Candidates clash heads at Korumburra


Candidates clash heads at Korumburra

A CALL for change was the resounding message from the majority of the 10 South Gippsland Shire Council Strzelecki Ward candidates at a public forum in Korumburra last week.

While current councillors felt they had made some genuine achievements during their four year term, candidate David Amor said it was time for ‘a spring cleanout’ come the October 22 election.

“To find direction, we need to go in with a clean slate,” he said.

Dubbing himself the ‘candidate for change’, fellow candidate Viv Pepper said council must stop seeing its ratepayers as just residents and start seeing them as customers.

“You must vote for change if you are dissatisfied or if you have genuine concerns about the current council,” he said.

“Let’s do better and achieve better business outcomes.”
One such issue Mr Pepper had in mind was to fast track the Korumburra town plan to ensure it does not become a ghost town.

As the only Generation Y candidate, Aaron Brown said he could stir change by delivering fresh ideas and different outcomes.

“We need people who will work harmoniously. We need to build on community engagement. South Gippsland is in quite a good state financially and it won’t take a lot to get back on track but we need the right people,” he said.

Candidate Frank Hirst backed up the need for the community to choose wisely during the election.

“I have been to a few meetings and I have not been impressed with what I have seen. When it comes to anything controversial, a group of councillors stick to the status quo,” he said.

“Unfortunately, when you ask people about their connection with council, you often get a negative response.”

South Gippsland farmer David Wanless said the community had had enough of council’s antics for the past four years, and believed the record number of standing candidates backed up his argument.

“The dissatisfaction rating in this shire is real. There is a lack of leadership and there needs to be a shift,” he said.

“This is a great place to live and we need to make it better. Our representatives have not fought for us. Strzelecki Ward has seen less than $1 million in capital works and we need an agricultural advisory board to keep the region working well.”

Current mayor Cr Bob Newton and councillors Andrew McEwen and Lorraine Brunt shared a different view, believing the council had operated well over its four year term, and positive energy would return positive outcomes.

“I don’t wish to change much and I don’t wish to make promises that I can’t deliver. I have seen potential candidates say they will turn everything upside down. You are one in a council of nine – it’s not that easy,” Cr Newton said.

“This council is free of debt, which is not a bad achievement. I have pride in the Karmai Children’s Centre and the sewerage schemes. Capital works have not gone to just one town – it has serviced the whole shire.”

However, candidate Ian Nicholas said change was the most important theme coming out the session, and needed to be considered by the community.

“We really need to change to culture of this council, which has border lined on bullying,” he said.

“There needs to be a complete review on services and the management structure. I think it’s unbelievable that the CEO is paid in excess of $300,000 and it’s discriminating that farms less than 400 acres are forced to pay residential rates. I also want to work against in camera sessions by council.”

Former Shire of Korumburra councillor Jim Forbes said it was time the council properly reflected this area and move forward.

“As a council, we have everything going for us. We have the most productive land, great rainfall, the coast and we are 100 kilometres away from the most liveable city,” he said.

“We need to work together and achieve financial stability to move forward.”

Fresh ideas: from left, candidates Aaron Brown, David Wanless and David Amor spoke at the Strzelecki Ward public forum to inform the community about their stance on important issues.

Fresh ideas: from left, candidates Aaron Brown, David Wanless and David Amor spoke at the Strzelecki Ward public forum to inform the community about their stance on important issues.

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Posted by on Oct 4 2016. Filed under Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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