Master Mariner and community activist Bill Fenelon was announced this morning as the new candidate for the Tweed Greens.
Fenelon says having sailed across the globe he has seen it all and Tweed is the best place to be. ‘I’ve travelled around the world and have seen some amazing places, unique attractions and stunning natural landscapes but nothing beats the Tweed Valley.’
A long-time local and highly respected community activist, Bill says he is dedicated to serving and enriching the local communities of the Tweed.
Working as a Foreign Going Ship Master, Bill has seen the sharp edge of the business world. He says he knows the importance of jobs and a strong healthy economy, but says it must be sustainable, not just cheap exploitation of the environment. ‘As well as jobs and tourism, I stand for a strong education system, and will fight for affordable housing,’ he said in a press rase sent out this morning.
Fenelon settled permanently in the Tweed in 2009, and has been a passionate campaigner on local issues ever since. ‘I decided to “swallow the anchor”, and get involved in community issues.’
Describing himself as a vocal activist and environmentalist, Fenelon supports the re-location of the planned Tweed Hospital in a bid to protect prime agricultural land and preserve the village atmosphere of Kingscliff and the Tweed Coast. He is also leading the campaign to save the Tweed’s railway, advocating a retention of rail lines, reinstatement of rail services including linking it to the Gold Coast, along with the creation of rail-trail cycleways.
In recent times, Bill re-introduced sailing as a sport on the Tweed River by starting a not-for-profit sailing club to mentor youth. He is the Club Commodore and has developed a programme to enable those with disabilities to partake in sailing activities. ’I am committed to engaging with the community to bring their concerns to the NSW Parliament,’ he says. ‘Time and again our community campaigns have clashed with a bureaucracy determined to promote profit for the benefit of a few against the overwhelming wishes of the community.
‘For example, exploitation of ground water, rampant logging of native vegetation, ripping up our rail tracks, and inappropriate developments such as the Cudgen hospital site.’
Bill says he represents the voice of the community, and his candidacy seeks to end greed, profiteering and the destruction of our unique, pristine environment. ‘We need someone who will stand up for all the right reasons. The Tweed is the best place in the world, and I’m dedicated to ensuring it stays that way!’