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Voting checklist – a personal view by Dr Sue Mackenzie

Very soon we shall traipse to the polling booths, share a sausage sandwich and a laugh, hang a hope on a name and cast our vote.

Who to choose? It is tempting to go for the big bickkies, the glory gifts promised, but there will be strings attached, whomever you choose. So I thought I would let you in on my checklist, and see what you make of it.

Some will say it is naive, but then again, if we do not aim for the best, why bother?

I am looking for someone who:

⃝ is honest and open, and clearly so; who is transparent in their dealings and motives; who is trustworthy, responsive and accessible

⃝ truly wants to represent the people they will be elected to represent - the broad and whole community and has the best interests of the whole community at heart, and balances the calls of special interest groups, other political entities and representatives, their own agendas and market forces - and will work in close consultation with their communities

⃝ has a practical bent but is driven by a vision of a better future for all

⃝ will keep a balanced oversight of Community and Council; Shire, State and National needs and will be an effective liaison person between the Shire, State and National bodies, including parliamentary bodies

⃝ in dealing with local Councils, will remind Councillors and staff they are here to represent the local Communities first, not the Council itself or councillors, nor market interests, nor transient residents, but to balance the needs of all, and prioritise the wishes of the locals

⃝ will value green, accessible and usable spaces in the wider suburbia, not just foreshore spaces or high value areas

⃝ has a real and ongoing commitment to our Shire-wide natural environment; who will treasure our environment (land, sky, water, plants, and animals) and protect and nurture it for our children and grandchildren (national parks, marine parks, reserves and small suburban spaces) and foster nature’s diversity

⃝ will foster transport, health and community support services as well as creating sound business environments

⃝ will encourage and support safe and inclusive communities in the Shire

⃝ will support and promote a range of community assets to suit the range of demographics (age, income, ability, interests) in the Shire

⃝ will encourage youth and the young to forge a better future for themselves through education and experience

⃝ will encourage balanced development to meet the needs of people living well and sustainably

⃝ will oppose wholesale clearing of land; support developments that include usable and beneficial nature space for those in residence, especially providing natural, usable spaces for the young

⃝ will strongly support creative strands in the community and their expression, and in particular through completion of a Performing Arts Centre in Batemans Bay that is iconic, practical, accessible, affordable for all, and inviting

⃝ will provide practical support for local Arts projects such as the River of Art; Sculpture (back on) the Clyde; the Writers Festival and other Arts festivals and events, without strings that curb artistic value

⃝ will lobby or provide increased accessible and quality health and well-being services, such as more visiting specialists, improved hospital services and more support for health professionals

⃝ will anticipate and prepare for the future social, health, commerce, sustainability needs of the communities of the area, but also the necessary restraints of the Shire and its inhabitants

⃝ will NOT turn Shire towns into Tourist Towns, with high rise and crowded foreshores as our image.

But then, what do you want from your State Representative for your Town and Shire and Electorate? That is up to you…


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