News

Candidates pull interested crowd

Council candidate Jim Simmons addresses the crowd.
Council candidate Jim Simmons addresses the crowd.

IF YOU thought people weren't interested in local government you weren't at the Meet the Candidates forum in Maclean on Monday night.

The forum was the first of two to be held this week; the other is being held tonight at Grafton District Services Club.

About 200 people packed Maclean Services Club to hear what the 17 aspiring candidates had to say. Six are councillors. Ian Dinham, Ian Tiley and Pat Comben will retire at the election.

Daily Examiner editor Jenna Cairney adjudicated, putting a range of reader-contributed questions to the candidates.

Ms Cairney also asked candidates whether they were aligned to a political party.

Several admitted being a member of a party, while one said she has been a member of virtually every political party at some stage.

As expected though, all espoused the importance of taking a non-political approach to local government.

The candidates were split on coal-seam gas mining, with some totally against it and others calling for a rational debate.

On job creation, a few had ideas but none that seemed would generate large-scale employment.

When asked about their support of the local timber industry - an important local jobs provider - all candidates who had the opportunity to respond to the question said they supported its continuation; although environmentalist Greg Clancy made the comment that timber was "not the future".

Jim Simmons, on the other hand, spoke passionately about his father's career in the timber industry and the importance of it for local jobs.

A question on the flying foxes in Maclean aroused some passion in the audience and even a bit of humour from one.

Joy de Roos said the bats were not there when she attended Maclean High School and said they should be moved on.

But Greg Clancy was shot down in flames by the audience when he said records showed the flying foxes had been in the area for more than 100 years.

This was tempered with Jeremy Challacombe's tongue-in-cheek comment that bats were a delicacy in some countries and there could be an opportunity for a new local industry packaging and exporting flying foxes.

>> Watch speeches from the Daily Examiner meet the candidates night in the videos above.

Topics:  candidates, clarence valley council, grafton, local elections 2012




Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

SES: Meet our everyday heroes

REACHING GREAT HEIGHTS: The New South Wales State Emergency Service is voluntary organisation made up of regular members of the community.

The volunteers at the forefront of life and death emergencies

Spanish firm to build new bridge

BRIDGING THE CLARENCE: State Minister for Roads Duncan Gay (centre), Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis and Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan surrounded by the people who will work to complete the Harwood Bridge project by 2019.

International firm successful Harwood Bridge tenderer

Lack of doctors and infrastructure an ongoing concern

Don't have a heart attack on a Friday says Dr Tyson

Latest deals and offers

Grafton City SES Training

Grafton SES unit controller Adam Jarrett explains the process involved in being an...

British family bashed in Thailand

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Ben Hunt wary of Sharks Halfback

Ben Hunt of the Broncos looks to pass during the round 23 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium.

Ben Hunt talks about Cronulla's Chad Townsend.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

VIDEO: Art Deco fan pays $835,000 for Imperial Hotel

No Caption

Iconic "Impy" sold at a bargan price to bidder who loves Art Deco.

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances