Name: Greg Bennett
Council: Lismore City
Number of years in shire/LGA: 18
Current councillor? No
Clubs/sports/interests: tennis, motorcycles, rock’n’roll dancing, chess, organic farming, share trading, president of the Ratepayers Association of Lismore Incorporated
Brief description: I am a self-employed certified organic farmer and business owner who has formal qualifications in commerce, business, agriculture and investigation. I am married with a young daughter.
2 What has motivated you to stand?
As president of the ratepayers association I became aware of injustices being perpetrated on ratepayers and I wanted to do something about it.
For example: Farmland being rezoned to environmental without the landowner’s permission or compensation. The right to construct a shed on your own property removed. Biodiversity overlays and riparian zones applied.
Not only did council fail to inform landowners of these changes but it actually tried to hide the truth from them. ‘Staff informs councillors that they did not notify everyone as they did not want to unduly raise concerns in the community.’
3 What is your vision for the shire/LGA?
To create a financially responsible council that concentrates on its core services and respects the rights of its ratepayers.
4 In your opinion, how can council best balance the need for further residential development with the need to preserve the local environment?
I support appropriate development and landowners’ rights. Council needs a constructive approach and to work with landowners to improve the environment.
5 What particular issues do you feel strongly about?
• honesty, decency and integrity in government
• respecting the rights of all ratepayers
• sound financial management
• refocusing council to its core services