The Lithgow Council election is now all framed up for December 4 after the ballot form positions were drawn last week.
There are 6 teams running in the election, featuring 5 tickets being headed by current sitting Councillors and one ticket by a former Councillor.
Lithgow has been through significant challenges in recent years and the incoming Council will need to be focussed on the big issues facing the region according to outgoing Mayor, Clr Ray Thompson.
“The Lithgow Evolving Economic Plan has to be a focus going forward and the government needs to come to the party and help Lithgow,” said Mayor Thompson.
“The new Council will need to educate people that the 20 year time frame for our coal industry shutdown will come around very quickly,” said Mayor Thompson.
Tourism is one opportunity that can be developed, but the region requires significant support to expand the industry base and diversity of employers in the region.
This is certainly a sentiment shared by many of the candidates that have responded to our questions prior to this issue going to print.
“The Census numbers have not been kind to the Lithgow Area predicting a growth rate of one percent into the future. For our L.G.A. to recover, move forward and be an attraction for investment this surely has to change. Covid has changed the world and our lives. People are relocating to regional areas and country areas for many reasons, we have to take advantage of this by being adaptable to change.” said Clr Maree Statham.
At his campaign launch on Tuesday night, Clr Steve Ring also focussed on the need for change in the future.
“Completing the Lithgow Evolving Economy Project is critical for developing a sustainable and diverse economy and it will then need to be actively implemented. To get the full benefit out of our changing economy we need to ensure that there are adequate opportunities for training and education to ensure that no one in our community is left behind.” said Clr Ring.
“We need to learn from the past to create a positive future; the Cass Coleman Community Team believe in encouraging quality long-term employment opportunities through innovation and investment in an ever-changing job market. We need to grow a diverse, robust, and sustainable economy that secures Greater Lithgow’s future, but most importantly, we need to take our people with us,” said Clr Coleman.
“If we don’t change we will stagnate,” said Councillor Lesslie, who has been advocating transition since he was elected to Council.
A new face running for Council as part of Councillor Lesslie’s team, Greg Mortimer is also an advocate for change and as the Chairman of the Lithgow Community Power Project, he sees great opportunity ahead.
“I believe the Lithgow region is entering an exciting time of change which presents great opportunities for prosperity and well-being for the community, if it is done sensibly and by working together,” Mr Mortimer says.
“We will work together with council administration to ensure service delivery is of an acceptable standard; decisions are fit for purpose, economically sound, well informed and are aligned with the agreed strategic plans. We will also work with local businesses and the chamber of commerce to improve and retain retail investment locally.” Said Clr Darryl Goodwin who is standing again along with Clr Deanna Goodsell and some fresh new faces.
The Lithgow First ticket headed up by former Councillor and current Lithgow Chamber President Pilbeam is focussing on three key initiatives of lowering the cost of living, bringing jobs and businesses to the LGA and working to deliver more health services.
However the election lands on December 4, there will be new faces on Council with a big task ahead of them.
TEAMS RUNNING FOR COUNCIL:
- Cass Coleman Community Team: Cassandra Coleman, Eric Mahony, Lucille Hoy, Ethan Fitzpatrick, Jeffrey Smith
- Ring’s Independent Lithgow: Steven Ring, Marcia Ruf, Ashlea Werner, Elizabeth Elwell-Cook, Jessica Van Der Kley
- Lithgow First: Peter Pilbeam, Shannon Kus, Glenda Anthes, Teric Joyce, David Liptak
- Good for Council: Darryl Goodwin, Deanna Goodsell, Martyn Warren, Gayle Chambers, Shane Wade
- Open Lithgow: Stephen Lesslie, Gregory Mortimer, Juliann Favell, Lisa Turner Nowak, Clive Laing, Susan Gregory
- Team Maree: Maree Statham, Col O’Connor, Stuart McGhie, Almudena Bryce, Peter Gracey, Gai Feltham