Representing Cootamundra-Gundagai at only 18 years of age, Logan Collins is believed to be the youngest councillor ever elected in New South Wales.
Born in Sydney but considering himself a Cootamundra boy after moving to the region aged three, Logan says the drive to get involved in local politics came from wanting to follow his dreams and do what his heroes do. He says serving the people of his region is not a role he takes lightly.
“My aim is to be the embodiment of what the people want and how we can steer them best, but also to have a wide platform of new ideas, experiences and passions coming through,” Cr Collins said.
“Some people love to get out on the footy field and when they score that try, all their endorphins come up and they’re thrilled. For some people, it might be setting a new PB or learning a new language, but for me, it is standing up there and representing my peers.
“I wake up every morning blessed to be in the position I am,” he said.
A member of the Nationals Party, Cr Collins has worked closely with Nationals’ politicians and staffers throughout his young local political career. He went against a family of Labor supporters to become a Nationals member but believes that Nationals represent the regions and country living, and that’s what he’d like to do in his political career.
For Logan, being a Nationals member is like being a part of a big family because they share the same vision of wanting “country people to get the same as anyone in the city”.
He believes the government could help this by bringing industry that’s usually reserved for Sydney into regional communities. He suggested many house deposits in Sydney could purchase a house outright in Cootamundra.
As for how he has found his time as an elected official so far, Cr Collins says that it is hard not to be able to please everyone or deliver on his promises right away.
“You want to get a lot done. A lot of councillors have this, especially new-termers. They want to come in and get the job done ASAP and deliver the promises they made, but it takes time,” he said.
His local priorities include roads and disability inclusion projects, but he also wants to present youth issues to the council group.
He said the latter was a sentiment echoed to him after his election, as young people confessed their hope that he would represent their wishes.
Another issue he brought up was the controversial merger of Cootamundra and Gundagai Council from 2016.
“Some councils like Queanbeyan Palerang have succeeded and they’ve been able to see their council thrive,” Cr Collins said.
“Unfortunately, Cootamundra and Gundagai Regional Council is suffering under this amalgamation and a demerger is something nearly every single citizen wants.”
Looking to the future, Cr Collins hopes to model the path set by Member for North Tablelands Adam Marshall, who was the youngest Mayor ever in NSW at 22.
“I don’t want to be labelled a career politician because that is always a bad outlook. However, I do one day wish to stand for the greater community and enter state politics,” he said.
“I think most people who enter state or federal politics say, ‘I want to be the Prime Minister’ or ‘I want to be Premier’, but that’s not me. I want to become the Speaker.”