Many thanks to Rod Therkelsen for so excellently representing the Burrinjuck Greens in this column over the last many years. As he hands over the reins to me to write this monthly article, I hope I can continue to communicate the issues, ideas and visions of the Burrinjuck Greens to our readers as he did.
I am privileged to write my first of these articles following the declaration of the 2016 council election. My most sincere congratulations to the nine successful councillors who have been elected by our community. As a candidate in this election, I recognise that gaining a seat on council is a testament to the many hours my candidate colleagues spent communicating and connecting with voters. Coming tenth by just 13 votes was disappointing, but also extremely encouraging for me and my campaign team. This close call is evidence that there are many members of the community who share the vision and principles that defined our campaign: grassroots democracy, ecological and social sustainability, transparency in development decisions and social equity. To all of those who voted for these principles and gave your trust to me and my running mate, Adrian Cameron, we hear you!
During this campaign I saw the immense passion and commitment of residents to maintain and enhance the unique values of the villages of our valley. I heard from people who shared stories of special places that are under threat. I heard from specialists, experts and dreamers, ideas about futures that combine prosperity, collaboration and caretaking of social and environmental values.
An election is a great opportunity to float bold ideas, scrutinise our processes, assess our progress and most of all listen to one another. As I commented to one of my colleagues at the Yass “Meet the Candidate” function, what would happen if all 32 candidates maintained this passion and great intention, regardless of being elected? Don’t dream it’s over, let’s not build the wall between council and community that came down at the election. The Yass Valley Greens election campaign team was rejuvenated and encouraged by the close result in this election and will continue to represent Greens values in the community.
Contributed by Saan Ecker.