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Byron Shire
August 4, 2021

Tony Gilding – Ballina Candidate

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1 Candidate details

Name: Tony Gilding

Council: Ballina

Town/city: Newrybar

Number of years in shire/LGA: 7

Current councillor? No

Clubs/sports/interests: Board member Rainforest Rescue and Ballina Regional College, president Borneo Orangutan Survival.

Are you a member of a political party or an organised ‘ticket’? Yes

If yes, which party or who else is on your ticket?: The Greens

Brief description: Tony has owned the Macadamia Castle since 2007. Tony has a deep interest in local government and has a special interest in job creation, small business and green growth.

2 What has motivated you to stand?

A desire to see the focus of council shifted to decisions which our grandkids will thank us for. I want to see vision in green job creation, better management of our river systems and more realistic consultation with the community.

3 What is your vision for the shire/LGA?

A shire where our kids can find well-paying clean green jobs. As our population ages it is vital that we develop a local economy that is vibrant and does not rely on outside help from Sydney and Canberra to survive.

4 In your opinion, how can council best balance the need for further residential development with the need to preserve the local environment?

While we may not agree with population growth it is inevitable. We need to manage the nature of the growth to ensure that we are not leaving legacies for the next generation to fix. We must insist on consideration for sea-level rise, severe weather events and energy efficiency while keeping housing affordable. It’s a big challenge that requires innovative thinking and not just more costly regulation.

5 What particular issues do you feel strongly about?

Ballina stands to suffer greatly from the expansion of coal-seam gas up the Richmond River. Already waste water is being released into the river. Water is our most precious commodity and we in the northern rivers are in the fortunate position of being one of the lucky spots in the world to have a plentiful supply. We need to stand up and declare that we will not let our great water asset be destroyed for the benefit of short-term gas exports.

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