Home' Yarram Standard : September 7th 2016 Contents “THE YARRAM STANDARD” Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - PAG E 3
THE Wellington Shire
Council elections are fast
approaching and Yarram’s
Garry Stephens will be
one of the candidates vy-
ing for the coastal ward.
With the introduction of the
new ward structure for Wellington,
Mr Stephens said it will provide an
opportunity for better representa-
tion for all areas of the shire.
“I believe we need a strong
community voice on council. We
pushed strongly for the creation
of wards within the shire and it is
fantastic the Victorian Electoral
Commission saw the logic of our
argument,” he said.
“We now have the opportunity
to elect three councillors to repre-
sent the coastal ward.”
Mr Stephens said within the
community, a lot of people feel
they have no voice and are not
being listened to by the current
“It is certainly the perception
of the local community. I think it
is important to improve the com-
munication between council and
the community and vice versa,”
Mr Stephens said infrastructure
development is an important role of
“Particularly the maintenance
of local roads and streets, bridges
and drainage and this work needs
to be done by locally based con-
tractors,” he said.
“Infrastructure creates growth.
We need more things happen-
ing at a local level to create jobs
Stephens and Stainer to run
Up standing: Garry Stephens from Yarram, left and Saul Stainer from Port Albert will both
be standing for the coastal ward in the upcoming Wellington Shire Council elections.
Garry steps up
SAUL Stainer from Port
Albert will be running in
the upcoming Wellington
Shire Council election,
for the coastal ward.
Passionate about the need for
proper community consultation
and representation, Mr Stainer was
pleased with the Victorian Elec-
toral Commission’s decision to
change the structure of the shire.
“This council election pres-
ents the first opportunity since
amalgamation to get some truly
local representation back into the
council,” he said.
The VEC held a review into
the Wellington Shire’s structure
and changed it to a three ward
system; northern, coastal and
central. Each ward will elect three
“The new structure will give
our area greater representation. I
hope to be a part of this change,”
Mr Stephens said creating
more jobs shire wide should be a
“The council has done a lot
of work in this area, for example
the East Sale RAAF Base, how-
ever this work needs to be done in
other areas,” he said.
“We need to look at how we
can maximise jobs, while sup-
porting our existing industries,
including agriculture, retail and
Mr Stephens would also like to
see better management of zonings,
particularly farm zones.
“The council dropped the ball
when rural zones became farm
zones a few years ago. It appears
the State Government transferred
rural zones to farm zones holus
bolus, without a strategy,” he
“It has been an ongoing battle
and I think it is an issue that needs
to be revisited.”
Mr Stephens said a coun-
cil needs to be a viable unit that
works together to achieve the best
outcomes for the community.
“Council is not meant to be a
rubber stamp, it needs to work to-
gether for the benefit of the whole
community,” he said.
“We promised the VEC com-
missioner a good range of candi-
dates for this election and I think
that will be achieved.
“Saul Stainer and I have put
our hands up, as has Alan Hall
from Loch Sport.”
This election will give residents
and ratepayers of the Wellington
Shire the opportunity to elect three
councillors in three wards.
“We have three vacancies at
this election, not just one so pref-
erences will matter,” Mr Stephens
Mr Stainer said.
“It is important to note none of
the current councillors supported
this change. For too long our re-
gion has been the poor cousin to
the central Sale area.
“The council needs to provide
services and opportunities to all
people throughout this complex
and diverse shire.”
Mr Stainer is actively in-
volved in the broader community
through his work with the Yar-
ram Secondary College and both
Alberton and Woodside primary
“I have experience in operat-
ing small business through my in-
volvement in both hospitality and
construction enterprises,” he said.
“I have been president of the
Port Albert Progress Association
for the past seven years and in
this role have had many interac-
tions with the council.”
Mr Stainer said rate capping
presented the shire with some
hard decisions and that financial
accountability is important when
spending “precious rate money”.
He said the current attitude is
to cut services.
“I believe an inquiry is need-
ed into how money is currently
spent, before talking about reduc-
ing local services,” he said.
“We need investment that cre-
ates jobs to secure the future of our
towns, as well as supporting our
agricultural sector, which has been
hit hard over recent years.
“This investment needs to be
shire wide and not just in Sale.”
Mr Stainer said there is an
“overwhelming need” for an in-
door heated swimming pool de-
velopment in the coastal ward.
He said an indoor pool would
support the whole community as
well as create local employment.
“I have heard council officers
say Yarram doesn’t need a pool,
because there is a perfectly good
one in Sale for everyone to use.
They were serious,” he said.
“Last year, when the council
had its review into aquatic facili-
ties, the then mayor Cr Caroline
Crossley came to Yarram to get
everyone’s ideas, but prefaced it
by saying not to bother to ask for
a heated indoor pool because there
was one in Sale.
“This is typical of the type of
poor representation the VEC was
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