Paul Richard Arrowsmith
Council: Byron Council
Number of years in Shire: I have lived in the north of the shire for 9 years.
Current Councillor: No
Clubs/sports/interests: I do not belong to any sporting clubs. I am president of the Middle Pocket and Yelgun Progress Assoc and Landcare Group.
Are you a member of a political party or an organised ‘ticket’? Yes. I am a member of Our Sustainable Future. Others on the ticket: Basil Cameron, Tony Hart, Mandy Hallinan.
Brief Description: I live on a 20-acre farm in Yelgun Valley, in the north of Byron Shire, with my partner of 23 years. I am a self-employed company director.
2 What has motivated you to stand?
I am motivated to stand for council in support of Basil Cameron as mayoral candidate and to give the north of the shire a voice.
I have been involved with many groups in an effort to maintain and improve the amenity of this unique area. Many decisions are made at a local- and state-government level that do not serve our community appropriately, or protect its environment and ecology. I would like to change the perception that our shire is open to plunder by self-serving entities that do not have the shire’s best interests at heart.
Byron Shire attracts millions of tourists a year; this industry must be in balance with community wishes to nurture sustainable growth and employment for all residents, young and old. Core services, such as public transport and road maintenance, must be improved for our area to thrive and survive, especially in light of the rapid increase in tourism and large-scale festival proliferation.
Ours is a vibrant community of farmers, residents, businesses, clubs, pubs, retailers and restaurants that encourage and sustain our area.
Each needs a voice and the help that a good balanced sustainable-minded council can offer.
Our shire is divided on the rapid pace of state-sponsored development that does not necessarily reflect our unique position. I am not anti-development. I would like to work with council staff to address the disconnection with the community at large. Byron Shire Coucil has been much maligned for many decisions forced on it by bureaucratic red tape. I will work to inform and include all groups and individuals in the shire to bring an understanding of the ways our council can deliver appropriate and cost-effective services and decision making.
3 What is your vision for the shire/LGA?
My vision for Byron Shire is to maintain our identity that is Byron Shire. Through council involvement, I will work with the NSW state government to uphold its promise to bring planning back to the people who live and work here. Community involvement is the key. In these times of the imposition of the rampant desires of some, to encourage unsustainable levels of growth, our community must become involved to reflect its needs.
4 In your opinion, how can council best balance the need for further residential development with the need to preserve the local environment?
There are ways that residential development can and must suit our needs for more affordable housing and infrastructure to service our naturally growing population. Ours is a very popular place to live and visit, through its natural beauty and unique ecological environment.
Preservation of the natural estate is paramount to a healthy and vital lifestyle for residents and businesses to thrive. Our Sustainable Future is a local-government party with a long-term outlook to support our community through direct access and responsible management of funds and assets, including our valuable natural assets.
5 What particular issues do you feel strongly about?
I am passionate about the place I have chosen to live: Byron Shire. I want to involve my community in decision making so that there are no surprises when it comes to planning and infrastructure issues. I want to reject the knee-jerk approach to the way we plan our future and replace it with informed and intelligent stewardship through humanity, accountability, equity and understanding. I will work collaboratively with council staff to reflect this position, to better represent my community and our needs.