AT least four fresh faces and likely several more will join council’s ranks in September as the current local government term comes to an end.
Declarations from those intending to run for council are due by August 8, and councillors Kerry White, Tom Mavec, Steve Stavreas and John Barilaro have already confirmed they won’t be throwing their hats in the ring for another term.
Cr Barilaro had previously announced he won’t run for council again, pre-empting incoming state government legislation -which will prevent state MPs from also serving as local government councillors.
Cr Mavec – whose council service spans intermittently over the last five decades – said he felt council needed new blood to take Queanbeyan forward.
“I think that some of the councillors have been there too long. I’ll put myself in that category, and it’s time for new blood,” Cr Mavec said.
Cr Stavreas agreed, and said his two terms on council had been plenty.
“My view is that it shouldn’t become a career. Two terms for me has given me plenty of time to do the things I thought were necessary for the community,” he said.
“I’m happy to step down now and let some new blood come in and continue the rejuvenation of Queanbeyan.
“I think that one of problems we’ve had with council is that people stay a long time, and there isn’t an infusion of new energy.”
Those seeking re-election include mayor Tim Overall, deputy mayor Peter Bray and Cr Velice Trajanoski.
Crs Sue Whelan and Ann Rocca said they still hadn’t decided whether they’d run again, while Cr Trudy Taylor said she was “definitely considering” another run, but hadn’t yet finalised her plans.
Meanwhile, mayor Tim Overall said he still had unfinished business on council, and listed gaining approval for Tralee and upgrading rundown infrastructure as two of his major priorities if re-elected.
“This wonderful city of ours has so much potential for further improvements and enhancements,” Cr Overall said.
“There is much to be done in delivering on the community’s vision, rejuvenating and revitalizing our city centre and providing new and improved community and sporting facilities and services across Queanbeyan and Jerrabomberra.
“Considerable residential and urban growth will take place over the coming years and it is crucial this be managed in a balanced, sensitive and environmentally sustainable way to ensure Queanbeyan will always maintain its ‘Country Living – City Benefits’ lifestyle.
“While there have been significant achievements over the term of the current council, I am committed to a program of on-going delivery in the interests of the whole community – the younger generation, families, business and our senior citizens.”
Challenge for mayor
LOCAL father of five Brian Brown has stepped forward in the last week and announced he’ll challenge Cr Tim Overall for the role of Queanbeyan mayor.
Mr Brown will run as a member of the Labor party and emphasised his connection to the local community and his experience working with local governments as his major assets.
“As a local father of five who has been working hard to improve our area, I’m proud to be able to put my hat in the ring for mayor of Queanbeyan,” Mr Brown said.
“I love living in Queanbeyan, particularly given the strong sense of community spirit we’ve got around here.
“With our country lifestyle and many native bushland reserves, this has been the ideal place for my wife and I to raise our family.”
Mr Brown works full-time as the deputy chair of Regional Development Australia (Southern Inland) and said he has amassed a lot of experience negotiating with councils all over the region.
“Working with Regional Development Australia means I’m constantly engaging with community leaders across our region and the state – talking about new ideas to develop local economies and build stronger regional communities,” he said.
“I have seen firsthand how Councils throughout NSW have worked hard for their communities, often with varying degrees of success.
“Invariably the same message keeps coming through – we need to work smarter to get things done, particularly in regional areas.
“It’s all about balance. Good councils focus on nurturing the community and business sectors, creating an environment and lifestyle where people want to raise their families and businesses want to invest.
“With the right leadership and a new approach, we can make Queanbeyan better by creating a sustainable culture of opportunity and prosperity.”
Mr Brown has been an active member of the community, working with organisations such as the Queanbeyan Health Service Advisory Committee, the Queanbeyan Local Traffic Committee, the Jerrabomberra P and C and Residents Association, and was a key player in the campaign to get a Bendigo Community Bank in Jerrabomberra.