Looking to lead council in the future

Cobar Shire residents will go to the polls on September 10 to elect a new council of 12 members after 15 local residents nominated as candidates for this year’s Local Government elections.

Nine of the current councillors have put their names forward for re-election along with six others looking to be elected to serve as councillors for the next four years.

Cr Peter Abbott—Current deputy mayor, Cr Abbott said he wants to continue to fight the threat being posed by State Government to Local Government, particularly the eight far western councils. “It is the greatest threat this council has ever faced. I believe I can offer plenty of ammunition in this and other local government issues.”

Cr Abbott said if re-elected he can offer sensible quality answers on issues as they arise and it’s his intention to continue to represent the ratepayers’ interests while maintaining council’s current financial status.

Cr Lilliane Brady—Current mayor, said she has fought hard to have the Kidman Way widened to the Shire boundary and the Wool Track commenced and would like to see these projects carried through, along with the piping of the Albert Priest Pipeline.

Cr Tracey Kings—said it’s taken her the best part of eight years to properly understand Local Government process.

“In 2016/2017 we are sure to see major changes for the Western Division as a whole and I believe that the experience of existing councillors combined with enthusiasm of new councillors will be a good mix.”

She wants to continue to assist in gaining increased funding for the shire, improving community assets and to make the shire, our villages and Cobar a place that people live as a place of choice.

Cr Greg Martin—said there’s some unfinished jobs and projects that council’s been working on that he’d like to see through.

“I’m very much looking forward to working with council’s new general manager Peter Vlatko who has some very good ideas.”

Cr Jarrod Marsden—said he has a “real drive to make Cobar a better place”. He hopes that by listening to the ratepayers and through responsible financial management, he can help lead Cobar to a successful future.

“The current council have worked hard to bring the finances back into order and now we have a real opportunity to make a positive difference.”

Cr Peter Maxwell—said he nominated last term owing to the “parlous” state of council’s finances which had seen the shire’s roads and streets maintenance program abandoned for 10 months. He said he’s proud that council had turned its finances around and now holds balanced budgets as a high priority.

“There is also a promise implicit in achieving a special rate variation that there will be no reduction in services. I do think a greater emphasis should be placed in drawing on the ingenuity and experience of all council staff in regard to their allotted task.”

Cr Bob Sinclair—is keen to see continued fiscal responsibility in council and make sure things are running okay financially.

Cr Sinclair said he will continue to ensure councillors are presented with documentation that they can understand, that council’s limited budget for rural roads is spent effectively, and services in the town are continually improved.

Cr Harley Toomey—said he likes to think what’s good for Cobar is good for him.

“While some people say I don’t say much at council meetings, I consider myself to be a pretty good listener and I make my own mind up.” Cr Toomey said he’s keen to see Cobar Shire not be amalgamated.

“It would be hard for us to amalgamate with the vast distances out here. I’d like to see us remain as is. We need to see it through.”

Cr Peter Yench—said as a councillor he wants to help promote jobs growth and better facilities for the people of Cobar.

“The population decline in Cobar has got to stop. We need more industry and jobs, the medical centre needs expanding and there is a whole lot of social issues affecting our town.”

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Peter Florance

“I have a deep set belief in the democratic process and participating in it,” Mr Florance said.

“My aim with serving on council would be to be fair and equitable and be accessible to people.

“I don’t have an agenda—having agendas doesn’t work in the democratic process.

“If elected I’ll be open to all possibilities and any ideas.”

Kerry Kings

said he believes it’s about time there’s some “new blood” on council.

He said he now has some time on his hands which could be put to good use serving as a councillor.

“I drive a truck around the shire a lot and see what’s going on and talk to a lot of people.

“I’d like to see Cobar progress and in particular to try and attract another major industry to Cobar.”

Janine Lea-Barrett

“I have an avid interest in the community, a wish to contribute and aspire to being a robust representative of the community and businesses in the region.

“I will utilise my diverse background in engineering, mining, agribusiness and strategic planning to comprehend, analyse and influence on all issues, be a strong, principled and considered voice for the community and ensure all avenues and benefits are perused with gusto for the betterment of the Cobar Region.

Christopher Lehmann

said being an active member of the Cobar Business Association has helped to cement the importance of sustainable business in our community and is something that prompted him to stand for council.

“We as a community need to work together to see success and growth.

“My fiancée and I own and operate a large pastoral aggregation north of Cobar.

“We are invested in the prosperity of this region which is why I would like to give something back to the community by committing my time and knowledge to the council.

“I am passionate about projects which promote diversity and ensuring those projects are well thought out, well managed, and sustainable.

“I am the type of person who believes solutions are the best answer to any problem, not excuses. I will bring this to council meetings.

“As a young, enthusiastic and committed member of this community I believe I can bring a young and fresh approach to the already dedicated team of councillors.

Julie Payne

said as Cobar has always been her home that she has a vested interest in it.

“I have an interest in the welfare of the people, I have an interest in the welfare of the town.

“To me, council is a natural progression.

“With an informed and detailed understanding of council topics and also business, if elected I will be able to exercise good judgement and decision making in an open and transparent manner for the benefit of the Cobar community.”

Brooke Seaman

said she was prompted to nominate for council as she felt that Cobar Shire Council would benefit from the influence of a young woman.

“Diversity across the council is important.

“Most comments I hear about Cobar are in regard to what is bad about the town.

“It is my aim to create an attitude of appreciation and respect for our community.

“I hope to create more effective transport routes and better education as well as cross generational learning.”