Hi, I’m Neil and I am the Greens Mayoral candidate for Orange City Council, on the lands of the Wiradjuri people.

Arriving in Orange in 1977 to take up a position as a lecturer at the Orange Agricultural College, was the beginning of a 40 year career in agricultural and horticultural management education involving leadership roles as Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of Horticulture at the University of Sydney, Orange, and State Curriculum Manager of Horticulture for NSW TAFE.

It was also the beginning of a long love affair with the Orange community, where  my wife furthered her career in community welfare and school administration support, while together raising three children. I became involved in wide ranging community activities, making significant contributions to Calare Public School, Orange High School and Kinross Wolaroi School P&C’s, Mt Canobolas Park Trust, Orange RSPCA, Friends of the Orange Regional Museum, and the Orange Botanic Gardens, Glenroi Community Group, and as long serving President of Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Orange, and more recently, the Orange Rail Action Group and Ploughmans Wetlands Care Group.

Nine years as a Councillor on Orange City Council gave me great insight into the role that  Council can play in growing and creating a vibrant sustainable liveable city, while meeting the needs and expectations of residents, the business sector and visitors alike.

I believe a change in leadership style is needed if Orange is to gain widespread community support for managing future challenges and opportunities. Close working relationships between Councillors and Council staff, Regional Councils, and State and Federal Government politicians and bureaucrats, must be enhanced and maintained. Consultation, collaboration and cooperation, not confrontation, will ensure positive support as our city grows.

As an experienced former Councillor, I would be in the position as Mayor, to offer first time Councillors the support and mentoring that will be critical to the success of Orange City Council going forward, as part of a team of both new and experienced Councillors.

My goal will be to build on the achievements of past Councils and infrastructure investments, to deliver significant business, manufacturing and service industry projects that result in ongoing job opportunities, and economic and social benefits for the whole community, within a framework of environmentally sustainable development.

We are moving into an exciting period of growth in Orange which must be supported by a team of forward thinking and visionary Councillors. I am looking forward to leading this team.