On September 12 this year all Council’s in NSW, including those on the Coffs Coast, will hold elections for a new Council.
Recently Woolgoolga local Tony Judge announced he would be running as a Country Labor candidate for the Coffs Carbour City Council.
Mr Judge, who was the ALP candidate for Coffs Harbour in last March’s state election said he didn’t believe that people who are party members should be running as independents and should be up front about their affiliations
Mr Judge said a key reason he was running for Council was because he believed there needs to be more openess around Council decisions than has been the case.
He highlighted as a key example of what he considerd to be Council opaqueness to be the controversy around the deal to sell water from Woolgoolga Dam to Costa berries which was announced without the apparent involvement of elected officials prior to last Christmas.
He says many of those calling for more transparency on the deal are often labelled as anti-blueberries but that this is not always the case.
In a comment to the Coffs Coast Advocate, published in the hard copy of the newspaper today, Mr Judge said “I’m frustrated every time somebody puts their hand up and says there needs to be more scrutiny, people promote it as being anti-blueberries or anti-farmer but I am neither of those things. I just want more transparency about how things are working.
“Residents aren’t opposed to water going to farms that need it, but they are frustrated at the process where deals are done with no apparent public scrutiny.”
Mr Judge is strongly of the belief that there is a currently a lack of balance on the Council.
He said a classic example of this was that often the one councillor who seemed to be out there voting by herself was Sally Townley.
In relation to the divisive proposed Cultural and Civic Space in Gordon Street Mr Judge said he believed it was potentially a good proposal in that it might bring tourists in when the by-pass becomes operable but that he would need to see more on the financials of the proposal.
Coffs Coast Outlook understands other candidates may well run for Council under the Country Labor ‘banner’ too.