Home' The Great Southern Star : September 27th 2016 Contents “THE STAR” Tuesday, September 27, 2016 - PAGE 9
AFTER much con-
sideration, Ian Nich-
olas has decided to
nominate for the
Strzelecki Ward in
the upcoming South
the performance of the
current council over the
last four years, Mr Nich-
olas of Outtrim believed
it was clear there a need
for decisive change.
“Council has contin-
ued to increase rates at
unsustainable levels and only when the State Gov-
ernment introduced rate capping has there been an
attempt made to introduce restraint,” he said.
Cousin, an or-
bee South, has
taken up the
stand for South
Council in the
“Many are call-
ing for positive
change in South
I share their con-
cerns,” she said.
“As a small
and organic farmer,
I see very positive prospects for our local econo-
my. But major blockages are holding us back from
“The state of our local roads, footpaths and
verges is poor. Council is stuck in the past. It lacks
focus on economic and community development,
environmental awareness and openness.
tired of the internal bickering. “
Ms Cousin said the lack of forward looking
focus was hindering council’s ability to grow the
“We face serious challenges from the econom-
ic, social and environmental impacts of climate
change. Council needs to help the community
prepare for this,” she said.
DIANA Tod has
a candidate for
Ward in the South
She moved to
South Gippsland 10
years ago, buying, and
then converting a turn-
out block into what is
now a mixed organic
orchard and farm stay
cottage small business.
The orchard sup-
plies several local or-
ganic businesses and
farmers markets, while
the cottage brings tour-
ists to the area.
was challenging and
involved working up to 12 hour days for seven days
per week. This farming community has presented me
with many opportunities and much support which
I’ve grown to both love and identify with over the
years,” she said.
“I would now like to take the opportunity to put
a little of that support and kindness back into the
community which has taken me in.
“I understand and appreciate the challenges and
long hours that farming of any sort presents, and
I’ve experienced firsthand the pressure, heartache
and frustration, the fear and loneliness, the worry
and angst of challenging seasons and tight budgets
that accompany working the land.”
Describing herself as “passionate and tenacious”,
Ms Tod is running for council to promote social co-
hesion, community belonging and inclusiveness.
“If elected I would dedicate my energy into
fostering a better sense of cooperation and trust be-
tween council and our local community,” she said.
“We live in increasingly challenging times and
as history has repeatedly shown, at such times what
is of crucial importance is that communities function
well in a spirit of mutual support, understanding and
“Sadly, in my time here, I have experienced, and
have heard others also express, a degree of frustra-
tion in dealings with South Gippsland Shire Coun-
cil, particularly in the planning department.
“I fully realise the many statutory demands and
financial constraints facing councils today, and
there are no quick-fix magical solutions, however if
elected to council, I would work to the best of my
ability to change the ‘them and us’ mentality that
I perceive to currently exist in some areas.
“I will work collaboratively towards fostering a
genuinely more open, friendly and cooperative spirit
between council, councillors and community stake-
holders at every level.”
Ms Tod hopes to:
undertake a detailed and open analysis of
where rates money is spent to eliminate duplica-
tion and wastage;
stop the $32 million council building program
which she sees as an enormous and unnecessary
drain on ratepayers’ money;
develop a 15 year plan for the region to maximise
long-term sustainable development, employment,
growth and community wellbeing; and
create a forum whereby community and individu-
al grievances can be speedily addressed.
“I have no hidden agendas and no allegiance to
any group or body, but do strongly believe this coun-
cil needs an injection of new energy, new faces and
a different perspective, with genuinely independent
councillors prepared to work in a spirit of real col-
laboration, trust and openness in order to build and
grow this unique and wonderful South Gippsland
region,” she said.
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Nominations for South Gippsland and Bass Coast shire council elections closed last week. The Star presents an insight into some of the extensive field of would-be coun-
cillors ahead of postal voting packages being delivered from the first week in October.
Diana Tod will draw
background if elected
to South Gippsland
A new voice in council
Ready to rise: Rose-
mary Cousin wants
South Gippsland Shire’s
economy to grow.
Organic farmer nominates
“A proactive council is what this community
If elected, Ms Cousin promised to foster posi-
tive change across council and promote values of
customer service, respect, teamwork and value for
”I question the proposed $32 million expendi-
ture on new council offices when so many shops
are vacant in Leongatha,” she said.
“Surely we can come up with feasible alter-
natives that don’t indebt council for the next 20
Ms Cousin said council needed to establish
clear performance criteria especially for all ser-
vices and capital works, remove wasteful expen-
diture, and involve communities directly in coun-
cil budget priority setting.
“Dairy farmers in the shire have recently suf-
fered a major economic crisis due to the collapse
of the global price of milk and mismanagement
by Murray Goulburn and Fonterra to this market
change,” she said.
“This has knocked the wind out of our local
economy, but it also has significant impacts on the
demands placed on council’s community services
and our community wellbeing.
“The shire needs to lift its game. It needs to
play a role in strengthening our region’s ability
to keep up with changes in global markets and
climate change. It has a major role to play in posi-
tioning businesses in the region to grow. Up until
now it has been missing in action.
“Council has a development role to help the
community to focus on ways to capture new mar-
ket opportunities, to improve economic and social
wellbeing and to nurture our unique local natural
and environment. “
Rates too high: Ian
Nicholas will be
standing for change,
Nicholas promises change
“The proposed Municipal Precinct in Leongatha
will be nothing short of an outrageous and unneces-
sary impost on ratepayers for decades to come.
“The current municipal offices are adequate to
meet council’s needs and if a majority of council-
lors will support a full and complete review of the
council bureaucracy, efficiencies in accommodation
needs may be achieved.
“Council also owns ‘office’ space adjacent to cur-
rent council offices that would be easily renovated to
improve accommodation if required.”
Mr Nicholas said recent reports of the coun-
cil CEO’s remuneration package now exceeding
$300,000 were mind boggling.
“This absolutely obscene situation is signed off
by our councillors. It is very clear they have no
sense of how the general ‘punter’ in the community
is dealing with current economic circumstances,” he
Efficiency in the delivery of all core services is
paramount, he said, and called for tough decisions to
be made on service delivery in non-core areas.
“Council has been very quick in the past to blame
government cost shifting for increasing costs. It is
about time council looked at its own service delivery
methods before blaming others,” Mr Nicholas said.
“As with Community Satisfaction Survey results,
they fail to accept responsibility and accountability.
“I will be standing for change, accountability and
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