Name: Stephanie McKittrick
Council: Tweed Shire
Town/city: Banora Point
Number of years in shire/LGA: 11
Current councillor? No
Clubs/sports/interests: Rotary, Lioness Club, swimming, art, music, family and friends and anything humanitarian focused.
Are you a member of a political party or an organised ‘ticket’?
Independent in Gary Bagnall Group
Brief description: A strong community-minded mother of two adult children 21 and 25 and wife of local police officer. I currently work in the aged and disability sector as a volunteer coordinator and in social and restorative justice.
2 What has motivated you to stand?
I believe that there is a need for the average community-minded person to have a voice. I believe I can help reach the people in our community and support them to be heard. We live in a democracy that at times is yet to represent the needs of the wider community in its most vulnerable state. My commitment is to see the Tweed shire leaders consult, include and move forward taking a more holistic view and approach of securing our future!
3 What is your vision for the shire/LGA?
I look forward to a more harmonious and consultative approach to governance. A council that thinks before it acts, consults, plans and explores the causes and effects of decisions, decisions that make our future. A council that is supportive of each other and works as a team to represent its community and doesn’t tire of the enthusiasm that keeps us real, involved and happy in our lives and in our community.
4 In your opinion, how can council best balance the need for future residential development with the need to preserve the local environment?
I reiterate consultation, better planning and looking at long-term impacts of decisions that are made. We are a vast and varied community of people and our needs are individual. It is a balancing act and the people of our community need to be the first port of call when asking what council can do to best balance the ever-growing demands on our environment its future development and need to protect its raw beauty. This is a complex and extremely important position held by the council. When I ask this question of the people in our community, for the most part we all want the same thing: it’s more about how we make this balance happen. A need for a respectful solution-based forum, less negative argument and fewer promises that can’t be kept. I feel in order for this to happen we need a strong sense of culture and respect for future development while still meeting the needs of our growing community without further negative impact on natural beauty. A respectful infrastructure where the two meet in harmony.
5 What particular issues do you feel strongly about?
I feel strongly about being heard, about council listening and taking note of the community’s voice. I want to be able to say to my grandchildren that we have protected Tweed’s diversity and beauty in its most natural state, and also brought better infrastructure to support and retain business and employment. I feel that volunteers are a valuable and integral part of our community and can and should be utilised to their full potential, and those who already volunteer their time be rewarded and recognised
I want the Tweed Shire – my home and my family and friends’ home – to be attractive to visitors and eco-friendly, to support its elderly population and nurture young families who will be the future of our community. I would like to see the shire grow in its uniqueness and fulfil its demands without losing what truly makes us distinct, individual and exceptional, a place I am proud to call home!
There are a number of really important issues I feel strongly about that have very high impact, but firstly we need to lay it all out on the table, prioritise and consolidate and work together to form a strong strategic plan for the future. There are no shortcuts, no quick fixes. Forward planning and cause and effect are keys to current issues.