Port Macquarie-Hastings has been without elected Councillors for almost 5 years now. One person who thinks it’s about time we had our own representation is Adam Roberts, who will be running in the next election.
First off, tell us a little about yourself and why you are running for Council?
I’m 32-years-old. I married my beautiful wife Kristy nearly six years ago, and I’m a father of two great kids, Jackson (4) and Paige (2). My wife and kids were all born in Port Macquarie, and I moved here with my family in 1987 when I was eight.
In my career so far, I’ve owned and managed four small businesses in vastly different fields, as well as having spent time working at Country Energy and also in the Community Services sector.
I am currently a partner in a small business consulting practice in Port Macquarie.
I’ve certainly formulated and learnt some innovative and cost effective ways of creating and implementing a vision or plan through my years in business. I have a strong history of active involvement (and continued desire to be involved) in the community in which I live.
I’m absolutely passionate about taking on this leadership role and have been forging a pathway for myself to achieve the goal of running for – and being elected to – Council for many years now. I truly believe that serving on Council is one of the highest forms of community service there is, and I’d love to be given the opportunity to serve in this way.
I believe that I have the proper skill-set to help facilitate some great outcomes for the region. Couple this with my youth, positive attitude and passion for innovation and the use of modern technology, I would surely be an asset to the team that is elected to serve.
What are some of your policies leading into the election?
I like to think I’m pretty thorough when reviewing important issues, so I spend a lot of time researching to develop a well-informed view; but I’m always mindful that I need to be a vessel to advocate and relay the broader community’s needs and views also, if elected.
Regaining community confidence and trust in Council; driving fundamental and positive change within the Council organisation; creating a ‘brand’ and strong direction for our LGA; working closely with our neighbouring Councils to achieve greater outcomes for the Mid North Coast; real and substantial Council support for our small businesses; proactive and efficient Council planning and development processes; and Council working ‘with’ our State and Federal Members to identify and remedy critical issues facing the LGA are just some of the bigger policies and initiatives that I would be advocating if I were elected.
Essentially, these policies all tie in with my strong desire to help facilitate a proactive, relevant and trusted community serving function that should be ‘The Council’.
If you could fix just one pressing issue for the Hastings immediately, what would it be?
If I could simply click my fingers and it just happened, I’d have an immediate return to democratically elected, community focused and competent leadership for our Council.
As this is unlikely to happen before September 2012, the work we could do on this issue in the short-term as a community would be to realise and understand that we shouldn’t be looking to just fill some seats around the Council table. In reality, we should feel the need to put forward and support nine distinct leaders in their own right, who can work together, identify the underlying causes of the major issues and formulate positive and realistic plans to address these problem areas.
That being said, without this strong leadership we could certainly slip into the negative cycle of continuing to ‘fix’ problems, rather than to proactively plan for and invest in positive opportunities and produce real outcomes for the future and broader community.
What is your overall vision for our area heading towards 2020/2030?
I’d like to see Port Macquarie Hastings create and build on a ‘brand’ of innovation, community involvement and economic stability through working together. I believe that we have much prosperity at our fingertips if we can, as a community, elect and support a strong and decisive leadership for our local government that formulates a plan to truly deliver some lasting outcomes for the area.
Facilitating and supporting educational opportunities to address the skills shortages, supporting small businesses, balancing our predominantly retail and tourism heavy economy with industry and technology based businesses, attracting and creating incentives to retain our youth and working families, would all be high priorities in the short to medium term in my view.
Do you feel any pressure from the community at the possibility of being one of the first publicly elected Councillors in almost 5 years?
Not really. I always put a certain amount of pressure on myself to perform in any task or role that I undertake. I’m my own biggest critic, and I’m aware of the fact that you can’t please everybody, all of the time. I’ll always do the best job that I can in any given situation.
Saying that, I totally understand the expectations, if you like, that the community will place on the next group of leaders to produce quality and positive outcomes as quickly as possible.
This isn’t an unrealistic expectation from the community, though.
We’ve been without democratically elected representation for an unprecedented amount of time, and we are certainly feeling ‘owed’ the opportunity to self-govern again.
I too desperately want to see substantial positive outcomes for the community, sooner rather than later, and I’d be putting pressure on myself and the other team members to keep the focus ‘positive’ and proactive, rather than complacent and reactive if elected.
I strongly believe that we’ve got a majority of excellent staff working within the Council organisation at the moment who, given the chance to shine, will do, and will continue to service the community in a very positive way.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I left home at the tender age of 14 to get an early start on my truly ‘excellent adventure’ that has been my adult life so far. I’ve never let my age get in the way of taking on opportunities as they present themselves, and I pride myself on my commitment and dedication to any task or goal that I undertake.
Thanks Adam; hopefully we’ll catch up again before the next election.