North Coast Voices 'Page' Archive

Change in First Preference %
Swing After Preferences
Polling Place (By-election Votes)
Baryulgil Public (48)
Broadwater Hall (345)
Brooms Head Comm. Hall (137)
Casino Civic Hall (2658)
Casino High (729)
Casino Hospital (263)
Casino W Public (817)
Chatsworth Island Public (337)
Clarence Village Hall, Grafton (1714)
Copmanhurst Public (319)
Coraki Public (793)
Corindi Public (764)
Coutts Crossing Hall (727)
Cowper Public (321)
Dundurrabin Public (160)
Evans Head (1546)
Gillwinga Piblic, Sth Grafton (654)
Glenreagh Arts Hall (527)
Grafton Comm. Cntr (1495)
Grafton High (1636)
Grafton Hospital (328)
Grafton Scout Hall (668)
Gulmarrad Public (620)
Harwood Is. Public (330)
Iluka Hall (949)
Junction Hill SES (761)
Lawrence Public (606)
Maclean Civic Cntr (1147)
Maclean Hospital (359)
Nymboida Public (155)
Palmers Is. Public (473)
Rappville Hall (115)
Red Rock Multi-Use Cntr (175)
St Michaels Cntr, Casino Sth (1124)
St Stephens Presb. Sth Grafton (1734)
Sth Grafton Public (2191)
Treelands Dr Comm. Cntr, Yamba (1950)
Tucabia Hall (321)
Ulmarra Public (559)
Whiporie Hall (91)
Woodburn CWA (783)
Wooli Hall (428)
Woombah RFS (474)
Yamba Public (1363)
Pre-poll (7710)
Declared Institution
Enrolment New

TUE 07 AUGUST 2012
Prime Minister
E & OE proof only
Too often the cost of electricity is talked about in two completely separate public conversations.
One conversation is about power bills. There’s a very concrete discussion going on at the kitchen table, in the school carpark and in the front bar, about this.
Power bills have become the new petrol prices: not just an essential of life that always seems to be going up, but a vital commodity, where what we consume each day, or pay every quarter, seems beyond our control.
The other conversation is about energy markets.
A very complex discussion at Cabinet tables and around board tables – dividend policy, reliability standards, peak demand.
A discussion both informed by, and leading to, the commissioning of a great deal of detailed work on the nature of the problem of higher prices, its causes and possible solutions – from officials, governments, industry and analysis.
While that talk has gone on, prices have gone up – have gone up far and fast.
But now, we are better placed to act.
First, because much of the vital policy work is nearing completion, including the Federal Government’s Energy White Paper.
Second, because the round of price determinations starting next year will begin setting prices for years to come.
And thirdly, and importantly, the last Council of Australian Governments meeting convinced me that there is an opportunity to act through COAG before the end of this year.
This begins with a very human problem.
People are paying a lot more – in some states, bills have gone up almost a thousand dollars in just a few years.
It is very clear that working Australians, pensioners, the sick, the aged, people who need the most help, the people Labor Governments are elected to represent. These are the people who are feeling the most pressure.
Meanwhile, some states, like New South Wales and Queensland, are doing very well out of this financially and their revenue from some electricity assets is growing much faster than in the private sector.
So it is also very clear that the States can, and should, do more to cut future price rises.
All this means power price increases need to slow down and there is an opportunity to do that now.
An opportunity finally to get the facts on the table – and then to get something done.
We have a chance to make our clean energy future a smart, affordable energy future.
It’s absolutely natural that public discussion of power prices today should include the facts about the price on carbon.
Australia needed to put a price on carbon pollution: to tackle climate change, to seize a clean energy future, using our bountiful access to solar, wind and other clean energy, to not be left behind as the world acted.
When the government priced carbon, we forecast an electricity price impact on consumers of around ten per cent – a forecast which has now become reality.
So yes, Australia did need this ten per cent increase in retail prices. And help with tax cuts, family payments and pension increases.
Achieving a price signal for big businesses to change the generation mix to cut pollution. Funding investments in a clean energy future.
That was in the national interest.
Most Australians pay no more as a result.
But while we were developing and delivering the clean energy future package and putting a price on pollution, something else was happening at the same time.
Carbon price excluded, the average electricity bill went up by at least 48 per cent in the last four years.
And ordinary businesses and households have been entirely uncompensated for these significant cost increases.
This is the difference: Australia needed a carbon price.
Australia did not need price increases of fifty per cent or more for households over the last four years – and Australians can’t afford the same kinds of increases over the next four years.
Now, I know there are complex factors driving aspects of these price increases.
The catch-up from years of infrastructure underinvestment.
The growth in peak demand.
Changes which have raised reliability standards and which have come at a high price.
And of course, there’s the pragmatic, patchwork design of National Electricity Market itself – a complex mix of co-ordination and competition, public and private ownership, national and state regulation.
But, recognising that complexity, appreciating the conflicting objectives and incentives, and taking into account the long-term factors at play, I want to say very clearly: the last four years’ price rises cannot continue.
Fifty per cent price increases in many states over four years – linked to demonstrable inefficiencies in resource allocation in the market.
Or in this state, New South Wales – nearly seventy per cent increases.
With half the extra cost due to increased network charges.
People are paying much more for the so-called “poles and wires” – not to produce electricity but just to move it around the system.
A long term trend of price increases like this cannot be sustained.
Not economically, not socially. No market can sustain this, let alone a market which delivers one of the essentials of life.
It’s a huge cost to our economy.
Just last Friday, the Productivity Commission released its advice on the sixteen reform priorities which business leaders, state and federal leaders asked it to review earlier this year.
The Commission found that effective implementation of energy market reforms is the single most likely to deliver gains. If there are large network inefficiencies and excessive regulated prices, then there would be major resource savings and national benefits from lower electricity prices. Even small price reductions would have significant impacts.
That’s the Productivity Commission’s economic advice.
And it’s a real threat to fairness in our society.
As a recent AGL Energy review noted, while wealthier households can cut power costs through more efficient devices and solar panels, the poorest customers are exposed to the full cost of the increases.
As a Labor Prime Minister, I feel very deeply concerned about the plight of pensioners and poorer families who spend a greater proportion of their income on power.
The less disposable income you have, the harder it is to manage large lumpy bills, like power bills.
And buying clean energy appliances – everything from new and more efficient whitegoods to rooftop solar panels – is plainly easier if you earn more.
Solving these kinds of problems in people’s real lives is exactly the kind of thing Labor Governments are elected to do.
So I am determined to get a plan in place to prevent unnecessary price rises in future.
It is also important Australians have the facts to explain why this is happening.
At the bottom of all this is this economic reality: the market for supplying energy services in Australia needs to be more efficient.
Take the current handling of peak power demands.
One quarter of all retail electricity costs – more than $500 a year for a typical family – is spent to meet the costs of peak events that last for less than two days each year in total.
One sixth of our national electricity networks – $11 billion in infrastructure – caters for peak events that last for barely four days per year.
It’s like building a ten lane freeway – but with two lanes that are only used or needed for one long weekend.
It’s a very good thing that more Australians can afford air conditioners to cool their families on our hottest days, in fact it’s partly a tribute to their own hard work and the prosperity we’ve built through reform.
It’s a very bad thing that the supply side response to this is so deeply costly and inefficient, and it’s a clear argument for reform to go further.
Or take the current approach to ensuring secure supply.
Here, there are big forces at play.
Large scale electricity infrastructure established in the post-war period is reaching the end of its useful life and this is a very substantial component of the network.
My challenge, to industry, regulators and state governments, is this: your job now is to ensure that you respond to this with efficient investments.
Investment which gets the balance right between affordability and reliability.
We know that isn’t happening today.
New South Wales has already asked the Australian Energy Market Commission to investigate how consumers value this trade-off between reliability and cost.
The review of Queensland’s electricity network chaired by Darryl Somerville in 2011 found that smarter reliability requirements could reduce the requirement for capital expenditure by suppliers and ease the price impacts on consumers.
Most compelling of all, the Australian Energy Regulator itself, in the State of the Energy Market Report 2011 released in December last year found the regulatory framework has led to some price increases that are difficult to justify consumers are paying more than necessary for a safe and reliable energy supply.
That’s the independent regulator, part of the ACCC, speaking.
At the heart of all this is a simple market design problem: a clear regulatory incentive to overinvest in infrastructure and pass on costs to consumers.
Indeed, in many places around Australia, the State Governments both own lucrative electricity assets and regulate parts of the electricity market.
The comparison between the private and public owned utilities shows the States are doing very well financially out of this arrangement.
Following the recent round of price increases, revenue for network enterprises wholly owned by State Governments is up fifty per cent over the previous five year period.
This was in a period when revenue for the rest of the market players grew less than thirty per cent.
In other words, revenue to the States went up nearly twice as fast as revenue to the private network operators.
This has hit consumers hard.
A typical household in New South Wales is paying over a thousand dollars more for power every year compared to four years ago.
And while due to a number of factors electricity demand is falling overall, families and pensioners are facing higher prices – even for those who are trying to do the right thing and cut their use.
For too long, some State Governments have been increasing their revenue at the expense of the family electricity bill – that has to stop.
Given all those facts and given the regulator itself says the present regulatory framework has led to price increases which are difficult to justify, how can we doubt Australians are paying more than they should for electricity?
So let’s act.
First, let’s give people more power over what they pay for power.
A typical suburban house today doesn’t even have smart meters to measure peak demand, much less to help people control it.
People need and deserve more choice and control.
Already, the Federal Government has taken important steps to do this.
But we want to put even more effective control in the hands of energy users, in the hands of working people, pensioners, owners of small businesses.
The National Energy Customer Framework includes strong protections for Australians who are struggling to pay their electricity bills.
These include requiring fair contracts, better information in bills, and making sure customers know what they are signing up to when they begin a contract.
It also means people who can’t pay their bills will get consistent protections across Australia – including the option of payment plans.
And as part of the Customer Framework, the Australian Energy Regulator operates its Energy Made Easy website, providing objective, free comparisons to help customers get the best energy deal for them.
The runaway success of the “Big Electricity Switch” campaign is a great example of the benefits this approach can achieve.
Entrepreneurial spirit, media support and online information have enabled nearly a quarter of a million Australians to be offered discounts as high as 16.5 per cent.
It’s a remarkable story – a terrific tribute to One Big Switch and to the Daily Telegraph which has sponsored the campaign.
And it’s a remarkable illustration of what supported and informed consumers can achieve.
But today the full benefits of the Customer Framework and the Energy Made Easy website are confined to Tasmania and the ACT, where governments have signed up.
The other States must now get on board.
The States should sign up to these protections for households – and this extra information – today.
Particularly New South Wales, where legislation has actually passed the Parliament, but the State Government continues to delay commencing and implementing, for no apparent reason.
Alongside the Customer Framework, the Australian Energy Market Commission’s Power of Choice review is looking at how the design of the National Electricity Market can be reformed so that consumers have more control.
The Commission is due to make practical recommendations for changes to regulation which can help families, business and industry make informed choices about the way they use electricity and manage their bills.
All of us – Federal and State – must commit to acting on their recommendations as soon as they are made.
And the Federal Government is directly investing in demonstrating smart electricity networks.
In time, these will allow people to have far greater control over their own household electricity use, along with far more information about their own needs.
People should be able to use what they want when they want it and cut out expensive services they don’t need.
Picture a smart phone app that means you can load the clothes dryer or a dishwasher before you leave home – and then turn it on when a low cost rate becomes available during the day.
Or consider new technology so home air conditioners can switch themselves between high and low power mode, keeping a house cool while limiting use in high-cost periods of peak demand.
Or in the same way many people use a travel agent or a mortgage broker to get the best bargains, small businesses could hire a clean energy adviser to analyse the data about their business’s energy consumption and find a better deal.
In Newcastle, under our Smart Grid Smart City trial, the CSIRO has installed battery storage devices and gas fuel cells, hooking up existing solar systems and linked electric vehicles to real time energy information
In South Australia, ETSA is building on its early success with a more sophisticated suburb-scale trial of the practical technologies, operating arrangements and cost structures.
These technologies – smart, affordable, clean energy technologies – are real and they are operating now.
These are important new ways for consumers to control what they pay for power.
There must also be new pressures on network operators to cut costs.
As I noted earlier there is a great deal of detailed work already in train in energy policy, above all, our White Paper.
But leaders have a responsibility to set the goals and the timelines for that kind of detailed policy work.
So at COAG we asked for two very specific pieces of work to be done.
First, for Energy Ministers “to make sure these reviews focus on achieving efficient future investment which does not result in undue price pressures on consumers and businesses”.
That is, we made the policy goal for all the existing work crystal clear: slow down the price rises.
Second, for the inter-jurisdictional Business Advisory Forum Taskforce which COAG set up in April this year to tell us what additional changes are needed to the design of the electricity market to ensure investment is efficient and to protect the poorest customers.
Today I want to drive this momentum for change further.
I’ve written to the Premiers and Chief Ministers to say that I want all that advice drawn together and on the table for First Ministers to consider – and then I want solutions on the table for COAG to adopt – by the end of the year.
So when COAG meets next – I will be urging the Premiers and Chief Ministers to consider the advice and to act.
The inefficiencies that exist in the current system cannot be ignored.
Even decisions made this year will reap benefits over several years to come – so we must get on with the job now.
I want real decisions this year to guide price determinations beginning next year.
My preference is to work co-operatively with the States through COAG to deliver a better outcome for consumers.
We won’t lightly use the big stick of regulation, of stronger powers for the Energy Regulator and the ACCC.
But it’s a stick we hold and which we’ll use if required.
One way or another, we’re going to get this done.
This is the future of the price of electricity in Australia.
More efficient investment.
More empowered consumers.
Real delivery from the States and Territories on our agreed priorities for change.
Much slower price rises over time.
This is the future of Australian energy market reform.
New ideas and new understandings of the possibilities smart technology holds.
Energy services, not just electricity supply.
Clean generation, productive distribution, efficient use.
A rational, efficient price signal to cut carbon pollution.
Remaking the mix of power generation … and remaking the networks which deliver power services.
More renewable energy, more distributed generation … better management of demand.
And in turn, this is a smart, affordable, clean energy future.
The bad news is, today, Australians are paying more than they should for electricity, because of the price rises that have come without a dollar of assistance.
The good news is, we can do something about it.

Ursula Tunks - Policy Statement 2012


Policy Statements
Ursula Tunks - Fighting For Our Future
Candidate for the Clarence Valley Council elections 8th September 2012

PCYC & Youth Services

Lack of accessible and affordable Youth Services in the Clarence Valley
Continuing to work towards securing a PCYC for the Clarence Valley and continuing to advocate for the establishment of a holistic Valley wide Youth Service. My advocacy will centre on these services being accessible to all young people in the Clarence Valley through a single referral point and I will continue to advocate for the long term needs of the Youth of the Valley regardless of whether I’m elected to Council or not.

Increase in Pensioner Rebate on Council Rates

Clarence Valley Pensioners have not had an increase in their pensioner rebate for almost five years, despite the extensive increase in the cost of living for those on fixed incomes.
Providing a minimum increase of $20 per annum to the Pensioner Rebate on Land Rates, with a possible increase of $50 depending on the outcome of the following costs savings proposal;
ü This rebate will be achieved through cutting the postage, stationery and administration costs of the current Council billing system. By incorporating the Land & Water Rates into one billing system, an immediate savings of approximately $60,000 p.a. on postage alone is achieved (a figure based on the number of rateable properties in the CVC region as detailed in the CVC’s latest on-line reports). Further calculations based on savings from administration and stationery costs will enable a definitive figure for the rebate increase.
ü After the initial rebate increase as detailed above ensure that the Rebate is increased annually at a minimum rate equivalent to that of the CPI.

Protecting the Clarence River

Organisations and entities outside the Clarence Valley seeking to divert the waters of the Clarence River inland.
Development of a strong Clarence River management plan with a focuses on its’ protection and the benefit it provides our Community.

Community Mental Health including Drug & Alcohol Counsellors

Our current Mental Health Facilities & Services falling far short of meeting the community need for those services.
ü Continue the work established by Councillor Hughes and her lower river committee in relation to advocacy for Mental Health Services for the whole of Clarence Valley.
ü Continue to lobby all relevant stakeholders and State & Federal Departments for the establishment of an overnight Mental Health facility based in the Clarence Valley.
ü Use the recent suicide statistics released by the ABS which strongly indicate that the Clarence Valley presents a significant anomaly in terms of NSW suicide rates, which are reported by the ABS as being 8.6 suicides per 100,000 population over a five year period. The major town centre of Grafton has had 8 suicides with a population of 20,000 in a one year period. I’m confident that with a detailed analysis of the whole of Clarence Valley Suicide rates and other related Mental Health statistics we can present an extremely strong case for immediate urgent action on the overnight facility and other desperately needed mental health services.

The immediate creation of a working party to establish a Major Transport Hub in the Clarence Region

Urgently needed Regional Economic Development Strategies to ensure a viable future for the Clarence Valley.
A Solution:
At a recent meeting Chris Gulaptis informed me that the rumour that Casino had secured the ‘Major Transport Hub’ for the region was in fact false. However, it would seem that the rumour is being perpetuated by the Casino-ites themselves as part of their lobbying to get the hub.
The reality is that the Clarence Valley is actually the ideal location for a ‘Major Transport Hub’. This ideal is based upon the following factors:
ü It presents the only B Double Access to the West between Brisbane and Newcastle via the Gwydir Highway.
ü It offers the combination of Rail, Air & Road access with South Pacific Port access from the Goodwood Island Port and the possibility of increased Port capacity in the future, pending a viable solution to a number of environmental and cultural challenges posed by the current port site. There is a possibility of pursuing alternate Port locations along the Clarence Coast.
ü Both the South Grafton Rail location and the Grafton Airport location offer ample opportunities for co-location of a ‘Logistics Terminal’. Previously the old Grafton Rail Yards were proposed to be redeveloped for logistic purposes however the increased heavy vehicle traffic in the area meant the proposal was unsuccessful. However the area in the vicinity of the former Disco Marine site in South Grafton offers an ideal staging point for a logistics distribution centre and is immediately accessible to the existing heavy vehicle corridor. A further option for a Logistics Terminal site is the ‘old rail siding’ near the turn off to the back road to Coffs Harbour.
ü Our Airport location offers an excellent opportunity in that it is already underutilised and would therefore not present with competing challenges for its’ use. The unrealised potential includes the vacant land surrounding its location and its’ proximity to the intended Pacific Highway by-pass of the Grafton area. Utilising the Airport region as a major staging point in the overall Transport Hub Infrastructure offers a huge opportunity to the Region.
ü Supporting the second bridge crossing at Grafton (see policy below) will also enhance our Regional Capacity as a Transport Hub. The actually number of bridge crossings by heavy vehicles is well within the ‘normal’ range for a single bridge crossing, based on the statistics of approximately 800 heavy
vehicle movements per day, this equates too one heavy vehicle crossing just under every two minutes well below what is normally considered high level traffic. However the physical nature of our current bridge amplifies the impact of those crossings. For example the narrow nature of the current bridge slows the traffic; the bends at either end of the bridge make safe negotiation of the bridge within the confines of the marked lanes impossible for larger heavy vehicles such as B-Doubles, which at the moment cannot achieve maximum cost and productivity efficiency for the local businesses they service due to the travel restrictions between 7am-9am and 3pm to 6pm every weekday. Achieving a second bridge crossing of the Clarence in the proximity of the township of Grafton will support the capacity of the proposed transport hub as well as providing other benefits to the area. (See policy statement below).
ü The increase in on-line shopping which has had a massive detrimental effect on our local retail economy also presents a huge opportunity for our economy from the transport and distribution position. By including a number of the major on-line retailers in the working group, Harvey Norman, Kogan etc. etc. and major stakeholders such as Australia Post, Australian Air Express and TNT there’s an excellent likelihood of realising immediate benefits from this proposal than some other economic development options whose required lead time is much greater. Ensuring that all existing Clarence Valley based Transport & Distribution businesses are involved in the Working Group, and including the major manufacturers participate, Timber & Sugar Industries for example, will enable the group to harness the expertise already existing in the Community.
ü Actively engage the manufacturing peak bodies and individual companies promoting the benefits of the Clarence Valley as a base for their operations and promoting the Councillor Howe’s motion to offer incentives to support the relocation of businesses to the Clarence Valley.

Proactive Council Involvement in Planning for the Pacific Highway Upgrade

Ensuring the impact of the eventual Pacific Highway By-Pass of the Grafton Township area has a minimal impact on the economy and that the maximum benefit of possible opportunities presented are achieved.
Ensure Council is involved in planning of:
ü off ramps to access the town centres
ü off ramps to access the Regional Airport
ü location of Service Centres

Council leading CSG Risk Management

The Threat posed to our pristine natural environment as a result of the looming CSG Mining activity in the region and the fact that Council is almost powerless to influence this activity.
ü Where at all possible oppose CSG Mining in the Clarence Valley, and any regions east of the Great Dividing Range.
ü Council to continue to take all steps available to it to reduce the impact of any CSG mining that ultimately may take place and to ensure that all council requirements in regards to any Development Applications submitted by these mining companies are rigorous and ensure the maximum protection of our environment.
ü Council ensures that every condition on any Development Application approved by Council for CSG Mining Activities are met to the required standard by the applicants.

Establishment of Clarence Valley Development Group

No community based organisation with cohesive approach to Clarence Valley Regional Economic Development.
Facilitate the establishment of a body to drive Economic Development from a community vantage point. This may take the form of a completely new body or a revamped ‘Clarence Ahead’ group with a modified vision, that is a vision which is looking at the overall Economic Development of the Region and acting as the regions peak body for the development of community initiated growth strategies.

Grafton’s Second River Crossing (Bridge)

The existing Grafton Bridge Crossing is completely inadequate for the current traffic use and hinders long term economic development.
The issue of a second bridge crossing needs to be resolved, now, not at some indefinable point in the future.
The Cowan Street Option is the cheapest option as all the land is vacant and would only require purchase from the owners, and does not require the relocation of families or businesses. There's a clean run from the Ryan Street/Skinner Street Roundabout, through behind St Patrick’s church and the library to the paddock between Cowan and Abbott Streets to right up to the riverbank.
The only concerns I have in relation to the Cowan Street option is the impact of the 'aqua theatre' that the space between Susan Island and the current bridge provides for aquatic events, and also the planned contact point with the Grafton River bank which is between the convent and the old Catholic primary school, the start of Villiers Street.
Please note that this option goes right past my front door in Cowan Street and my delightful, peaceful little hideaway in the middle of South Grafton will never be the same, however the number residents and businesses impacted upon by this option appears to be minimal compared to other 'in town' bridge crossing options.
There are options further down river which appear to offer a good solution too, however they pose a very real risk of the loss of a significant percentage of passing trade. This risk at this point time would seem to be the nail in the coffin for the immediate Grafton/South Grafton CBD’s, and have a flow on effect to the Valley economy generally. I would need to explore the down river options more fully in terms of the likely 'economic' impact on the area before I can take a fully informed decision on those; however they do not present any immediate economic advantages.
I’m also concerned that all the money spent on consultation and new plans and more consultation could either have been put to a budget to build another bridge or into something completely different - like an upgrade of the Grafton Gaol for instance! At some point you simply must bite the bullet and say enough consultation, and be brave enough to take a decision knowing that you will never please everyone.
Note that if the eventual decision is that a down river option is taken then I would be lobbying for a decent pedestrian bridge across the river in the town area that encourages safe pedestrian movements.

Safeguarding Community Assets
‘Constitutional’ Risk Management – Harm Minimisation

The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia poses a major risk to the ‘institutions’ that have become known as Local Government. This risk is twofold;
1. Local Government is not a level of government recognised in the Constitution and the attempt to have Local Government recognised in the Constitution via referenda failed in 1988.
2. In NSW the Government responding to the failed referenda by enacting the NSW Local Government Act 1993. This Statute exceeds the power of the State under the Constitution and poses a major risk to local government if challenged in the High Court.
The Australian Local Government Association has been actively pursuing a solution to the ‘unconstitutional nature’ of local government since the failure of the 1988 referenda. Recent discussions indicate that the Australian Local Government Association is preparing to instigate a referendum at the next Federal Election seeking a change to the Constitution to allow direct Federal Funding of Local Government, thereby removing the State Government Control over Local Government funding.
Concerns about the proposed referenda are:
ü It will not address the lack of Constitutional Recognition of Local Government leaving Local Government still exposed to the threat of a High Court challenge.
ü It will reduce the power base of State Governments and therefore it is unlikely to be supported by them and they are likely to use their considerable power base and networks to undermine the referenda rendering it a huge financial risk by the Local Government Association.

Proposed solutions, or harm minimisation strategies, are:
·         Researching the viability of alternate organisational structures, for instance Incorporation as a not-for-profit body with a ‘co-operative’ type model as its’ basis.
·         A full audit of all Clarence Valley Council/Community owned assets and the development of strategies to protect our assets from further attempts to amalgamate Councils by the NSW Government. Moving to an alternate organisation structure would be a major first step in securing our assets. Displaying a full list of Community owned assets on the Clarence Valley Council website.

Sound Financial Governance Practices

Limit risk exposure of Clarence Valley Council investments resulting from poor investment advice and decisions, particularly in light of the forecast ‘Second Global Financial Crisis’.
Conduct a review of Council’s Financial Governance, particularly issues surrounding its’ investment strategies over the past decade and lessons learned from the Black Rock Investments debacle. I would also seek to have all Council ‘investments’ and their related transactions fully disclosed on the Council website ensuring complete transparency of all council’s dealings with rate payer monies.

Abolish DMU Charge

Current DMU Charge is a deterrent to new development queries and applications.
Abolish the DMU Charge.

What I bring to council and why I am running as a Candidate:
My experience includes a decade in Banking & Finance, a decade in Australian Law Enforcement & a decade working in Recruitment, owning & operating my own company. In 1996 I received a Commendation from the AFP Commissioner & was awarded the 2004 National Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships, Small Business category for my partnership with BABI Youth & Family Support. Over the five years I was in business in Brisbane I developed three additional community partnerships with local not for profit organisations; Bayside Domestic Violence Initiative, Community Childcare Inc. & the Wynnum Manly Seagulls Rugby League Football Club Inc, these resulted in my being awarded the Community Wizard Award 2 years running at the Business Achievers Awards.
In 2007 I took the decision to relocate to the Clarence Valley where I have owned & operated a Café/Convenience Store & continue to work as a consultant. I was part of the team that set up the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Op Shop, I established the Clarence Valley Youth Initiative, served on the Clarence River Women's Refuge & Clarence Valley Women Inc. Boards.
I believe that if your community prospers then so will you & that everyone in the community have a role to play in community development. I believe charity begins at home, & the Clarence Valley is our home, we need to make it a strong, safe, harmonious & nurturing home.
My strengths are strategic planning, research & analytical skills & my ability to bring disparate groups together to work towards common goals, & to develop those 'partnerships' into mutually beneficial & harmonious ones. My qualifications include a Grad Cert in Business, Diploma in Employments Services, Operational & Strategic Intelligence and a broad range of other law enforcement related training programs.
Our community desperately requires economic development, while ensuring that our unique heritage & pristine natural environment are protected.
My Great, Great Grandfather Jeremiah Donoghue arrived in Ulmarra in 1858 & my Great, Great Grandfather Dickson was an engineer during the construction of the McFarlane & Tabulam Bridges. Great Grandfather McGregor was Grafton’s 1st Station master & drove the train across the bridge at its opening. My Grandparents operated a Dairy farm in Seelands where my Mum was raised along with her six siblings. My home in South Grafton has a view of the church in which both my parents & grandparents were married. I love the Clarence Valley and am committed to fighting for its’ future.

© 2012 Ursula Tunks Fighting For Our Future Candidate for the Clarence Valley Council Elections 18 Edward Street South Grafton NSW 2460 Mobile 0402 024 209

'Nigerian' scam letter

From the Desk Of:
   REF: CBN/IRD/CBX/021/2011



 In our office today, was a present of One Mr. John T. Kehoe of 122 Fitch Way, Sacramento, Ca. 95864 filing application contrary to your pending fund transfer. The above mentioned person visited this Bank yesterday with a power of attorney given in his favor by your good self, granting him the benefit to process and claim your inheritance of $6,800,000.00(six Million eight United States Dollars Only) for personal reasons.

 He further Stated that the online account be Terminated while the fund should be wired to his Bank account with Bank Of America, Routing Number 121000358,Swift Code number BOFAUS3N. Our office have asked Mr. John T. Kehoe return back to the Bank within 48hours to enable us have a personal confirmation from you being hitherto the beneficiary.

 We are sorry to have delayed your instruction in giving out this fund since we must adhere to the modus operandi of this honorable bank by making sure this request is verified and confirmed by the beneficiary and his existing attorney.

Your confirmation to the above will be appreciated. We look forward
to hearing from you soon.

 In receipt of this confidential Letter, you are required to call this Bank on +234-80-30521054 immediately you receive this Confidential Letter.

Await your urgent attention to this.