Thursday 28 July 2016
A successful information session was held last night in the Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre for people considering standing for Council.
More than 30 people joined Council staff to hear about what support is provided to assist people who stand for their local community.
Bega Valley Shire Council General Manager, Leanne Barnes, said a large representation of candidates from all walks of life would not only strengthen our council, but also ensure it has a greater voice for all ratepayers.
“The Deputy Mayor of Botany Council, Stan Kondilios, who has 21 years’ experience as an elected councilor, focused on the competing roles facing elected Councillors, the opportunities to contribute to your community and achieve significant outcomes and change.
“Former Bombala Shire Councillor, Sue Haslingden, spoke about being a first term councilor and some important points she had picked up in her three and a half year term.
“These included that Councillors have an important role to play in making decisions that respond to the changing needs of the community and that serving the local community as an elected councillor is a challenging but rewarding role,” Ms Barnes said.
“It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you have the experience in local government, if you are passionate about your local community and want to make a real difference then I encourage you to consider this opportunity.”
She said a 2012 Office of Local Government report found that women comprised only 27 per cent of Councillors and five councils did not have any elected female representatives.
“Our councils should be a reflection of the people and communities they serve. However, across the State more than 70 per cent of Councillors are men, and fewer than 20 per cent of Mayors are women,” she said.
“On the Bega Valley Shire we have had four female Councillors over the last four years. Young people, people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent and people with disabilities can all bring life to the decision making process.
“Bringing diverse views and experiences to decision-making will ensure our local communities get the best solutions and outcomes.”
Ms Barnes said the Office of Local Government has prepared a range of materials to assist prospective candidates in making an informed decision about standing for local government elections which can be accessed at www.olg.nsw.gov.au
Nominations for Council open on Monday 1 August 2016 and close at noon on Wednesday 10 August 2016.
Information about becoming a candidate and the election process can be found at http:www.votensw.info/
The Returning Officer for the area is Jacklyn Gibson who is located at 37 Vulcan Street Moruya, hone number is 6448 9450.
The NSW Local Council elections are on Saturday 10 September 2016.
Photograph: Guest speakers, Former Bombala Shire Councillor, Sue Haslingden and Deputy Mayor of Botany Council, Stan Kondilios.