Mr Wright right on top

Mr Wright right on top

SNOWY Valleys Council election candidate Bruce Wright is “pretty happy” about having his name at the top of the election ballot.

“I’m a lucky bugger; that should get me a few votes,” he said.

The ballot was drawn at the returning officer’s office in Tumut on Wednesday night by returning officer Ellen Hannigan.

From top to bottom, the order is Bruce Wright, James Hayes, Julia Ham, Margaret Isselmann, Cate Cross, Adrianna Benjamin, John Larter, Audrey McKenzie, Geoff Pritchard and Cor Smit.

Tumbarumba resident Mr Wright thinks there’s a 50/50 likelihood of him securing a position on council on September 9.

“I think I’m a reasonable chance,’ he said.

“Hopefully me and the other Tumbarumba candidate, Julia Ham, can both get in. I’m looking forward to working together with everybody to the best of our ability.”

Mr Wright said he did not have a lot on his agenda.

“I am keen to promote things like tourism, cycling trails, the rail trail, things like that,” he said.

“These are things we can work on together as a cohesive council, rather wasting time arguing about crap.”

Mr Wright is surprised there are only ten candidates for the nine councillor positions.

“I thought there would have been some more, but some of them might have been scared off by the challenge of a new council,” he said.

“To me, the challenge is part of the fun of it,” he said.

Mr Wright is impressed with all the candidates standing and looking forward to working with them.

“The big question is, who is going to be mayor?” he said.

“It certainly won’t be me.”

Cor Smit, who, with Cate Cross and Geoff Pritchard, weas the only candidate present at the ballot draw, isn’t bothered by being last on the list, and is actually seeing it as an advantage.

“He who is last will be first; that’s the angle I’m using on my leaflets,” he said.

“I was hoping for first, but the names kept on going, and when I was drawn out last I thought ‘that’s better than in the middle’,” he said.

Mr Smit is not surprised at the small field of candidates.

“I thought there wouldn’t be enough or just enough to hold the election,” he said.

“I thought there might be a rush at the end, but there wasn’t.”

He believes there’s more than one reason there aren’t more candidates.

“The new council has a wide area, so there is a lot of travelling to do, which could be difficult and costly for many, and the renumeration would not be enough,” he said.

“There area a lot of information-meet the candidates meetings on, and there’s much travelling to do, but so be it.”

He believes the negative publicity about the amalgamation of the Tumut and Tumbarumba Councils has also put potential candidates off.

“There have been strong feelings which have exploded in the past couple of weeks,” he said.

“It is bad timing, but they (the anti-amalgamation groups) probably think it is good timing, and has taken the focus off the people who are trying to get council going. I have seen it said on Facebook that the candidates are a ‘bunch of has-beens’, but there are good younger people like Bruce Wright, Cate Cross and Julia Ham who are not elderly and have experience, and would be good.”