Dr Leon Thorpe
Marital status: Married
Affiliations: John Dal Broi
Standing for: Councillor and mayor
1. You’re a regular face at community events and a service club stalwart. What makes you think you can make the transition from community and service groups to the political arena?
This is the next step and I don’t see it as a big step really, because I have been on quite a few council committees over the past 30 years or so. I have been on 12-15 committees and have also been chairman of a couple. I feel as though the information I have gained from that practical work is going to help me.
2. In what ways are you ideologically aligned to John Dal Broi, or are you just opportunistic in running on his ticket?
I think it’s very unfair to suggest I am being opportunistic. I’ve known John and (wife) Lurleen for 25 or 30 years, so if I was going to be opportunistic, I would have jumped in earlier while he was on council or the mayor. We are friends, we trust one another and I thought “well, let’s go for it”.
3. You’ve retired from working life and are a Doctor of Letters. Do you think you are out of touch with the issues facing ordinary working people?
No. The issues I care about are the ones that are important to everyone – flood-proofing Yenda so the people there can feel safe and be safe, fixing up the city’s roads, the rail freight terminal and completing the airport terminal upgrade. I care about affordable air travel for Griffith and getting the community hospital established so we can see the benefits of improved health services. I’m also keen to renew the push for tertiary education, which showed so much promise when we signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2007.
4. You wear a lot of hats in community roles. Will you be giving any up if you’re elected and, if not, will it hinder your ability to serve effectively?
The fact I’m already on three council committees does go well for my time allocation if I should be elected. I expect that my Rotary term will be completed and that will give me extra time. I really wonder if it’s an issue because we have people working nine-to-five who are still respected members of council.
5. What do you see as the main issues facing the region over the next four years?
I think we should get roads, rates, rubbish and water right. That’s our basic requirement as a council. After that, we need to get on to all the projects the existing council has left for us. Not one of them can be left to look after itself.