Greens - 2ST

Amanda Findley returned as Shoalhaven Mayor

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Amanda Findley has been returned as Shoalhaven Mayor.

The result of the December 4 council election was finally announced today, although it will be another two days before the full make-up of councillors is confirmed.

However Greens supporters still claimed they had made history, predicting seven members from the progressive or left-wing side of politics will be elected - six of the 12 councillors along with the mayor.

Cr Findley said she was relieved the results were finally settled, and it was time to get back to work.

 "The tree policy is a big thing - there's been a lot of trees cut down in the Shoalhaven over the years and if we're going to tackle climate change we have to not only look after our trees but also drive down our carbon, so one of the things we talked about was trying to get a second solar farm up and running," Cr Findley said.

"Everyone knows that I've been campaigning really, really hard for affordable housing, and to continue that journey with the state government to make sure that's delivered."

She said she was looking forward to a big shift in balance at council.

"For the first time ever the majority of people on Shoalhaven City Council would consider themselves to be on the progressive side of politics and not on the conservative side of politics, with four Greens and three Labor Party members," Cr Findley said.

"It's a very slim majority, but it's a major none the less, and we did make a commitment to have a bit of an alliance during this term of council to try and get some really positive stuff done.

"It doesn't mean we will all vote the same way all the time, but what it does mean is that there are things we are aligned on that we can work to make it better for the community."

The election has been welcomed by Shoalhaven City Council CEO, Stephen Dunshea.

“Mayor Findley has served the community through bushfire, flood, and a pandemic and I know she can be relied upon to lead the Council well in its engagement with the Shoalhaven community,” Mr Dunshea said.  

“I look forward to working with Shoalhaven Mayor, Amanda Findley over this term of council as we continue to serve our community to deliver important projects and services now and into the future.”   

Cr Findley was elected to council in September 2008, re-elected in September 2012 and elected mayor in September 2016. 

The first ordinary meeting for the new council will be held on Tuesday, January 25, in the council chambers and can be live-streamed throughCouncil’s website

Image: Glenn Ellard

Greens get ready for tilt at Shoalhaven Council

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A presidential-style launch on Saturday signalled the start of the Greens campaign to win positions on Shoalhaven Council, spearheaded by  incumbent Mayor Amanda Findley and her efforts to be re-elected.

There was music, energy, a bit of hype and plenty of support at the launch, with every sentence she uttered being greeted with rapturous applause.

But some of the loudest applause was reserved for when Cr Findley took aim at rival mayoral candidates Greg Watson and others from the Shoalhaven Independent Group.

"It is time to kick Greg Watson to the kerb, and it is also time to get rid of the Shoalhaven Independents full stop," she said.

"Their bad policy, their bad decision making, and their constant wearing down of the Shoalhaven has to stop."

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Cr Findley labelled the Shoalhaven Independents as "yesterday's people with yesterday's thoughts".

"We live in a gorgeous place, we don't want it to be ruined by these fools that have no idea of the gem they have sitting before them," she said.

"We don't want their 1950s attitudes destroying what we need to leave for our children."

But the launch was more focused on objectives for the next council term, despite it lasting only two years and nine months.

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"Going forward, what do we want to do?" Cr Findley said.

"We want more renewables in this area, we want disability access for people who have different abilities to us, we want to have something for our kids - recreational buildings, sports parks, playgrounds, skateparks - they need that, and we need it because we're a disadvantaged area in so many ways, we need to keep our kids engaged and out of the drug houses that exist in this area.

"We also need to continue to plant some trees," she said.

"Trees are falling everywhere across the Shoalhaven because the chainsaw mob at the Shoalhaven Independents have created a policy where you can take trees away without even asking, and that is almost criminal; in fact I'm calling it criminal, and we need to change that right now."

While Cr Findley had plenty to say during he launch, there was also much said about her by NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge who praised her energy, commitment, compassion and integrity shown during a difficult time for the Shoalhaven that included the Black Sur bushfires, floods and the pandemic.

Images: Glenn Ellard

Huskisson Woollamia Community Voice Zooms with candidates tonight

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The Huskisson Woollamia Community Voice group is reminding residents of a meet the candidates Zoom opportunity tonight.

Ward 2 Shoalhaven Council Green's candidates Evan Christen and Jo Warren will answer questions about their plans and policies in the lead-up to the December four local government elections.

to join Zoom meeting go to:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85112838239?pwd=c2VscXl2aWJrZ2pibVdRa1poc2JCdz09
Meeting ID: 851 1283 8239
Passcode: 500337

A meet the Labor Candidates Zoom night is happening on the 22nd of November.

Image: Flickr

System crashes and anti-vaxxers at Nowra pre-poll

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The anti-vaccination crowd that hijacked Saturday's meet the ward one candidates meeting in Bomaderry also gate crashed the pre-poll voting at Nowra's Wesley Centre on Monday morning.

Cr John Wells was there at the time and said they pushed the anti-vaccination message.

"There was another party here, and that was Cr Digiglio's group, whatever their name is, and I understand that they were handing out some anti-vax brochures of some description that apparently was reported at the time, so I don't know where that's going to go," he said.

The group's decision to hand out brochures flew in the face of COVID regulations that prevented candidates handing out how to vote information to people approaching the polling station.

Several candidates feared the lack of how to vote cards might cause an increase in informal votes - particularly in the wards were people had the option of voting either above or below the line.

"I think there will be a few more informal votes because people don't have that default piece of paper in their hands when they're actually standing in a booth, and some people may misunderstand it - instead of just pitting one above the line they might go and also number below the line," said candidate Serena Copley.

Mayoral candidate Paul Green had similar concerns.

"People are coming up to me and saying, 'Paul Green, where's your how to vote?' and of course we don't have one and that's really harder for the older generation that have had generations of get my how to vote, work it out,  and go and vote," he said.

"So it's been really, I think, difficult for the older generation."

However Greens candidates had laminated how to vote information and invited people to photograph information to take into the polling station.

"The way we're doing things now is a good example of how we're going to do things in the future - no paper, able to just take a photo and go in from there," said candidate Bradley Stanton.

"I think this is a great idea and something that should go past COVID."

There was additional turmoil hitting the first day of pre-poll voting due to the Elections NSW computer systems crashing.

People wanting to check candidate details ahead of attending a pre-polling place to cast a vote were left facing a screen saying the site was undergoing maintenance, while there were also delays for people casting votes.

Pre-poll voting continues until December 3.

Image: Glenn Ellard