1. Candidate details
Name: Cr Sharon Lesley Cadwallader
Council: Ballina Shire Council
Number of years in shire/LGA: 14 years
Current councillor? Yes If yes, how many years: 8 years
Clubs/sports/interests: Civil celebrant and my interest is my family and community
Are you a member of a political party or an organised ‘ticket’? Yes I am a member of the National Party. And no I am not part of an organised ticket. I am standing as an independent because I do not believe in party politics in LG.
Brief description: Professional consultative and caring communicator, with strong management and leadership skills. Strongly committed to responsible shire progress using real values to guide consistent judgment by listening and learning from our community.
2. What has motivated you to stand?
Involvement in the betterment of the community is a major role in my life. After an 8-year term I remain even more committed and passionate to improve and upgrade the Ballina shire. My length of tenure and my approach of listening to the community have endowed me with experience and knowledge to enable me to anticipate core needs and to put these into action. I am a doer and achieving progress for the community is a gigantic reward and celebration in my life. I would like to involve myself in the improvement of the council image and I am committed to redeveloping the council culture towards a more inclusive and engaging style. After all, I have a vested interest, as I have four generations living in Ballina Shire.
3. What is your vision for the shire/LGA?
I believe the shire should encapsulate the following qualities:
• transparent and inclusive governance that engages with and listens to the community
• a governance image of equitable and rational judgment and decision making and a process of communication and feedback to the community
• a needs-driven and integrated infrastructural program that is fully funded and equitably appropriated
• a largely integrated community united by common needs and respected core goals
• a community that has as its heart a powerful social conscience
• a community entrusted to the custodianship of our natural environment and ecological richness
• a shire that offers equal opportunities for all strata of society where resources of housing and employment can be offered both from public programs and private enterprise
• a shire that values ‘the beautiful’ in the arts and encourages heritage and local and Indigenous culture
• a shire that is attractive to new residents and tourists alike as a result of its unique culture, its intrinsic natural beauty and its supportive culture and equality
• a shire that supports responsible business development, is job-creative centred and encourages programs that incentivise small business.
4 In your opinion, how can council best balance the need for further residential development with the need to preserve the local environment?
• Residential development should be controlled by a community-agreed plan that conforms with all stipulations of the LEP and state government development legislation.
• Residential development should be undertaken within this planned approach in concert with focused local and state environmental protection legislation and standards and with clear community consultation.
• Residential development should be considered within the context of serving the needs of the community through mixed housing development so that all sectors of the community are served and that affordable housing and suitable infrastructure that do not impinge on the sustainability of the natural environment are achieved.
• Residential development should only occur within the confines of a clearly defined coastal policy and current positioning of the policy should be further researched with a view to strengthening the shire’s coastal land protection policy and flood-mitigation processes.
• A register of sensitive ecological areas should be established and enumerated in the LEP so that these fragile areas are categorised and excluded from residential development demands.
5 What particular issues do you feel strongly about?
• Our local economy requires urgent revitalisation so that we are able to generate more jobs and create a sustainable environment for small-business development. I call this our economic imperative. Thus I support the following initiatives:
• Ballina town centre improvement initiatives with its main street upgrade
• the Wigmore Arcade redevelopment
• the foundation of an indoor sports centre to accommodate netball, basketball, futsal and other sports on a four-court format
• the Ballina and Lennox Head Surf Club renewals
• the improvement and enhancement of the new Woolworths in River Street
• a plan to improve the Lennox Head village centre and main street upgrade
• a closer focus on the sensitive upgrading of the facilities in our picturesque villages while maintaining their unique characteristics and heritage
• the adoption of a responsible, mature and practical approach to achieving sustainable environmental outcomes in our shire by:
• focusing on protection of our magnificent coastline and foreshores
• attending to development of upgraded floodplain management processes so that development is prevented from vulnerable areas
• preserving and protecting the wonderful environmental assets of Shaws Bay and Lake Ainsworth
• ensuring controlled and rigorous residential development controls and mechanisms; this is my environmental and ecological driver
• the motivation and introduction of a program of social responsibility so that council is actively involved in formally developing social wellbeing programs for the needy and disadvantaged sections of the community by addressing the following:
• programs for assisting the elderly toward more healthy leisure opportunities and to equip the mature-age group with technological coping skills; I believe in education for life
• improving and redeveloping upgraded facilities for the homeless and increasing the stock of affordable housing
• engaging our youth in wholesome and constructive activities
• ensuring equality and fairness of program delivery to all sections of the community; this is the essence of my social conscience belief
• raising the positive profile of our council local governance process by:
• adopting a substantially more open-door and inclusive approach to our business affairs
• helping to create a council culture of meaningful engagement, consultation and participation with our community and so creating a greater sense of ‘teamness’ between council and community.
This is my principle of cultural integrity and my drive for council and community congruence.