1 Candidate details
Name: Simon Clough
Council: Lismore City
Number of years in shire/LGA: 30
Current councillor? Yes If yes, how many years?: 4
Clubs/sports/interests: Keen cyclist, vice-president of and volunteer at Lismore Community Garden and I love ‘messing about in boats’ on the Wilson River.
Are you a member of a political party or an organised ‘ticket’? Yes
If yes, which party or who else is on your ticket?: Our Sustainable Future, a local government micro party independent of any major parties.
Brief description: I’m a family man with a wife and daughter. I have a long history of involvement with this community and taught at TAFE and Southern Cross University for over 20 years. Currently, I share a CBD business and work for Legal Aid as a mediator.
2. What has motivated you to stand?
I’m deeply committed to this community and our land. I believe we need to take a strong stand against coal-seam gas mining because it threatens our water, food security, health, rural landscapes, existing industries and economy. I want to see a new balance struck between the economy and the environment. I would like to encourage a dynamic and diverse economy that also protects and expands our extraordinary natural heritage. With my communication and mediation skills I want to contribute to an effective council that values collaboration.
3 What is your vision for the shire/LGA?
Lismore LGA has a unique contribution to make to developing a model of sustainability for the nation. Our community has all the resources of farmland, skilled farmers, abundant water and wonderful climate to produce a variety of excellent foodstuffs. We also have a highly skilled and committed group of educators and practitioners who can teach all the aspects of sustainability. Together we have an opportunity to show how to balance the needs of this generation with those of future generations in a way that is fair to all and that is the essence of sustainability.
4 In your opinion, how can council best balance the need for further residential development with the need to preserve the local environment?
Council must increase the density of housing and population around the centre of Lismore including ‘shop top’ housing. This allows maximum use of existing roads, sewerage etc. It also creates the best opportunity for an effective public transport system around town. Council currently has plans that will provide housing for many thousands of people and that will have minimal impact on the local environment. We are also ensuring affordable housing by having a small minimum lot size and ideally requiring a percentage of affordable housing from the developer. The other aspect of this is ensuring that housing has minimal environmental impact by the use of low-carbon, environmentally friendly materials, use of renewable energy, water tanks and smart metering for electricity and water.
5 What particular issues do you feel strongly about?
Preventing the destruction of our region by largely foreign-owned corporations seeking to destroy our future by exploiting CSG and exporting the gas to India, Japan, Taiwan and China is something I feel strongly about. Ensuring the protection and enhancement of our superb natural environment while creating an economy that supports our community is a passion for me. I would also like to develop more renewable energy options to combat climate change, extreme weather events and foster a more independent community. Creating a community that accepts divergent views and diverse lifestyles in a harmonious way is an issue I feel strongly about.