Geoff Pritchard has stepped aside from the organisation he created, the Tumut Community Association, due to the conflict of interest that arose from him being elected as a Snowy Valleys Councillor.
The Association has elected Col Locke, also the Secretary of the Gilmore Progress Association, as its new President. Mr Locke said the Association was a way for the community to take action on issues without going through Council.
“Primarily, it’s to represent ratepayers in the community, and to be an effective voice so that the community has a voice to the council,” he said.
“Before it’s been – people have been fobbed off and you don’t really have a say. Councillors weren’t able to actually do anything, they’d hear your complaints and they’d have a council meeting, but councillors can’t complain to the staff because they’re restricted. This seemed like a way to talk to the administration.”
He said the Association had secured funding to remove blackberries from the Hume and Hovell walking track, and were in the process of solving the problem of motorbike riders harassing residents near the Bush Common.
At their next meeting a Snowy Hydro representative will be attending to answer questions about the Snowy 2.0 project and how it could affect the region, and, as with all meetings, everyone is welcome to come along.
“If there’s some particular issue we’d encourage people to come along and bring it up,” he said.
“We’re a body that’s been able to write letters to the government etc. as an incorporated body rather than just Joe Blow on the street.”
Their priorities for the future will be improving footpaths, securing a multi-purpose venue for meetings and for young people to use, and any other issues that are deemed important by members.
As for Geoff Pritchard, he said even though he won’t be President, he still intends to take an active role.
“I’ll be going to all the meetings and I’ll certainly be having a lot of input, that’s for sure,” he said.