Saturday is the big day! 50,000 Shellharbour residents will go to the polls to return democracy back to Shellharbour at the local level. We have a chance for a new start after the shameful sacking of our council for being dysfunctional to the point of not being able to operate.
52 people have stood as candidates in this election; 11 groups and 3 un-grouped candidates. There are 7 seats to be filled.
The major parties are represented, although there has been a groundswell of movement away from Labour. Some are wondering how a Liberal ticket will fare in a what has been a Labor stronghold. Many are saying there is no place for party politics in local government. I stand among them.
The rest are independents; 37 in all. Surely a mixed bag. Former councillors, 2 from the sacked council, a former mayor, 2 pastors (of which I am one), a former State MP and a couple of state hopefuls, a mixed bag all around.
It is now up the people of Shellharbour to choose wisely who will represent them at the local level for the next 5 years.
A cross section of residents have said they want no party politics, more transparency, more honesty and integrity, well thought through development, upgraded services – particularly transport, a sustainable future both financially and environmentally, and a council that represents the people and has the good of the entire city at heart.
Saturday will determine what is is we really want; the old and familiar or a chance with a new and different. As for me, I will do my best to represent the people who have given me the honour and opportunity to represent them. I will be honest and upfront. I will be mindful of our past, our present and our future in the decisions I make. I will make every effort to work with those the city gives me to work with, regardless of our differences. I will do all that I can to seek the welfare of the city.