With the local council elections on the horizon, political candidates are making their moves in and out of the running and another Green is stepping down.
Tweed Councillor Katie Milne will step down from Council and retired disability learning specialist Dr Nola Firth will take the role as the lead candidate for the Greens.
After 13 years on Council with five of those as Mayor, Cr Milne has announced she will step down at the end of the term in September to care for her elderly mother.
Full trust and endorsement
Katie has endorsed Nola as a highly impressive candidate. Nola has my full trust and endorsement. She is kind, smart and calm, a fantastic listener and eminently sensible.
‘I have no doubt she will do her utmost for our community and our precious environment.’
Nola moved to the Tweed five years ago after a distinguished career.
Though retired she remains an Honorary Research Fellow at The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and The University of Melbourne, and a Churchill Fellow.
Originally a secondary school teacher, she ran a special education consultancy business and was President of Learning Difficulties Australia. Her work is published internationally and a national dyslexia award carries her name. She is currently an active member of the Caldera Environment Centre and founder and coordinator of Hospital Hill Landcare in Murwillumbah.
She is also an award-winning poet and recently launched her second poetry book titled Counting on Murwillumbah.
Dr Firth says she’s truly honoured and privileged to be taking over from Cr Milne. ‘Katie always stood up for the community and had a deep love and understanding of our absolute dependence on a healthy environment.’
During her impressive 13-year tenure Cr Milne proposed over 400 initiatives including declaring a Climate Emergency and setting targets of zero carbon by 2030 and zero waste, steering the work of Council in a more sustainable direction.
She also instigated Council’s economic development strategy, a sustainability review of water security and supply strategies, and stopped new water mining activities.
‘I was finally able to make some positive changes when we achieved a majority of progressive councillors in 2016,’ said Cr Milne. ‘Without progressive councillors, we simply won’t be able to protect this precious place or defend the community against over-development.’
Nola has vowed to carry on and strengthen Katie’s legacy. ‘I’m so proud to be following in her wide, deep and effectively green footsteps,’ said Dr Firth. ‘We have the exciting opportunity and imperative to transform the challenges of climate change into economic and social benefit for all.
‘We can create many new jobs by supporting industries such as renewable energy and recycling, greening urban areas, regenerating rural lands and restoring bushland and waterways. Improving foot and bicycle paths, and advocating for better public transport and affordable housing will also be part of my vision.’
Cr Milne expressed her deep gratitude to the community. ‘I am so grateful to the many people over the years who have helped keep this incredible place so special for us all, and for the amazing support given to me. This is a truly wonderful place and a wonderful community.’
Council elections will be held on Saturday 4 September 2021.