Council: Byron Shire
Town/city: Suffolk Park
Number of years in shire/LGA: 11
Current councillor? no
Clubs/sports/interests:Suffolk Park Progress Association, Northern Rivers Community Foundation, BayFM, NR Writers’ Centre,,TOOT, Keen cyclist ,Occasional salsa dancer
Are you a member of a political party or an organised ‘ticket’? Yes – Karin Kolbe’s ticket
If yes, which party or who else is on your ticket?:
Phil Preston, Syd Geary, Bill Mackay
Brief description: Campaigner for local communities that stand up for their values. I work in the fields of book publishing and information technology and believe the future has a place for both.
2 What has motivated you to stand?
I want to see a council that can respond to the needs of today and earns respect by creating the infrastructure and services the shire’s needs.
Work to strengthen our sense of community and protect the development model that has made Byron the envy of the Australian coast.
3 What is your vision for the shire/LGA?
A diversity of people, business and culture based on respect and tolerance and consultation.
A mix of businesses – tourism, agriculture and creative activities like filmmaking and writing
A mix of ages – young and old
A mix of cultures – Aboriginal and a diversity of nationalities and cultures inclusive of the many young people for whom Byron is a ‘pilgrimage’
A mix of clothes and styles – from rainbow bikinis to suits, with lots of casual in between
4 In your opinion, how can council best balance the need for further residential development with the need to preserve the local environment?
We need to listen to our residents and respect their views. In that context I would support building within existing urban footprint with ‘granny flats’ and smaller houses that cater for shrinking household size. Smaller dwellings are more environmentally friendly. Prime agricultural land and high-quality environmental land should be excluded from contemporary consideration as a development option.
5 What particular issues do you feel strongly about?
1. Ensure proper maintenance of infrastructure like roads – badly maintained infrastructure erodes community spirit, can be dangerous and creates a ‘don’t care’ attitude.
2. Promote a diverse economy across agriculture, tourism and the creative industries for the greatest resilience. Use localisation to maximise community benefit.
3. Improve transport options so people can access jobs, training, healthcare, sport and social activities and reduce congestion and car-parking problems. Youth services, bike paths, a commuter train and more buses.