Moyne Shire councillors keen for re-election

I'M STILL STANDING: The six current Moyne Shire councillors are part of a record number of nominees for the upcoming election.

I'M STILL STANDING: The six current Moyne Shire councillors are part of a record number of nominees for the upcoming election.

ALL six sitting councillors are keen to return for another term on Moyne Shire council.

They are part of a field of 17 nominees and we asked them why they wanted to continue on council.

Jim Doukas said that after 14 years on council he was still keen for more.

“Roads is the big issue. We’ve just got to keep lobbying and produce facts. We need councillors that are genuine and who think of the whole community at all times. People put you there to do a job and you do it –the only way to know you’ve done it right is you get re-elected. I believe in an open, transparent council – it’s a lot more open than what it was when I first got on council, but there are still things council can do to better inform the community. A lot of councillors don’t like rate capping but a lot of (ratepayers) do. You just need good financial management and to spend money wisely.”

Kelvin Goodall, who replaced James Purcell mid-term after Purcell moved into state government, said he still had the “fire in the belly” for another term.

“Some of the smaller communities need a strong advocate and I’m more than happy to fill that role – some communities need councillor support to further their development.  My focus is on delivering for the people and protecting their services. I want to finish the things I’ve started … particularly in relation to building up some of the small communities that need assistance. I have some concerns with some of (our road) priorities – I think we’ve neglected some roads, they’ve fallen off the list.” 

Ralph Leutton said seeking re-election was about continuing to build a strong future for the shire.

“It’s not about a job unfinished but about a future strategy and vision for the shire. We need to find the strength in the community and then work with that community to further develop the strength. For example, the proposed livestock exchange being considered for Mortlake – an investment of $20 million by private enterprise may establish Mortlake as the shire’s industrial centre. Eco-tourism could be developed at Mt Eccles and Tower Hill, clean energy in the Macarthur to Dundonnell corridor, and tourism in Peterborough and Port Fairy. Not all of our communities are the same and can’t be treated the same.” 

Jill Parker said the shire needed to continue to provide for residents from “childhood to old age”.

“We’ve got a number of projects up and running and proposed, and ... I really want to see them to fruition (such as) the revamp of the library in Mortlake and the Mortlake streetscape. My key issue has been economic development across the shire and the possibilities that come out of that. The application for a planning permit for the saleyards at Mortlake is an opportunity for the shire to support economic development ... by supporting other (agriculture) businesses to evolve and establish themselves in the shire.”

Colin Ryan said the council had achieved a lot in recent years, but there was “a lot of unfinished business”.

“I’ve enjoyed working with the small communities and seeing their achievements and helping them reach their goals. Our region has got huge potential, especially in cross-regional tourism projects. I think the area we can improve is our communication with the community – no one’s perfect but that’s an area a lot of councils can improve. The regional saleyards at Mortlake is an exciting project … as are the wind farms that are on pause at the moment. Wind farms are of great economic benefit to the shire but they have their challenges – we have to get the most out of it.”

Mick Wolfe said he hoped to continue improving the council’s relationship with small communities.

“We’ve achieved some great things – some of the projects in communities and small towns have gone ahead in leaps and bounds. I think council has got a good relationship with a lot of small towns, which was lacking a few years ago … but there’s still progress to be made. One of the things that was personal to me was the Reedy Creek bridge where there was a fatal accident. It was tragic how that happened but I was able to use my position as a councillor, and with the support of the state government, we were able to push it through really quickly to get a pedestrian crossing.”

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