Environmental groups probe candidates

Two of Mitchell Shire’s most prominent environmental groups have put questions to candidates in the upcoming Mitchell Shire Council elections to measure their commitment to key issues in the shire.

BEAM Mitchell Environment Group and Mitchell Community Energy sent a questionnaire to all 16 candidates with questions addressing issues such as climate change, population growth, transport and energy.

Peter Lockyer, president of both groups, said the questionnaire invited thinking beyond roads, rates, rubbish and structure plans.

“The questionnaire also acknowledged that working together with other councils, ambitious action generates excitement in the shire and great value in health and amenity for all ratepayers,” he said.

South ward candidate Christine Banks, central ward candidates Bob Humm and Louise Bannister, and north ward candidates Rhonda Sanderson and Bill Chisholm responded directly to the questionnaire.

North ward candidates Fiona Stevens and Carol Tullett provided general responses while south ward candidate Rob Eldridge’s response was lost due to a technical issue.

All remaining candidates either failed to provide a response or, in one case, chose not to respond.

Mr Lockyer said while the three specific responses to the questionnaire were thoughtful and encouraging, it was disappointing the other candidates did not take the opportunity to share their objectives and ideas with voters.

“What does this say about those who seek to represent us, and to deal with the challenging issues and opportunities of our time?” he said.

“We would have liked to have seen candidates think deeply and creatively, particularly in a post-COVID-19 recovery requiring ambition and a different way of thinking.

“This won’t be the last pandemic in all probability, and disasters like droughts and fires more often than we are used to are expected in coming years.”

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