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Who to vote for in this Saturday’s Bega Valley and Eurobobdalla elections

Ian Campbell6 September 2016
Bega Valley election material

Bega Valley election material

You need to vote this Saturday (Sept 10), yes I know it feels like it was only last weekend that you were voting for Turnbull or Shorten.

Nine spots around the table of Eurobodalla and Bega Valley Shire Councils are up for grabs.

Who to vote for is the automatic next question.

But when the field of candidates is so big and the profile of the poll itself rates only just above that of Holly Valance, we have a problem.

This is important, these are the people who will shape both Shires for the coming four years, the decisions they make will last longer, please don’t leave it till Saturday morning to work this out, because there is some working out to do.

Attending the Bega Valley Candidates Forum last week in Merimbula hosted by the local Fairfax Media, I got a real sense people did want to make an informed choice.

The crowd of around 200 were grateful for the opportunity to meet and hear from the candidates.

The people I spoke to were very clear and wise about what they hoped for from the new Council.

“I am hoping for a progressive Council that wants to make this community vibrant and self-sustainable and family orientated,” said a 20 something lady.

“What I am hoping for, is for Bemboka Pool to stay open,” said Kevin.

“Whilst we don’t want to throw them (Councillors) all out, that is the baby with the bath water, never the less I think we are due for a fairly major change,” said one gent holding a round of drinks.

“It’d be nice to see a little bit more thought in what they do around the area, and not just business related, community-related as well,” Glenn told me.

“(A council) that addresses climate change seriously, and works towards mitigating the affects,” one fella said.

“Well I’d love to see some roads that are properly constructed so that we don’t have to pay to have them done over and over again,” said one of my old ABC listeners.

Click play to hear more:

In the Bega Valley there at 26 candidates contesting nine spots on Council.

The Eurobodalla ballot paper will feature 55 names.

The challenge for voters is finding candidates in amongst all that, that best reflect their hopes and wishes. Not because quality candidates are absent, but because it’s hard to find out about or know who these people are.

Bega resident Becky Lupton wrote on Facebook this week, “I’m going the easy route – (voting for) people I know.”

That is one of the beauties of voting in a regional community, we all live close to each other and have a sense who’s who, or more importantly – who the wackos are and who are the leaders with vision and purpose.

But policies and ideas count come Election Day. The problem is, the field is so big and the marketing and media budgets so tight, that sort of detail has been hard to express for the candidates themselves and local radio and newspapers.

There is a sense in our community of people voting blind.

About Regional isn’t about to profile each candidate and what they stand for, that really is up to the candidate and larger media organisations, however I will set you up to do your own legwork ahead of Saturday.

What I have done is pull together the best snap shot of each candidate I could find online. The content behind each link is the work of the candidate/s themselves.

Please let me know if you find better info than I have linked to here, email me at [email protected]

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Click on the candidate’s name below to be taken through to their website, Facebook page or Vote NSW.

Candidates for Eurobodalla Shire Council:

Anthony Mayne, Amanda Wheatly, Ange Ulrichsen, Jim Bright,

Phil Constable, Phil Jeffery, Kristy Beecham, Wendy Paxton, Trish Hellier, Gary Bailey

Michael Johnson, Peter Hickman, Vicki Evans, Gary Stewart

Coral Anderson, Thomas Wells, Bryan Henshaw, Victoria Haberley

Peter Cormick, Mandy Hillson, Janice, Sagar, Patricia Ludovici, Anne Cormick

James Thomson, John Franzi, Donna McCleer, Kaye Bysouth

Liz Innes, Jack Tait, Maureen Nathan, Stephen Matthews, Tubby Harrison

Rob Pollock, Viviane Wheatley, Ben Whiting, John, Cornall, Bruce Reid, Alison Clapson

Lindsay Brown, Peter McLaughlin, Michele Edwards, Ben Potter, Fiona Whitelaw, John Suthern

Milton Leslight, Todd Leslight

Robbie Law, John Green, Di Riley, Brad Rossiter

Patrick McGinlay, Margaret Perger, Will Douglas, Laura Hawkins

Maureen Searson

*Names presented in ballot paper order and in aligned groups, where no website/Facebook page could be found, a link to the info provided by the candidate to the NSW Electoral Commission is embedded.

When selecting the eight councillors to Eurobodalla Shire Council, voters either need to place a number 1 above the line next to their candidate/group of choice or number at least four boxes below the line in order of preference.

The second ballot paper for Eurobodalla voters features the 10 candidates keen to be Mayor – Tubby Harrison, Liz Innes, Patrick McGinlay, Trish Hellier, Rob Pollack, Milton Leslight, Anthony Mayne, Robbie Law, Phil Constable and incumbent Lindsay Brown.

To vote for Mayor you simply need to place a number 1 in the box of your preferred candidate.

Remember on both ballot papers you can number as many boxes as you like once you have numbered the minimum number of boxes required.

All instructions are on your ballot paper.

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Click on the candidate’s name below to be taken through to their website, Facebook page or Vote NSW.

Candidates for Bega Valley Shire Council:

Fraser Buchanan, Judy Geary, John Richardson

David Porter, Joshua Shoobridge

Robyn Bain

Nathan Marshall

Jo Dodds

Graham Lewis

Mitchell Nadin

Tony Allen

Daryl Dobson

Carol Carmody

Russell Fitzpatrick

Brenda Edbrooke

Cathy Griff

Kristy McBain

Anne Greenaway

Liz Seckold

Sharon Tapscott

Mike Britten

Bill Taylor

Bob Arthur

Peter Whiter

Tas Fitzer

Wayne Marmont

*Names presented in ballot paper order and in aligned groups, where no website/Facebook page could be found a link to the info provided by the candidate to the NSW Electoral Commission is embedded.

Just the one ballot paper for voters south of Dignams Creek, because in the Bega Valley, councillors elect the mayor not the people.

The voter’s job on Saturday is to elect nine councillors.

To have your vote counted you need to number at least five boxes in order of preference. You can go on numbering as many as you like, but the minimum is five.

Why not push it out to nine and build your own council?

All instructions are on your ballot paper.

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People casting a vote

People casting a vote

To vote you must be in your Shire on the day – Saturday Septemeber 10, there is no absentee voting at Local Government Elections.

If you are going to be out of the Shire then you need to pre-poll vote.

Every vote counts at this local level.

One local political hack told me, that going on previous results as little as 1000 primary votes is likely to get you elected.

In the Eurobodalla there are 25,699 eligible voters, in the Bega Valley it’s 22,892. The numbers are small and add up quick, use the power you have in that pencil to make a mark on both Shires.

Sadly Annabell Crabb and Leigh Sales will not present the results of the poll on the TV on Saturday night, the best place to keep track of the count is the Vote NSW website.

*Disclaimer, author is part-time media man for Bega Valley Shire Council

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