Local Candidate – Peter Alley

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Passionate local and Country Labor Candidate in the 2011 NSW state elections, Peter Alley is running for Mayor in the September elections. Peter is looking forward to the challenge of working through the many issues that face our community.

First off, tell us a little about yourself and why are you running for Mayor?

Over the last 30 years, I have worked in Information Technology, Management, Finance, Banking, Telecommunications, my own small business, and the not-for-profit sector.

I have always had an active role with my children and their sporting activities, having been the soccer club Coach and soccer club President for many years. I spent 6 years as Treasurer of an out of school hours centre and had many roles in the churches that I have been involved in over the years.

Living in Dunbogan with my wife and 3 children, I am currently a member of the Camden Haven Anglican Church. Most Wednesday nights you will find me training as a volunteer with the SES. I am the President of Hastings Morning Talkers Toastmasters Club. I also was the Country Labor candidate for Port Macquarie at the 2011 NSW state election.

I am running for Mayor, because I care for our community. I have the financial experience and the vision needed to lead this community.

The reason why Country Labor is fielding a team for these elections (myself, Colleen Carmody, Fred Lips and Jim Hutcheon) is because we care for our community. We provide a diversity of experience covering finance, management, health, education, the environment, regional development and a strong community focus for the new Council.

What are some of your polices leading into the next election?

As Mayor, I will work for ensuring that all parts of our society have a fair go, and that Council resources are shared fairly across all sections and across all regions of our community.

We need to maintain strong financial management for the Council, to deliver balanced budgets and reduce community debt.

We need to find a better way of funding our road infrastructure. The constant appearance and reappearance of many pot holes leaves us asking why they were not fixed properly in the first place. We need to ensure that we get the best value we can for our roads, by delivering our limited resources where they are most needed.

We cannot continue to increase the rates in real terms every year to fix our roads. We have 1,300 km of roads, 124 bridges, and a $100m backlog of maintenance work to get to a satisfactory standard. I believe that Taree Council’s recent proposal asking that local Councils be given a share of GST revenue for local roads is worthy of support. I look forward to working with the Mid North Coast Group Of Councils to advance this proposal.

We need to work out how to get the best value out of the Glasshouse. By that, I do not only mean that we need a better financial return, but we also need a better community return. We need to ensure that this facility is available for all of the community to use. To achieve this, the Glasshouse needs to occasionally be made available for community groups at a discounted rate.

We need to improve the way that we conduct community consultation. Consultation needs to be a dialogue, not a one way conversation. I want to make sure that all members of our community are heard, not just the ones who shout the loudest. We need to constantly keep the community informed about the issues that affect them.

If you could fix just one pressing issue for the Hastings immediately, what would it be.

Just one pressing issue? There are lots of issues and lots of good projects. But the one I will pick is getting a significant upgrade to Wauchope Pool. The existing pool was built close to half a century ago. It has some significant ongoing maintenance problems and the Council, on their own, are unable to fund the sort of upgrade that is required.0

An upgraded Aquatic Centre would provide an indoor heated 25 metre pool, hydrotherapy and children’s splash pool. I would love to see Olympic diving facilities in a new Wauchope Aquatic Centre. This has also the potential to attract diving competitions from around Australia to our region.

What is you overall vision for our area heading towards 2020/2030?

We need to ensure that we get the best health, education and employment opportunities for all members of the community.

We need to encourage and manage our growth and development as a community, but in doing so, we need to jealously guard the natural, the built and the community environment that we all love about this area.

I would love to see our towns and suburbs develop with the feel of a village. Cars and trucks should be moved from our village centres to bypass roads and car parks. People need to be able to reclaim our villages, our market places and our foreshores.

We need more cycleways, not just for bicycles, but for motorised scooters, walking frames, strollers, connecting our villages, our community resources and our schools. We have a beautiful natural environment, and we need to take full advantage of it.

Do you feel any pressure from the community being the first publicly elected Councillors in almost 6 years?

Not at all. I see it as a great opportunity to start afresh. There will be 9 Councillors, each with different interests and different passions about this community. One of my roles as Mayor will be to draw them together, through negotiation and compromise, to reach the right decisions for this community.

I want to assure the community that consultation is not something that I will be doing just in the lead up to the election, but something that I see as an ongoing process.

I am looking forward to the challenge of working through the many issues that face this community.

What’s something our readers don’t know about you?

I have a passion for rock climbing. It is an exercise in physical strength, endurance, co-ordination, balance, flexibility and risk management. I love all of these challenges, and I apply them to everything I do, not just to rock climbing.

How can readers get in touch with you?

I am happy to talk with anyone about any local issue. I can be contacted on 0428 327 525 or by email: peteralleycl@gmail.com

Thanks Peter.

This story was published in issue 80 Greater Port Macquarie Focus

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