Thursday, 11 August 2016

Meet the Candidates

The Coffs Harbour Greens Team for the 2016 Local Government elections. 

"Key platforms for us are transparency and participation. We want the community to have maximum access to information about Council spending and decision-making. We also want to encourage as many forms of participation as possible; more public involvement leads to better outcomes. In addition, we commit to protection of our coastline and waterways and to Councils transition to renewable energy."  – Lead candidate Dr Sally Townley

1. DR SALLY TOWNLEY has been a Coffs resident for 16 years and an elected Councillor for the past four. She is a professional Environmental Scientist, with a degree in Coastal Management and a PhD in Wildlife Biology. Her career of 25 years includes consulting for government departments such as National Parks and Forestry and for private interests such as land development and mining. 

She spent a number of years working for NSW state government developing conservation and land management policies, as well as two years working on the staff of CHCC. She is married with two teenage children and plays many active roles in the community, such as school Board Director and coaching at the Circus School. 

She brings a wealth of professional experience as well as a profound commitment to the people and landscapes of the Coffs Harbour area.  

2. CRAIG CHRISTIE has represented the Coffs Harbour Greens as an Office Bearer for over 5 years and was a candidate at the previous state and local Government elections. Craig lives in the Northern Beaches with his wife Megan and their three children.

Craig has strong business acumen and brings to the Green's team his extensive experience as a Business Process Specialist and Business Manager. Working with large local and multi-national firms as an IT and Business consultant has exposed him to quality governance and accountability practices that he strongly believes should be reflected in Government practices.

Craig supports various community based initiatives and volunteers to manage local junior sporting teams, he enjoys the natural environment, particularly the beach and wants to help council find the right balance of appropriate local development and job opportunities while also preserving this region's wonderful natural and cultural assets.

3. JONATHAN CASSELL has lived on the northern beaches of Coffs Harbour for 15 years and has come to call the Coffs Harbour area home. He was raised in rural Queensland, growing up in a family involved in the horticulture and livestock industry. He now combines his life experiences and tertiary study in Secondary Education, Organic Agriculture, Complementary Medicine and Cultural Geography to advocate for a life-sustaining society.

Jonathan offers a wide range of skills in community empowerment and believes that human-scale development must be expanded to meet the vital needs of large and growing numbers of people as well as the vital needs of all species both now and in the future. Jonathan is deeply committed to ecologically sustainable development- development that is about people and life-support systems (such as food and water) not merely about profit and the continuation of inequality, greed and injustice.

4. MARK GRAHAM has been a resident of Coffs Harbour for over 30 years and has developed a deep understanding of the region’s environment, communities and economy. He has worked at all tiers of Government in the ecological and environmental fields. This has given Mark an intimate understanding of the workings of Government and has allowed me to develop the experience necessary to effect positive change within bureaucratic governance systems. 

Mark has worked in communities across Northern NSW to achieve sustainable environmental outcomes over the last 15 years, particularly within rural communities and agricultural industries and with traditional owners for sustainable water, land and biodiversity management outcomes.

Mark is proud to have represented The Greens in serving on Coffs Harbour City Council in the previous term. During this term he worked hard for sustainable and socially just outcomes for the City. He also fought hard for transparency and accountability in Council’s governance and played a leading role in community efforts to protect the most important parts of the region, such as the Northern Beaches and the water supply catchments of the Dorrigo Plateau, from unsustainable residential development and mining proposals respectively.

Since leaving Council Mark has profoundly enjoyed parenthood and working within many Aboriginal nations and rural communities to better understand, protect and restore the natural environment.