COUNCIL candidate Judith Burfoot has lived in Queanbeyan for six years and wants to help shape the town's next chapter. "Queanbeyan is a fast growing town and I want to work to keep the community feel here and a sense of belonging," she said. "It's a vibrant, exciting place to live still with that country feel."
Ms Burfoot will run on Brian Brown's ticket as it is in line with her own values and her campaign is based on fostering a bigger arts scene in the community. "To me there's an opportunity to bring this city alive with arts and music through busking, 'live' art such as chalk drawings and even murals painted in otherwise dingy arcades," she said. "I'd like to see more resources put in to promoting the arts in Queanbeyan, it would be good for community and for business."
If the tools are there, Ms Burfoot believes community members will take advantage of having the infrastructure and support artistic endeavours. It will also draw people from out of the region into the area. She believes this could be achieved by gaining grants, involving more schools and cutting out the red tape. "I don't want to make it as challenging to busk on the street for example," she said. "There's a long process you have to apply to council, forms you have to fill out, public liability indemnity insurance and the approval process can take about a week."
Ms Burfoot said she has decided now is the time to run for election as she has a better understanding of local government and the community. The Queanbeyan resident is a former teacher and librarian who currently works in the public service.
"I think in my previous roles I've always had that ethic of serving others, I believe I'm community-minded and hardworking," she said. "I'm happy to be upfront about being on the Labour ticket. We stand for the whole of the community not just business and the CBD but social justice and the environment as well."