Gulaptis may return to council

By SALLY GORDON

FORMER Maclean shire mayor Chris Gulaptis was one of the most vocal critics last year of amalgamation of all councils in the district to form the Clarence Valley Council.

With the Carr Government shake-up came the sacking of councillors, followed by the appointment of an administrator and an acting general manager.

Mr Gulaptis, a staunch National Party supporter, believes the politics of running for a spot on a new council is a different ball game.

Via telephone from Western Australia yesterday, the exLower River councillor declared that he seriously was considering standing for election in the March poll. Nine councillors will be elected.

"I'm certainly considering it and that's as far as it's got at this stage," he said.

"I'll reassess it when I get home next week."

Despite his attempts throughout 2003 and 2004 to retain the Maclean shire as a separate entity, Mr Gulaptis said that if he ran for the 2005 council his decision would be based on the desire to represent the interests of the entire Clarence Valley.

"I ran for Maclean shire council representing Maclean shire, if I run for the Clarence Valley Council, I'd be representing the Clarence Valley, so I don't think there's any issue there to be honest," he said.

"It's a different ball game ... if there had have been consensus in the electorate that they wanted amalgamation I would have been the most staunch supporter of amalgamation, but there wasn't. What you're doing is representing the will of the people and you convey that.

"I did that with Maclean shire and I'll certainly do that with the Clarence Valley if I was to run and be elected."

Mr Gulaptis said there were certain personal and professional attributes he would like to see brought to the council table, including business experience, vision and a connection with the area.



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