Councillors state their intentions
Hindmarsh Mayor, Cr Debra Nelson yesterday announced that she will re-stand for election in the forthcoming Hindmarsh Council election
“After giving the matter much thought, I have decided to nominate for re-election at the next local government elections in October,” Cr Nelson said.
“I have found the role of a councillor to be more time consuming than I had envisioned, and a challenge at times to maintain a healthy work and life balance, but despite that I have really enjoyed it, and it has been an amazing life experience.”
“I have considered it an absolute honour to be able to advocate for the community, to all levels of government, and I’m proud of the positive outcomes that have been achieved for our communities over the past four years,” she concluded.
Cr Ron Ismay: Hindmarsh Shire Councillor Ron Ismay will be re nominating in the upcoming council election.
Cr Ismay said, “It has been enjoyable but demanding experience and I felt that I have made a contribution to Hindmarsh Shire Council”.
“There has been some good work done with the current council and there is still a lot more to do that I would like to be a part of,” he said.
“I like to believe that I have contributed something to the changes over the last few years. The shire have a excellent executive team and a new C.E.O.hopefully as good as or better than Tony Doyle and the councillors I have worked with for the past three years have been great ” said Cr Ismay.
“I know there are some newcomers interested in standing for council which is a good thing providing they have something to contribute and work toward a better Hindmarsh Shire Council” he said.
This was Cr Ismay first term in council.
Jeparits’ Elizabeth Chivell has announced that she will be nominating for the Hindmarsh Shire Council North Ward.
Currently the 54 year old Ms Chivell is past the halfway mark in studying for a Bachelor of Law, via distant education with Charles Sturt University, while living in Jeparit.
“I have a passion for social justice, and am also the president of the newly founded Wimmera Counselling and Community Legal Centre Inc,” she said.
“There is currently no Community Legal Centre between Ballarat and Mildura, and the Wimmera has been documented as a high need area for this service, for well over ten years,” said Ms Chivell.
Ms Chivell was elected to Hindmarsh Shire Council at the previous election, but resigned after a short period on council.
Ms Chivell explains “I had legitimate and valid reasons for not continuing in that role last time. Since that time I have been studying full time for a Bachelor of Law degree. This will greatly assist me to negotiate, communicate and to be a strong voice for all fellow constituents in the North Ward and for the whole of Hindmarsh Shire Council.”
Ms Chivell would like to see the council implement a mediation focus for complaints or issues as the first process to be offered, before the matter proceeds to become a legal issue.
“I would request to have the issue of council fines be more transparent, as to how many fines have been issued in different wards, what sort of fines are being issued the most, such as fines relating to animals, parking fines, building fines etc. What measures of mediation for certain fines have been implemented or not implemented,” said Ms Chivell.
Ms Chivell if elected would like council to explore other avenues of funding outside the normal methods such as rates.
“It is time for Hindmarsh Shire Council to show initiative and use their skills to discuss how can we can create and implement different ways to make money to cover costs, not met by rates and government funding. We cannot continue to exist on government promises, withdrawal of funding or constituents paying more money than they can afford,” she said.
Ms Chivell said “If elected I look forward to working for all constituents and with fellow councillors.It would be an honour to be able to listen to you and represent you all.”
“I am in for the long haul,” she said.
Dimboola’s Mary Clarke has announced today that she will be standing for council in the East Ward in the forthcoming Hindmarsh Shire Council, October election.
Mrs Clarke said, “after many years of dealing with our council on issues of permits, building, business development and grants, I decided to throw my hat in the ring to see if I can help inform policy that will benefit our town, our region and future plans.’”
Mary Clarke settled in Dimboola nine years ago, and after marrying Ken Clarke, the pair established their successful café Mason Clarke Preserving Co, purchased the old Star Theatre and most recently assisted in the development of the first annual Dimboola Food Festival.
“The town showcased its best assets, locals donated their goods, community groups got involved and the organisation had a brilliant crew of volunteers that made the event so successful that we already have people wanting to book in for next year’s event. This will undoubtedly be the first of many and a step closer to creating a memorable name for the town of Dimboola,” said Mrs Clarke .
Mrs Clark believes that to counter declining population, an issue facing many rural communities, Dimboola needs to stand out, define its own unique identity and reflect that identity in all its decisions regarding community, business, town improvements, grants, tourism and development.
“A cohesive approach will ultimately benefit every person and group in the town and beyond,” she said.
“I feel passionate about each and every member of our town having a voice and a chance to be part of the whole community and its success. Our kids, families and every age group are the fabric of this town. It is the people that make this town vibrant and I want to encourage a hand’s on approach to building the town’s strengths, supporting business, farmers, sports, the arts and music, community groups, jobs, education, mental and physical health and our environment,” Mrs Clarke said
“A thriving community will lead by example and is the best way to encourage new residents to the town and retain our existing population,” she said.
Hindmarsh Shire Councilor Rob Gersch will be standing again for the next Hindmarsh Council election.
Cr Gersch said, “I think I am still an asset to the council and I have the commitment, passion and time to do another term”.
“There are some exciting things happening in the Hindmarsh Shire Council and into the future and I would love to be a part of that,” he said.
“I would however encourage anyone to stand for the election as long as they have commitment to be a councillor and make the time available to do so,” Cr Gersch said.
“Democracy will take its place,” he said.
I would like to announce my intention to stand for a second term representing the East Ward on Hindmarsh Shire Council. It was an honour to be elected in 2012 and, if successful at the forthcoming 2016 election, a second term would provide the opportunity to initiate some further projects and complete some outstanding ones.
I believe that Cr Nelson and I have worked well with the other councillors to achieve some good and welcome outcomes, in particular for Dimboola and District but also for the Hindmarsh Shire more broadly. We both appreciate the support, co-operation and assistance that has been extended by Crs Robins, Gersch, Lowe and Ismay throughout this term and hope that the next council, however comprised, will be as productive.
There have been many highlights of this term. The most significant, in local terms, has been the enhancement of town infrastructure. There still remains much to be done, but it has been encouraging to see progress on sealed roads, kerbing, footpaths, drainage, etc. Less apparent, but just as satisfying, has been involvement with projects like the establishment of the highly successful Dimboola Croquet Club and the new Hindmarsh business assistance grants program.
If successful in securing a further term my over-riding objective would remain a commitment to ensuring that the future of Dimboola and district continues to be a top priority in the overall operation of a strong and successful Hindmarsh Shire Council. Foremost among future local projects would be the continued improvement of our infrastructure, the enhancement of our library and civic precinct, the commencement of the Wimmera River Discovery Trail and associated projects like the Indigenous Keeping Place, along with continuing upgrades of the caravan park.
I didn’t envisage a second term when I first stood for council. I hoped to do my bit and retire. But four years has gone quickly, local government moves slowly, and many of the exciting and significant projects we have started aren’t yet finished. If the community is supportive, I would be honoured to serve one more term and play a part in completing some of these things, or at least play a part in moving them closer to reality.
It was in 2012 that I entered council as a successful candidate in the West Ward. Since then it has been my honour and privilege to serve as a councillor and currently as deputy Mayor. My time in council has been well spent advocating for the voices of the community and I have learnt an exuberant amount in the last four years which will allow me to continue working towards the best outcomes for our Shire.
Growing up on a farm north of Lorquon and Netherby and operating a successful local Farm Machinery business for more than twelve years has given me a solid understanding of farming life. Hindmarsh has always been my home and raising three children has given me a broad range of life skills I have been able to draw upon during my time on Council. It is this mix of life skills that gives me a unique perspective and allows me to have an empathetic approach to the wide range of concerns and ideas from community members.
?While a focus of my time in council has been the development of the new multi-purpose Early Years building at Nhill, my passion for early-years development and young families extends across the entire shire. The need for appropriate kindergartens, day-care, maternal and child health, playgroups and associated services are vital to every community and such facilities and services will enhance our ability to attract families to live and work in our towns.
My involvement in Nhill’s new Early Years building is one of the highlights of my time serving on council and it makes me incredibly proud that it will be of great benefit not only to young families in Nhill, but also in the Yanac, Netherby, Lorquon, Woorak and other surrounding districts when it opens next year. I truly believe that people matter, and if elected my promise is that everyone from the very young to the elderly will be considered when using my influence and exercise my all-important one vote.?
When asked where most of the enquiries, concerns and ideas have come to me during my four years as a Councillor the answer has always been the North Ward. With this in mind I have chosen to stand for election in this ward. I am hoping that by moving to the North Ward I will be able to make positive changes and will give an opportunity for someone new and maybe younger to put their hand up in the West Ward in Nhill. I firmly believe diversity is key to good government. I know first-hand how intimidating it can feel to be a new candidate running against those who are already familiar with both voters and the council system and hope my positive experiences while on council and the empty seat in West ward may encourage others to nominate.
As a graduate of the Wimmera Development Association Business Leaders Program, currently self-employed and partner of the local IGA store in Nhill, I offer my knowledge, passion and enthusiasm for the district, to you. I believe in our small communities within Hindmarsh, and with support and encouragement we will nurture innovative, social and economic growth for our region. We can overcome challenges and create new opportunities, develop local ideas and possibilities while retaining our heritage and rural lifestyle.
Hindmarsh Shire Councillor Ron Lowe will be re-standing at the forth-coming elections after two terms, or eight years, of service to the communities.
“I’ve enjoyed the position of Councillor greatly, meeting new people and members of committees who bring alive the areas of the North Ward,” Cr Lowe said.
“The service and time of committee members is extraordinary and it’s great to see the community give back,” he said.
“A highlight so far of being a Councillor was definitely when I was Mayor of the Shire. It was a wonderful experience and certainly something I didn’t expect going into the role of Councillor,” he said.
“While it may look like things don’t get done in the North Ward, I would like people to remember that our ward is three times bigger than the other two wards combined. There are a lot more roads and a lot more infrastructure to maintain on the same limited budget. But we get things done,” Cr Lowe said.