There was a last minute rush of candidates running for Yass Valley Council as nominations closed at midday on Wednesday.
A total of 21 candidates registered for the September 8 poll, slightly down on last election’s pool of 23.
Eight candidates left it until the last minute to register their intentions with the NSW local government electoral office, the tally standing at just 15 candidates at 10am - two hours before deadline.
Candidates are (in order of how they appeared on the NSW government election website at time of press): Greg Butler, Ann Daniel, Geoff Frost, Karen Heldon, Jasmin Jones, David Needham, Manish Bhatia, Ginny Hewlett, Kim Turner, Perminder Bhatia, Mike Inkster, Edward Storey, Rowena Abbey, Nathan Reynolds-Furry, Julieanne Templeman, Sara McClintock, Cecil Burgess, Kevin Baker, Michael McManus, Garry Ware and David Cassidy.
There will be two groups running for council; the Our Yass Valley group and a group of candidates from Murrumbateman and Sutton.
There are nine positions up for grabs.
Current councillors who have decided not to run for re-election include long-standing mayor Nic Carmody, Judith Williams, Chris McKenzie-McHarg, Allan McGrath and Bill Luchetti.
The Tribune was unable to contact some of the entrants before going to press.
Dr Kevin Baker, of Yass, has a background in tertiary education and health and welfare. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the University of NSW at ADFA and a retired professor of management. The former ambulance officer has been chief executive officer of a large private hospital and had a 20-year academic career teaching economics and finance at the Australian National University, UNSW and overseas. He has a Ph.D. in economics, Master of Economics with honours, Master of Theology and is a Certified Practising Accountant.
Murrumbateman candidate Greg Butler is a qualified professional engineer who has worked for the NSW rail system and the federal Australian Transport Safety Bureau. He is currently self-employed, working on his land. The former Wingecarribee Shire councillor and his family moved to the village in 1999. He is a past Murrumbateman Agricultural Bureau and Progress Association president.
Former Yass Valley councillor Rowena Abbey has over 25 years experience in finance and business management, and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. For the last 10 years she has been a director and chairman of Audit and Risk for Essential Energy (formerly Country Energy). She is a landholder in Yass and helps to run a cattle and sheep property with her husband. She is also in partnership in a small clothing business in Yass – Club Polo. She chairs the Yass District Education Foundation, and is director of Yass Valley Aged Care Ltd.
Retiree Ginny Hewlett has lived in the Yass district for 37 years, most spent on a wool producing property. She is a trained registered nurse and midwife and was founding co-ordinator of the Yass Community Health Service. She has a long-standing association with aged care through work with Horton House and Warmington Lodge and was the founding chair of the Yass Montessori School.
Current councillor Geoff Frost was born at Yass District Hospital and farmed at Bowning before turning to his current occupation of research economist, specialising in regional development. He is well known to many as a YassFM broadcaster and was instrumental in bringing community radio to Yass. He is a past president of Yass Rep, an active member of CanAssist and Yass Rostrum.
Bowning resident Garry Ware is publican of the Bowning Hotel. He has a background in hotel/motel ownership, operating licensed premises in Jugiong before moving to Bowning two years go. He also previously worked as a Ford dealer in Harden for 30 years.
Jasmin Jones runs a tourism-based media production business based in Yass, and is a mum to three children. She has become known in Yass as an advocate for improving health services. Before raising a family she worked as a television journalist for National Nine News and is a seasoned political and finance reporter. She is a member of the Yass Valley Council Health Advisory Committee and the Yass Valley Clinical Health Services Review Committee. She was involved with the creation of a new health plan for the valley and securing a federal government grant for a midwife to perform pre and post-natal care at Yass Hospital.
Retiree and former councillor Kim Turner has lived in the Yass district since 1965. He runs 3000 breeding sheep with his wife on a farm at Bowning. He has worked with NSW Agriculture and the Rural Lands Protection Board. He is an active member of Rotary and helped commission the Yass Probus Club, Yass Farmer's Market and the Billy Cart Derby.
Mike Inkster is a management executive consultant to several large Commonwealth government agencies. Mike advocates against the proliferation of proposed industrial wind turbines throughout the Yass Valley region. He is trained in sports and finance, having worked in sports management, sales and marketing, and successful tenure in accounts, contractual and risk management.
Nineteen-year-old Nathan Reynolds-Furry has aspirations of representing generation-y in council. He represented the Burrinjuck electorate in 2011/12 as a NSW YMCA youth parliamentarian, providing a voice for issues affecting youth. He has represented the Yass Valley on a number of committees and was student representative councillor (2005-2011) at school and vice captain in 2010/11.
Current councillor Cecil Burgess of Gundaroo, has served on Yass Valley Council for 17 years. He has worked as a farmer, grazier, farmhand, shearer and rural contractor in Yass, Bowning and neighbouring shires all his life. While on council he has served on numerous committees covering weeds, saleyards, rural fire service and water issues.
Current councillor David Needham, of Sutton, has been serving council since 2004. His background is in the corporate IT industry here, in Sydney, south east Asia, the US and UK. He has served on the Rural Financial Counselling Service, and the Traffic, Sutton Hall management and Water committees.
Former councillor David Cassidy has a background managing the Yass branch of the Commonwealth Bank. He is a keen golfer and has worked as secretary/manager/licensee of Yass Bowling Club, district president of the South West Bowling Association, president of Yass Sports, and served as the Yass Valley director of South East Regional Academy of Sport.
Current councillor Michael McManus is a second generation local government candidate, with his father Bill serving 17 years on the old Yass Council. He is keen about sport and has supported improvements to facilities across the region. Other areas he has been involved in for council include water supply and raising the dam wall and the signing off of the Local Environment Plan.
Edward Storey is a fourth generation grazier, living half way between Yass and Murrumbateman. He has a Bachelor of Economics from Sydney University and is currently the chair of the Yass branch of the NSW Farmers Association and the NSW Farmers Wool committee. He has been involved with Yass High School and many sporting and community groups, including the Yass Picnic Race Club, Jeir-Marchmont Bush Fire Brigade and the Yass Golf Club.
Professor Ann Daniel of Bowning, is the practice manager at Old Linton Medical Practice in Yass. She is the mother of a large family, was a teacher for 33 years at the University of NSW and has been a grazier around Yass for the past 16 years. She wants to ensure the development of commercial centres of the town to attract customers, tourists and enhance its heritage and natural beauty. She has served on many educational and professional committees and believes she has much to offer to the fair, open and competent governance of the community.
Murrumbateman’s Julieanne Templeman has worked in real estate for over 16 years and now owns the Murrumbateman Rural Supplies store. The mother of two is a keen polocrosse rider and is involved in other equestrian interests. She is passionate about giving smaller villages a voice and wants to see updated facilities and more financial support to stimulate growth and diversity
Sutton’s Perminder Bhatia manager her own international agency company from her home. She is also an experienced project manager and previously spent 10 years working in senior roles for the Australian Public Service. Perminder came to Australia from India in 1994 and has been an Australian citizen for 10 years. She is fluent in three languages.
She believes that Yass shire needs capable and dynamic councillors, representing all people of the shire, and she is running with the other YES group candidates to provide this option for Yass Valley voters.
Murrumbateman resident Sara McClintock was trained as an agricultural scientist and teacher. She has worked with farming organisations to improve livestock welfare and profitability in Australia, the middle East and Africa. The mother of three believes in sustainable development in physically, emotionally and mentally healthy communities, socialising though sport and activities such as preschools and play groups, scouts, book clubs, tree planting and even sharing TimTams at the Menshed.
Manish Bhatia lives on rural acreage near Sutton and is a professional business manager and company director. Manish came to Australia 18 years ago and has been an Australian citizen for the past 10 years. He speaks several languages. The information technology consultant is interested in promoting the economic growth and productivity of Yass Valley. He believes that all areas of the shire should be contributing to and benefiting from the progress in our Australian society over the years as it prospers.
Karen Heldon, grew up on a sheep farm in Murrumbateman. She now has three teenage sons and is still a resident of the village. Karen is a keen equestrian, recently competing at polocrosse events. She also loves gardening and watching her sons play sport on the weekends. She is a project manager and consultant and works mainly in the public sector. She understands the internal workings of government policy. Karen believes that growth in all areas of Yass Valley should be both encouraged and limited in accord with the needs of local communities.