2020 Mildura Rural City Councillors and candidates

WITH just over two weeks before nominations close on September 22 for the forthcoming council election, current councillors and emerging candidates are lining up to contest the October ballot, which will be conducted by post.

Several councillors confirmed their intention to stand again. Cr Mark Eckel last week announced that he would seek another term, while Cr Greg Brown has decided to call it a day.

Cr Helen Healy and Gavin Sedgman will also recontest, saying they have only been on council for 18 months having been elected on a countbacks to fill mid-term vacancies.

The Weekly has not received confirmation from Crs Jason Modica and Anthony Cirillo but they are expected to stand.

At this stage the six current councillors will be joined by new candidates Stefano de Pieri, Jodi Reynolds, Katie Clements and Cyndi Power who have indicated they will stand.

Cr Brown said he had decided that after serving a total four terms during a 23-year period, it was time for someone else.

“I am proud to have served and I believe I have made a contribution on a number of fronts,” Cr Brown said.

Amongst his achievements Cr Brown lists the funding for Mallee Track under economic development projects, access to Council’s rural roads funding which he said was a big win for farmers.

“The 24 per cent rate differential for farms as well as the setting up of library facilities in rural areas and the retention of the Ouyen to Murrayville railway line – that was a hell of a win!

“I don’t want a pat on the back, but I do want to emphasise that we need rural representation on council. If someone from the bush stands, I want people to vote for them.”

Cr Sedgman said he was motivated to stand again given he has only served half a term, having been elected in a countback in November 2018, following the passing of Cr Max Thorburn.

“I feel that I now have a better understanding of how everything works. I have some areas that I want to focus on and contribute to and there is plenty of unfinished work that I would like to follow through on,” Cr Sedgman said.

“I would like to see red tape reduced. I have noticed how frustrating it can be for everyone and it’s been made even worse with the current situation.

Cr Healy said: “I have only been on council for 18 months and I believe I have achieved quite a lot in that time and I am really engaged i the opportunity for advocacy particularly in the domestic violence issue building on Ali Cupper’s legacy and her advocacy in the gender equity portfolio which I have embraced.

Former Mayor and long serving councillor Glenn Milne is also set to run again saying that he is standing because now more than ever, there will be a need for experienced councillors.

“Given that several are not recontesting, it’s important that you have people who understand how meetings are run and to be able to actually run a meeting,” he said.

“I think there is also a lack of understanding of what council actually does and what its role is with some of the candidates. I think council has to some degree become a political forum, when the reality is, it’s about running the municipality for the citizens. While you can have interests in certain topics, essentially it is still about roads, rubbish and rates.”

Candidate Stefano de Pieri ranks amongst his priorities the urgent preparation to revive our tourism and hospitality businesses in Mildura. “There will be an influx of tourism and we must grab that opportunity to consolidate our position,” Mr de Pieri said.

Also joining the list of candidates is Cyndi Power, a business owner and former resident of Illinois in the USA, who met her husband Benjamin Power, a Mildura local who was studying Chiropractic at the Illinois University.