1. Candidate details
Name: Kiri Dicker
Council: Ballina Shire
Town/city: Lennox Head
Number of years in shire/LGA: 24
Current councillor? No
Clubs/sports/interests: vice-president of Byron Bay Youth House
Are you a member of a political party or an organised ‘ticket’? No
Brief description: I am a community development worker who is committed to creative and innovative ways of building thriving and resilient communities. I love the active beachside lifestyle that living in Ballina Shire offers! [32 words]
2 What has motivated you to stand?
As a young woman, I was initially motivated by a desire to see more diversity (particularly women and young people) in my local council. I strongly believe that for a council to accurately reflect the wishes of the community, its decision-makers must reflect the diversity of its population. I think my professional background in community development makes me an ideal candidate for council because I am consultative, strategic, analytical and passionate about my community.
3 What is your vision for the shire/LGA?
We are privileged to live in such a beautiful part of the world and I believe that the residents of Ballina Shire are largely satisfied with the job that Council does. Future challenges will include ensuring that we protect our fragile environment and preserve the village way of life that we have come to love – while ensuring adequate infrastructure and economic opportunities to cater for a growing population. My vision for the Ballina Shire is a sustainable one that effectively balances the economic, social and environmental needs of the community.
4. In your opinion, how can council best balance the need for further residential development with the need to preserve the local environment?
Since 2000, the Ballina Urban Land Release Strategy has resulted in significant growth and development of our small community. Residential development should take place only when there is evidence of sufficient demand. I believe that this strategy has resulted in enough new development to cater for future growth and there is no need immediate need for further large-scale housing development in the Ballina shire. The Ballina Urban Land Release Strategy is due to be replaced with a new Growth Management Strategy, which sets out a plan to manage this growth in the most sustainable way. This must be closely monitored and implemented by Council.
Despite recent residential development, Ballina remains in dire shortage of affordable housing – both for owners and renters. Housing affordability is an ongoing issue for coastal communities and cannot be resolved by simply building more housing. Ballina Shire needs to work with state and federal governments to ensure that residents have access to affordable housing.
5 What particular issues do you feel strongly about?
Right now I believe that there are a lot of urgent issues in Lennox Head that have been delayed by an indecisive council. Of particular importance to me is the deteriorating water quality in Lake Ainsworth, the renovation of the Lennox Head Surf Club, the relocation of the Lennox Head Markets and the completion of the Lennox–Ballina cycleway.
I support the maintenance and development of open spaces to ensure that people can enjoy an active, outdoor lifestyle. I was strongly opposed to the sale of the land on the corner of Ross Street as it is one of the last remaining Council-owned blocks of land in the Lake Ainsworth precinct. I believe that Council needs to be more strategic in anticipating how our open spaces will cope with future growth in the area.
I am cautious of future large-scale development in our area and I believe that plans to develop the Cumbalum Village area need to be monitored carefully to ensure that there is no further development without sufficient demand.
Finally I support any initiatives that promote community cohesion – including supporting local markets, cultural, arts and music events.