Monday 11 July 2016
September’s Local Government Elections are a moment in time for the community.
The ballot is a chance to shape Bega Valley Shire Council for the next four years, but for the strength of that process to really shine, a diverse mix of candidates is needed for voters to consider.
General Manager Leanne Barnes said that having a mix of backgrounds, skills and experience in the Council Chamber is important in informing Council processes and priorities.
“It’s in the communities’ interest that voters have a wide variety of candidates to choose from come September 10.
“I’d encourage anyone keen to serve to step forward, it’s a big decision but Council and the NSW Electoral Commission are putting measures in place to support candidates in the lead up to Polling Day,” Ms Barnes said.
People interested in throwing their hat in the ring are encouraged to come along to an information evening later this month.
The session is an ideal opportunity to discover what it’s really like to be an elected representative.
“The evening is intended as an informal introduction to life as a Councillor, with a focus on the benefits, challenges and expectations.
“It will also outline the induction and training process for new Councillors,” Ms Barnes said.
It’s natural for those considering being a candidate to feel overwhelmed by the regulations and policy Council has to work within.
“It’s important for candidates to know that if they are elected, support structures are in place to help with the learning and work that will follow as a Councillor,” Ms Barnes said.
“In the first instance it’s key that the community has a wide variety of candidates to choose from.”
The information evening is on July 27 and is open to anyone who is considering becoming a candidate.
Special guests on the night include, the Deputy Mayor of Botany Council, Stan Kondilios, who was first elected to Council in 1995 and former Bombala Shire Councillor, Sue Haslingden.
Both will offer a real world perspective on playing a leadership role within your community.
Ms Haslingden said being a Councillor has been a challenging yet empowering position.
“To be elected by your community to represent them is such an honour,” she said.
“I believe there is no space for self-interest as a Councillor, you are there on behalf of the whole community.”
The candidate information evening will be held at the new Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre on Wednesday July 27 from 6.00pm to 7.30pm. For more information about the evening call Council on 6499 2222.
For further information about the nomination and election process, which will be conducted by the NSW Electoral Commission, call 1300 088 942 or go to www.votensw.info