For the past four years I’ve represented the community as the sole Greens Councillor on the Snowy Monaro Regional Council, an LGA forcibly merged from three separate and diverse regional shires. The LGA spans fifteen thousand square kilometres with a population of only twenty thousand. At State level our region is dominated by the National Party and is the seat of the Deputy Premier, so making progress on Greens issues has required me to be persuasive and strategic.
Major issues in our area include improving essential social infrastructure such as roads, footpaths, non-vehicular transport pathways, public transport, affordable housing, indigenous recognition, health services, employment, mental health, youth services etc.
We encompass the Kosciuszko National Park, so conservation issues such as feral fauna (think horses, deer and pigs) and weed invasions, the Snowy 2 impact on our economy and the habitat of KNP, and the State government’s Special Activation Precinct currently focused on the Jindabyne and KNP areas also require regular attention.
Some of my focus has been very local, such as helping get funding for the Jindabyne skate park renewal, and some quite broad, such as introducing an electric vehicle fleet replacement strategy in Council. Frequently it is the small things a Councillor does, such as getting lights fixed in a public area to make elderly and other vulnerable people safer, or arranging hardship payments for financially stretched residents, that bring the most satisfaction.
I’ve served on numerous committees including aged care, the Bundian Way Committee, council’s development of a Reconciliation Action Plan, the Community Services Committee, the Audit committee, the Jindabyne library committee. I chair the Monaro Interagency, a two monthly networking meeting of all the various social service groups on our region. I’ve taken the initiative in installing EV infrastructure in Jindabyne and working with the trails committee to gain Council funding and support for our mountain bike trail volunteers. I’ve assisted local communities to successfully oppose development that would have destroyed a precious area of native woodlands.
Over the last four years of my term I have missed only one Council meeting, and that was in protest over what I considered to be an unacceptably short notice change of venue that I believed would have prevented residents from attending and speaking in the public forum of Council. I hope to be re-elected and continue to represent my community with integrity and energy as a proud Green.