With nominations for the
September local government elections closing in a week there appears to be a significant lack
In Tamworth, home to the region’s biggest council, there have only been a few announced nominations who will take on the incumbents.
In other areas the elections have attracted little attention.
This is a major concern.
Local government has an important role to play and as the closest
government to the people it is
essential communities have effective and outcome-driven councils.
This is not to suggest any of the
councils in the region are failing in their duty or letting down their ratepayers.
But with council elections every four years, and plenty of talent in every
community, it is hoped the elections
on September 8 will provide people
with a wide choice.
The lack of candidates is a reflection on the demands of local government which are forgotten by most of the ratepayers who fail to appreciate the considerable workload and time
But those who do follow local
government and have an interest in community affairs know serving as an elected representative is a time-
While councillors get paid for their service the remuneration fails to
compensate business operators and employees what they lose through
performing their civic duty.
The elections, however, are not about money, they are about developing the community wellbeing and prosperity
We may have now reached the point where a rethink on local government representation is required.
Removing some of the deterrents might provide more choice and, in the process, better outcomes for ratepayers and residents.
Communities require smart
representatives with a strategic focus and the ability to think ahead. By doing so councillors help shape the future of the areas they serve.
A lack of quality candidates
contesting the elections in the New
England and North West has the
potential to rob communities of
effective government – and that could prove costly.