Council pair tune in to word on the street

Warrnambool councillors Brian Kelson and Peter Hulin will be in Liebig Street on Saturdays to hear first-hand any issues people want to raise. 140611RG30 Picture: ROB GUNSTONE

Warrnambool councillors Brian Kelson and Peter Hulin will be in Liebig Street on Saturdays to hear first-hand any issues people want to raise. 140611RG30 Picture: ROB GUNSTONE

A SATURDAY morning listening post has been revived with a new councillor double-act taking it to the streets of Warrnambool.

Councillors Brian Kelson and Peter Hulin will regularly patrol Liebig Street at the start of each weekend to gauge ratepayer feedback on any issue put to them by the public.

The street talk session was initiated soon after Cr Hulin and former council colleague Jennifer Lowe won office at the 2008 municipal election and ended two years ago, following Mrs Lowe’s defeat.

Cr Hulin said the informal meet-and-greet was an opportunity for ratepayers to express their views about council matters in a more casual atmosphere than council meetings or related functions.

“It worked well when Jennifer and I started it up so we thought we’d return to the councillors on duty idea,” he said.

“What we are doing is what being a councillor should be about; listening to what people have to say. Brian has been keen to be involved and will bring the qualities of listening and understanding that Jennifer had.”

Cr Kelson said he had already received several favourable comments about the return of the councillors on duty concept.

“Running a Liebig Street business myself, I speak to a lot of people about council but this is another way of getting out there and talking,” he said.

“It’s a unique concept across Victoria, I think, where councillors are out there in the main street at a regular time.

“Saying that, I thoroughly enjoy it — you meet some wonderful people who are interested in our city.”

During the 2012 municipal campaign, council candidates Hulin, Lowe, Kelson, Peter Sycopoulis and Graham Ryan committed to continuing the councillor on duty format.

Cr Sycopoulis’ work commitments will often clash with the Saturday morning patrol, Cr Hulin said, adding that his council ally will take part when available.

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