The Byron Shire Council’s only conservative member has announced his running team for September’s local government elections.
Independent Cr Alan Hunter has served twice on the council and says he’s assembled a group of locals to join his campaign with a healthy mix of experience, passion and most of all common sense.
Serving on the council for the past nine years had allowed him to ‘get a lot done,’ Mr Hunter said via a media release, but added that as the only conservative, it was a ‘constant battle against misguided ideology’.
“I would like to get a lot more done this term if elected, but we now need to refocus on community priorities in these very uncertain times and not on outside politics,” Mr Hunter said.
Mr Hunter said Sue Stirton had joined his campaign, alongside Coopers Shoot resident Bruno Filippello and Byron Bay local Rhett Holt.
Ms Stirton reportedly has a family and business in Park Street, Brunswick Heads; while Mr Hunter said Mr Filippello brought ‘invaluable experience through his many years in the corporate world and the management of teams with a focus on strategy, innovation and people’.
Mr Holt, meanwhile, runs a bed and breakfast business with his partner and works in sustainability technology.
Conservative cr calls return of trains to region ‘whimsical passion’
Mr Hunter said financial management was a key issue for the council, a need made ‘all the more immediate with the current uncertainty and COVID restrictions’.
‘We simply can’t ignore our finances as we have in the past,’ Mr Hunter said, referring to ‘whimsical passions’ such as a train.
‘Council have spent almost $400,000, to find now we are now no closer to reinstating a train, much less getting a rail trail with a walking/cycle track that would provide a perfect opportunity for tourism and add to local amenities,’ Mr Hunter said.
‘Against my strong objection, Council also took on a number of court challenges, despite the advice from three legal sources against them, and lost, incurring not only our own costs, but those of the court and the defendant,’ he said.
‘If elected, my team will concentrate on improving council services and community satisfaction, housing shortages, traffic management through making our roads work better, improving drainage and flood management strategies and building a pedestrian/cycleway along the rail corridor.’
Mr Hunter also said there was a ‘real need’ for change and removing ‘block voting on key issues’.
‘We need the support of people who want a sensible approach to our shire, not one that sees us continually sliding backwards,’ he said.