RACHEAL Fyfe has dramatically quit the Mildura Rural City Council election race.
The SuniTAFE leadership and management teacher said she had not been “prepared for threats of harm or death”.
In a letter emailed to the Mildura Weekly on Tuesday, Racheal said: “Allowing myself to step into an opportunity to lead our community, to provide a voice for our community and make a connected vision for our region, for everyday people, there were many things I was prepared for.
“I was prepared for learning, I was prepared for personal sacrifice, I was prepared for being wrong at times and I was prepared for criticism and opposition, with debate. I accepted this would be ‘part of the role’.
“Born strong and with skin that grew thicker with life’s events, I knew I was as ready as ever I could be to make a difference; that I could represent my community and I could do it very well.”
Racheal said her decision to elect to run was natural and easy, to withdraw had been easier.
“To my community … vote for a true leader, vote for someone who is willing to take a firm stand, vote for someone who is without personal agenda and has a warm front but a strong back. The time for change is becoming more and more evident,” she said.
“It is time to shine an importance on ethics, leadership, teamwork, togetherness and most importantly respect … never underestimate respect for each other as a fellow human being.”
Racheal also posted the announcement on her facebook page.
Mildura Mayor Simon Clemence wrote under that post his disappointment of circumstances behind her withdrawal.
Cr Clemence told the ‘Weekly: “Clearly we as councillors and prospective councillors are only trying to do the best for the community.”
“People need to recognise the fair debate, comment and criticism is acceptable but threatening physical harm and being abusive is not,”he said.
“The vast majority of people are not hate-filled but we do live in a world where there are hate-filled people, people who feel unbridled to be disrespecting, aggressive and threatening on social media.”
Racheal is currently chair of Northern Mallee Leaders and deputy chair of Mildura City Heart.
Her campaign was launched earlier this month on social media where Rachael identified key issues as the region’s economic development, business and property development red tape and community engagement.
“It’s time to question some of the red tape,” Racheal said.
“I want to listen to what the community voice is saying and advocate on its behalf.”
Also identified by Racheal were community events through “supporting enough ownership for others to run events” and adequate resources to run events well.