Call to question council aspirants

THE Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association has asked candidates in upcoming local government elections to “become more than a roadside poster” and prove their worth to rural communities.

Each council has between seven and 12 councillors (including a mayor and deputy) who will be elected for a four-year term of office. That means there are about 500 candidates across the state.

“Local government has significant impact on our members statewide from the local government-maintained roads and bridges that access our farms, to the rates and levies we pay and planning framework we operate within,” TFGA president Ian Sauer said.

“It is crucially important to Tasmanian agriculture that we make sure the individuals elected to local government understand the importance and contribution of agriculture and farmers in their area. “With so many candidates, the only visibility we often get is a sea of corflute posters, but we need and must know more about the people we are putting around the table. “I call for our TFGA members – before you vote- make sure the person you vote for supports our industry.”

Mr Sauer and the TFGA has proposed four questions rural Tasmanians and farmers can ask their local candidates that will better gauge how they will serve the regional communities. “Please outline how you will support the management of local government infrastructure and asset improvement such and roads and bridges? “ What is your stance on economic development within your electorate? “Will you drive councils to be run efficiently to ensure downward pressure on council rates and fees? “Given the contribution (financial and social) of agriculture, please tell us how you intend to support the agricultural industry as an elected member of council?”

The TFGA also encouraged candidates to visit their website to say how they would support the industry through the outlined questions. “Candidates, if you believe in the future of agriculture, share your thoughts on how you would support our industry,” Mr Sauer said.

Voting in local government elections is now compulsory in Tasmania. Elections, conducted by postal ballot will be held to fill councillor, mayor and deputy mayor positions for all 29 local councils statewide. Postal polling opens on October 3 and close on October 25.