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25 November, 2021

Meet your candidates - Ian Freeth

Ian Freeth is an independent candidate who is running for Gilgandra Shire Council for the first time.

By Supplied

What made you decide to run for council?

"I feel the council needs fresh input from other residents and ratepayers of the shire. I am not happy with the current performance of the council. More transparency is required around all elements of the council, including the costing of major developments and budget blow-outs.”

 

What is a project you’d like to see happen in your term if you’re elected?

“I would like to see new businesses come to Gilgandra, both industry and retail. In particular, more retail to the main street. More free camping options in Gilgandra that can be utilised by both locals and travellers.”

 

What are some key issues you plan to focus on?

“An improvement of the overall standard of rural roads, including rectifying existing long term problem areas. I also have an interest in the financial position of the council.”


Your views on:

Inland rail:

“Inland rail is coming to our area, and we need to maximise business opportunities where possible for local businesses and agribusiness. However, this should not be at the expense of the effected landholders. I feel there is a need for better communication and consultation between Inland Rail and effected landholders.”

CSG mining:

“I do not support CSG mining.”

Rural roads:

“Rural roads are a first priority for me, I travel the local rural roads regularly and I feel deterioration is left for too long a period causing the roads to become dangerous. Roads need to be more regularly maintained; they are the back bone to the farming community to be able to perform their day-to-day business.”

Current social and health services:

“We need to maintain the current social and health services and make improvements where possible.”


What professional background do you come from?

“I have 46 years’ experience in the farming industry with a focus on sheep, cattle and cropping. Alongside farming experience, I also have approximately 28 years’ experience in the earthmoving industry.

"I currently run Central West Poultry which involves growing laying hens and selling them throughout regional NSW. Additionally, I have served on various committees in the past including: the Gilgandra Marketing Co-Op in its formative years, grain silo committees, ex-member of Collie Tennis Club and am a current member of the Rural Fire Brigade.”

 

What are some of your hobbies and interests?

“Fishing, clay target shooting, vintage tractors and car restoration. In the past I used to race go-karts regularly on the Gilgandra go-kart track. I am also an avid reader and enjoy catching up with friends.”

 

What skills would you bring to Gilgandra Shire Council?

“I have a good knowledge base for plant/equipment (in relation to road maintenance and soil conservation). I also have firsthand experience in the earthmoving industry, heavy haulage, agribusiness and the retail trade.”

 

Why should people vote for you?

“I have a ‘no nonsense, common sense’ approach to problem solving.

“I feel I am a friendly and approachable person with a passion for the betterment of the Gilgandra Shire. I would hope that if I were elected the residents of the Shire would feel they could contact me with their concerns - big or small. It is only through people contacting their councillors directly that their concerns can be addressed. If elected I would endeavour to represent everybody in the community.

“There needs to be a greater emphasis on attracting and allowing new industry and retail businesses to open in the Gilgandra Shire (less red tape).

“Attracting more tourists to stay in the Shire for a greater length of time is important. This can be achieved by providing more free camping options and supporting local social events. If a free camper can be encouraged to stay in the town or villages, they may at least spend some money locally.”


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