Yamba lays it on the line
BY ADRIAN MILLER
AS THE Clarence Valley went to the polls on Saturday, the feeling amongst Lower River voters was one of ensuring that they secured a council which would look after their needs.
In Yamba, the Daily Examiner spoke to many people who were of the view local candidates needed to be voted on to the new nine-member council to ensure the interests of the town were catered for.
Yamba residents Garry and Juanita Wockner said they wanted to see Yamba candidates on the council who would see their rate money was spent in the town.
"The big problem is for years the money from our rates has been spent in Maclean and we don't want to see it spent in Maclean and Grafton," Mr Wockner said.
"You only have to look at facilities in Maclean, such as the lookout.
"There's toliets, seven or eight tables and covered areas, you go down to the beach here and out to Angourie and there's practically nothing."
Other Yamba residents such as Wayne and Jane Aitken said they didn't believe that councillors from Grafton could understand the issues of importance to Yamba.
"I can't see how Grafton people could know what's happening in Yamba, we need people in Yamba who can speak for us," Mr Aitken said.
Mrs Aitken said she thought Yamba was such a benefit to the Valley with its tourism, the money should stay and be spent in Yamba.
Another Yamba resident who did not wish to be named said change was necessary because of previous failings by councillors.
"I'd like to see some change. In my opinion the councillors from the Grafton City Council have held the Valley back for 30 years and it'd be nice to see some new faces and fresh ideas and people who aren't trying to monopolise their own interest," he said.
Voters in Maclean, while looking in one respect for people with some fresh ideas, also said they wanted councillors with a proven track record.
Annette Loy said she was looking for councillors with a bit of 'nous' and who had the credentials to run the Valley.
Keith Cooper said he voted for people he already knew, and believed councillors would represent their own towns rather than the whole Clarence Valley.
John and Leticia Cashman said picking nine out of 36 candidates was a difficult ask, but were looking for candidates who would spend money on the Lower River.