Name: Kerry Rains
Ticket or independent: Mileto-Townsend ticket.
Are you a mayoral candidate? No.
Are you currently an Orange councillor? No.
Family: Single, three children, one grandchild.
What do you do for a living? I am a financial controller.
How long have you lived in Orange? I have lived here for 5 years.
What is the best part of living in Orange? Autumn, winter and the wonderful Spring Hill community.
Why are you running for Orange City Council? To be a voice for the entire community. To make sure our water supply is kept safe and secure and to use ratepayer’s money wisely and using it to benefit the community as a whole. To open up council and make it more accessible for the community.
How would you assess the performance of the current council? I attended a few council meetings this year and I must say I was less than impressed with the manner in which they were run. They have achieved some good things for the community but have also totally ignored public opinion on other issues.
If elected, would you lobby to reduce, maintain or raise rates? If you would reduce them, which services or council undertakings would you eliminate to do so? I would first need to look at the overall position of the council as far as their financials are concerned. I could not make any promises without seeing the books first to see whether reductions or stabilisation is possible.
Council has budgeted $17 million for roadworks in the next road-building season. Is this enough? Which roads should get priority? Where would you start? All our roads need a good overhaul, but my initial concern would be with the processes themselves. There is obviously something wrong in the way our roads are made and maintained as they don’t last five minutes. Investigations and possible re-training for our road teams. We need to find out what we are doing wrong and then make changes to fix it.
What is your plan for the Northern Distributor Road? I would need to know what plans are already in place before I could comment further.
Do you agree with the industrial re-zoning at Orange airport? What should the space be used for in the future? No, no and no. This is a unique area of basalt aquifer, one of very few left in the world and the water catchment area for Orange drinking water. This pure water source should not be put in a position where it could be contaminated in any way. It should be left as the prime agricultural land zoning that it is. I would like to either see that land left as a green space buffer or a community organic agricultural farming project that would provide jobs for locals.
For far too long councillors are being asked to vote on issues with little or one-sided information. Community members should be able to ask council for information and get answers.
What specific uses for the former Electrolux factory will you pursue or support? I would very much support the ongoing use of this facility in the provision of jobs for the local area. However, it would depend on what sort of industry as this area is in close vicinity to homes so thorough assessments and studies and consultation with the community is paramount.
Do you agree with real estate agents and property developers being on council? Why or why not? People come from all walks of life and in a democracy it is up to the people to vote for the candidate of their choice. You cannot ban one particular type of person from standing based on their occupation. That could be labelled as discrimination. People need to make informed decisions when they vote and hopefully any conflicts of interest can be avoided.
What are the best ways council can help businesses prosper in the city? I am not sure if council currently have any policies or support systems for local businesses and this would be another area for investigation once elected. I would also like to meet with local business owners and ask them what they need from their council after all they know better than I do.
Is there enough parking in Orange? If not, where should additional car parks be constructed? We certainly do need some more parking. I would like to see more underground parking rather than building multi-storey car parks.
Do you support the proposed purpose-built sporting complex council has acquired land for to the north of the city? I am afraid I do not have enough information on this project at this time to make an informed decision. However I do support the upgrading of existing facilities and of course am open to new ones.
Are there any major projects you would champion if you elected? Of course our roads and footpaths, along with supporting viable projects to encourage employment. I would like to see more locals employed by council and less out-sourcing of services. I would love to encourage young minds to come up with ideas for plastic recycling processes and any other waste resources. I would encourage a weekend/nights childcare facility to support our shift workers. Most of all I would like to see our councillors given all the information available to make well-educated and informed decisions on all matters relating to council and community. For far too long councillors are being asked to vote on issues with little or one-sided information. Community members should be able to ask council for information and get answers.