1 Candidate details
Council: Byron Shire
Town/city: Byron Bay
Number of years in shire/LGA: 13 years
Current councillor? No
Clubs/sports/interests: surfing, guitar, parenting, technology, a good story, family and friends.
Are you a member of a political party or an organised ‘ticket’? Yes, Community Independents
Learnt to drive in a Byron paddock 30 years ago. Living in Brunswick within a blended family, working to support loved ones. Can cook two-minute noodles in under a minute.
2 What has motivated you to stand?
I know politics can be ugly. I also believe that it’s important to be actively involved in community life. Someone famous once said that politics was far too important a matter to leave to politicians.
I really like the approach that the Community Independents are adopting to address local issues. Actively involving the community in decision making and being open to new ideas. Community values, cultural activities, environmental sensitivity and promoting our local economy are all values that I believe are fundamentally important in supporting a strong, connected and sustainable community, where I want to live and bring up my kids.
3 What is your vision for the shire/LGA?
Byron Shire should remain an autonomous community that is able to determine its own unique direction and future. I think it’s important that Byron Shire is able to manage its finances, resources and environment independently and responsibly. Avoiding costly litigation through better communication and negotiation. I’d like to see a council that is representative of the whole shire and not just Byron-centric. That council adopts an inclusive approach to decision making that benefits from our differences and diversity of opinion.
4 In your opinion, how can council best balance the need for further residential development with the need to preserve the local environment?
What sort of development do we want in the Byron Shire? Do we want the bland urban sprawl of the Gold Coast and Tweed spreading to our shores? Manicured lawns and barking dogs? Do we all need the iconic wasteland that is the Aussie front lawn? Do we let developers build new versions of ‘suburbia disturbia’? Or can we do better than that?
I believe in environmental limits. The region in which we live has a finite amount of resources. To ignore this fact would be to our own detriment as well as ecologically irresponsible. To make sound decisions we need to have good information.
I think that science should be used to inform land-based decision making and feature prominently in outcomes that effect the environment in which we live. Cultural and community values also need to be weighted highly. We need to ensure that our communities are rich, safe and healthy places to live.
5 What particular issues do you feel strongly about?
A. Balancing the books. We need to be fiscally responsible before we can prosper as a community. Residents can’t continue to finance resources utilised by visitors to our shire. Avoiding costly litigation through better communication and negotiation.
B. Making Byron’s streets safe.
C. Inclusive decision making. All of us are always smarter than any of us.
D. Ensuring that the biodiversity of the region is viable in the long term.
E. Local economy and industries, eg ‘slow food’ initiatives that improve our quality of life, food security and reduce our ecological footprint.
F. Byron to be a plastic-bag-free shire through the implementation of local by-laws.