hospital redevelopment, fast tracking of the Pacific Highway upgrade and second Grafton bridge crossing.
“I managed multi-million dollar budgets for a top 100 company, and I would bring the same common sense approach to the real challenges facing the council.
“As a public servant, I liaised with five Northern Rivers councils to successfully lobby for major infrastructure projects and grant programs, and to keep capital works projects on track and to budget.
“CVC needs some new blood – progressive councillors who will try to ensure good governance and greater transparency wherever possible.
“We need to encourage appropriate development under existing planning controls to protect and create local jobs. However, growth should not be at the cost of our wonderful environment or existing industries like tourism, fishing and farming.
“This is why I will fight to stop the proposed mega-port from swamping and destroying the Lower Clarence. I have also consistently opposed coal seam gas exploration and mining in the Valley and the wider region.”