GRIFFITH’S first Indian councillor candidate wants to “blaze a trail” for the city’s multicultural communities to become more involved in local politics.
Harnek Singh Dhanoa has thrown his name into the mix for this year’s councillor elections, saying it was time for all communities to have representation among the city’s leaders.
“I will blaze the trail to encourage others to stand up in the future,” he said. “The (Indian) community wants some more representation.
“We are trying to melt more in the melting pot – Griffith is a multicultural town and there is harmony and peace and tolerance and diversity and we want to represent that.
“There are a number of smaller communities around Griffith and most have not contested and they should have. I’m hoping by standing I will encourage them to have a go too later.”
The local Indian community has thrown their support behind Mr Dhanoa and he hopes the rest of Griffith residents would also back him in his first run at council.
“I was in favour of a young person to stand but the community asked me to run and said they trusted me,” he said.
“I want to make the best community (that is Griffith) better and if you are on council you can do that.”
Mr Dhanoa said having lived in Griffith for 20 years, brought his children up here and been a maths teacher at many of the local schools he knows what issues are important to the city’s residents.
“I am seeking to address the three Rs – rates, roads and rubbish,” he said.
“I know the means are limited and the demands are unlimited and it is very hard to meet the demands with limited means.
“I will look at the best value for money and what is a priority for the people. I will try to cast my vote as a vote of conscience and what will benefit more residents.”
Education and the needs of minority communities would also be a priority for Mr Dhanoa if elected to council.
“When the kids finish year 12 they usually leave Griffith to go to university in the city and families often go with them,” he said.
“I want to push for more university courses in Griffith so people will stay.
“There are also other special needs the communities have been wanting for a long time – like a crematorium in the city.”