Monday, 5 September 2016

Policy Platforms of Candidates in the Clarence Valley Local Government Elections, Saturday 10 September 2016 - Part Four

North Coast Voices contacted as many Clarence local government election candidates as was possible and issued an invitation to supply their policy positions for our readers.

Here is the fourth post in this series.


Peta Rogers

My name is Peta Rogers and I am standing for election on September 10 as an Independent Councillor. I have chosen not to nominate any preferences or do any deals. I will work with whoever is elected alongside me for the betterment of the Clarence Valley.
I was raised in Glenreagh and after completing high school in Grafton, I attended university. I have completed graduate and post-graduate studies in Finance and Investment. Before having children, my career revolved around the Financial Services Sector, and I am hoping to use my knowledge to gain a real understanding in regards to Council’s financial position, why it has occurred and thoroughly investigate all solutions before the situation becomes irretrievable. The ‘Special’ Rate Variation is not a long-term solution to debt management.
My motivation in standing for election has built steadily over the past three years. My own questions about the unfair rating structure, articles on Special Rate Variations and whether we are or are not ‘Fit For The Future’, and finally a survey asking me to rank the ‘Discretionary Assets’ of the Council. But a hall is not a discretionary asset to a small community? The saleyards are not a discretionary asset to our Primary Producers? These are not ‘Discretionary Assets’ to the Clarence Valley.
And from this I realised that my Council had lost touch with its ratepayers, the Council had stopped listening to its people? But isn’t the fundamental purpose of a Council, to serve its ratepayers? To listen…..
My vision for the Clarence Valley Council includes the election of Councillors that are ready to work hard and make difficult decisions for our future. A team of Councillors ready to work cohesively and respectfully of each other for the betterment of the Valley as a whole.
I would like to see the Clarence Valley Council known for exceptional corporate governance, of transparency, accountability and inclusive decision making.
I would like to see responsible fiscal management leading the Clarence Valley Council towards being a financially strong Council. The days of spending more than we have must end. We can’t let ourselves get further into debt for shiny new assets when we are unable to maintain the ones we have.
This will better position the Council to be able to serve its Communities more effectively and efficiently once again, while being able to support the development of long-term sustainable industry, both new and traditional.
I would like to see our approach to the Tourism Industry become more aggressive and structured with ‘out-of-the-box’ ideas capturing more of the tourism market for us. Geographically we should be thriving – located between Brisbane and Sydney, between the ocean and the mountains – we have everything and the best of it!
My name is Peta Rogers – I am young, educated and passionate about moving the Clarence Valley in the right direction.
I ask for your support on September 10 to do this.

Text and photograph supplied by Peta Rogers

Richie Willamson
Now is the time for strong, stable, local, leadership; My Priorities for the next term are;

Local Road Funding, Environmental Sustainability, Tourism Services, Economic Development Planning.

Major improvements to Council road network, this financial year Council is investing a record $23 million into maintenance and capital projects on the network. The current condition of the local roads needs to improve; the next four years will be critical - Council can provide a much higher level of service for our residents.

Continue the work that being done already to make the Clarence Valley’s environment more sustainable, our Council should continue to invest in programs that lead NSW in waste management, build on the relationships built with Dirt Girl, put the right thing in the right bin. Increase the number of solar systems on public buildings. Continue working on the Coastal Management plans for Brooms Head and Wooli.

Tourism Services; with the Pacific Highway project starting Council must now review its tourism strategy, to ensure we have an understanding of what it means to be a few short hours from Brisbane and the Gold Coast and encourage them to visit and stay in the Clarence Valley, ensure signage is correct, make sure we are marketing ourselves to the correct audience, attract visitors to National Parks, The Clarence River, Beaches, towns and villages, boating and canoe trails, sporting events, more river access points and pontoons.

Economic Development; I will be pushing for a full review of the Clarence Economic Development plan funded in next year’s budget. The game changer of the Clarence is the Pacific Highway upgrade, along with the Grafton Jail, Grafton Bridge and the roll out of the NBN network. The Clarence valley needs to continue the planning for the “finished” projects now. Plan for the village boom that will be coming for towns like Ulmarra, Brushgrove, Wooli and Maclean.

The second stage of the Maclean Riverside precinct plan will be started with a $1.8 million commitment from the Federal Government and the next stage of the Grafton riverside plan will start in the next term, opening up access to the might Clarence river is a major draw card for our Valley.

New playgrounds are being developed in Grafton, Maclean and Yamba and the next stage of the Iluka walk is planned.

I have never and will not support the “mega port” proposal for the Clarence River.

Vote 1 for Richie Williamson to allow the community work to continue.

Text and photograph supplied by Richie Williamson


Previous posts in the 2016 Clarence Valley local government election candidate profile series: Hagger, Novak, Wells, Baker Hughes, Bates, Tunks, Saunders

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