1 Candidate details
Council: Byron Shire
Number of years in shire/LGA: 10 years
Current councillor? No
Clubs/sports/interests: surfing, paddle boarding, biking, gardening
Are you a member of a political party or an organised ‘ticket’? Yes
If yes, which party or who else is on your ticket?: The Vision in Action team: Sol Ibrahim, Rebecca Sargeant, Laurie Lynch, Michael Murray and Mira Eady
Brief description: I’m happily married father of a 4-year-old boy and living in Coorabell. I have been a shop owner in Byron Bay for more than 10 years and though I my left my heart in San Francisco over 15 years ago, Byron Bay has without a doubt stolen it forever. I love this shire!
2 What has motivated you to stand?
The Byron shire has a problem… there are not enough long-term goals put in place that coincide with what the people of the shire see as their future in the Byron Shire. Council is disconnected from the community and the voices of our residents need to be heard, understood and acted upon. I know with the solid group we have established we can connect council to the community and the community with council, offering a true representation of the people who live here thereby bringing about a shire that we can all be proud of being a part of.
3 What is your vision for the shire/LGA?
Where the rest of world can look upon us as a shining example of what can be achieved by a community that has a common vision. Where that same vision can be realised every single day by anyone who comes into our shire. Where money is not the deciding factor but the community is. Where the community can be empowered once again to do it their way and move forward.
4 In your opinion, how can council best balance the need for further residential development with the need to preserve the local environment?
By utilising a logical local environment plan and supporting sustainable technologies we can build better homes in areas that make ecological sense. It’s been done elsewhere in the world; why can’t we do it here? The shire is a unique place and to look upon it as any other coastal town and follow the same patterns is a mistake. We are different but we’re using the same model as we do elsewhere in Australia.
5 What particular issues do you feel strongly about?
Food – being able to feed the shire from the shire.
CSG – being able to stop coal-seam gas mining throughout the northern rivers to protect our food.
Arts and music – true support of our arts and music, the celebrating heart of the community
Affordability – being able to offer our children an affordable future here in the shire
Sustainability – all of us need to take on the responsibility of being self-sustainable
Allow the community to have a say – let them play an active role in a shared common vision