Where do you stand on:
Rates: Orange rates are too high. The rates need to be capped and only adjusted based on prudent financial management of the council's existing budgets (totaling around $120 million per annum). The concept of evaluating the need to raise rates should be vigorously debated annually and not just an accepted practice.
Would you ever vote for a special rate increase above the cap set by the state government? (Not specifically answered, see above and policies below)
Conservation versus development: Council has to abide by a number of other state government acts and regulations for all developments. Some problems may arise from their interpretation of these legislated requirements. The proper use of developers’ compulsory contributions (e.g. for open space in urban areas ) needs closer scrutiny. Recently we saw this (now past) council trying to sell off parks in urban areas. These areas would have been part of the developers’ original costs and were provided for a community benefit. The more we compress urban development without proper infrastructure the more potential for social problems to arise.
Macquarie pipeline: Would you vote to halt the pipeline project? (yes or no) Yes. I like many others are not sold on the information to date. We should look at maximising our own potential to “drought proof” our city which has had a good start based on the recent water harvesting figures. I would like to see the continuation of local programs for the adoption of local water saving actions.
What major capital works do you think Orange needs? Safe push bike tracks around the city; museum; upgrade current sporting facilities.
What projects or facilities would you forego to fund them if necessary?
None. We have to be more active in seeking state and federal funds that are available for these facilities. I was part of the team that lobbied state and federal government to secure over $3.5 in funds for the construction of the aquatic centre. Never say never when dealing with government funding bodies.
Successes of the previous council? (list up to four)
Aquatic centre (at last); Anzac Park; distributor road; new aircraft service (other than Rex).
Failures of the previous council? (list up to four)
Personality clashes that jeopardised funding and other benefits to the broad community (councillors need to focus on the issues).
Inadequate communication with all sectors of the community.
Delays in the construction of the pool.
Poor corporate image (perceived as being inefficient, sometimes arrogant, and not accountable).
What are your policy priorities?
Promote tourism and the use of the city’s other first-class facilities.
Restore public confidence in all council actions.
Introduce better methods to measure council’s performance.
Minimise red tape.
Promote activities that engage youth.
Recognise and encourage the value of volunteers.
Are you in favour of: (yes or no)
A full-time mayor: No - but it is a big commitment to ensure progress.
Direct election of the mayor by voters: No