Marital status: Married
Standing for: Councillor
1. Just weeks ago you were undecided as to whether you would even run for council, should people be concerned about your level of commitment?
Definitely not. There are a number of factors for anyone to consider before nomination – family, health, what’s happening in council, ongoing projects, what had been achieved and what was still to be achieved. There was never a question of commitment, it was a question of timing and giving the decision due consideration, as quick decisions are generally bad ones.
2. You’ve always prided yourself on being a fiercely independent councillor, has that been difficult over the last four years?
There’s always an issue in being independent, it sometimes leaves you out on a limb. Residents know I don’t have any particular affiliation but that means if there is a project I am interested in and need support for then I need to promote it through debate and information. Councillors are aware where I’m coming from and what I want to achieve – but it does mean that I don’t always achieve what I want.
3. While it’s a community role, successive councillors have shown that to make a meaningful difference to policy you need to have a strong political will. Do you have the “mongrel” in you to sway your fellow councillors?
I accept it’s a political role but I would hope councillors would be swayed by the information and informative debates rather than political affiliation. I suppose in that sense I don’t have the political mongrel but I believe the information provided and respect for the person providing it is integral to something being accepted or rejected.
4. The average age of councillors is looking like it will be skewed to older residents. You have done two terms now, do you think it’s time for you to make way for some younger blood?
I would like to see a representative from young, middle and older age groups but being older doesn’t mean you lose contact with the younger generation. Through many of my projects I have contact with younger people and age is just a number. I did think about the fact that a number of the councillors are older. It is difficult to encourage young people to run because they are still establishing their careers and families and council’s not something you can commit to lightly.
5. You have had eight years on council, what unfinished business do you have that you want to see completed?
I am concerned about the environment we function in and what we present to visitors and to others coming into the community. We need to look after our parks, trees, gardens, waterways and the hill, but sometimes we forget the good things we have. Local business is another; there is a tendency to shop out of town but we really need to look after Banna Avenue and make sure that’s the showpiece and shopping place. I’m also concerned about the community. It is very diverse from age to cultures and we need to provide the resources and facilities to meet their needs. Education is also vital and I would like to maintain the presence of TAFE and its courses in this city. Cost shifting from the state government is also a concern – we are being asked to provide facilities and projects that used to be provided by them and the federal government with pegged rates and limited funds.