Pollies see bright year ahead
WITH 2014 now upon us and people everywhere making resolutions and plans to make this year their best yet, we decided to ask our local pollies what they are looking forward to in 2014:
Page MP Kevin Hogan
"My plan is to continue to build a strong sustainable economy, not only maintain existing jobs but also to create new ones.
It's been good to have a few wins at the start of the new government, including a new breast care nurse for Lismore.
I am looking forward to working with the community to get all of the election promises delivered including starting work on the $4.5 million upgrade of Ballina hospital and the duplication of the Pacific Highway which will bring thousands of jobs to the region.
We live in the best place on earth, and working together with the community I believe we can achieve some great things this year."
Richmond MP Justine Elliot
"I am looking forward to continue working with locals and being their voice in Canberra as we keep fighting against the National Party's plan to expand coal seam gas mining right across the North Coast."
Lismore MP Thomas George
Mr George was away from Lismore on business and could not be contacted.
Ballina MP Don Page
"From a local member's perspective, there are a few projects I'd like to see in 2014: I'd like to see capital funding for the central hospital for Byron Shire. I'd like to see work commence on the Byron Bypass, and I'd also like to see the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale section of the Pacific Highway upgrade completed. I'd also like to see the vaccination rate for our children increase substantially as a result of the new measures that are being taken."
As Minister for the North Coast, Mr Page said he'd like to see the goals set out in the Northern Rivers Regional Action Plan achieved by the end of 2014, and as Minister for Local Government he said he'd like to see councils working together through joint organisations to strengthen local government.
Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell
"In 2014 I'm looking forward to the first homes being built on North Lismore Plateau and some exciting new businesses coming to the city. While hard decisions still need to be made, the foundations, through our Growth Management Strategy and other policies, have been laid for a bright 2014. Watch this space."
Ballina Mayor David Wright
Cr Wright said he and his fellow councillors were looking forward to many things in the new year, from continuing the infrastructure they started last year - the car parks in Tamar St, the works in River St, the completion of the new building at the Surf Club, hopefully getting the Marine Rescue Tower built, to completing works on the Wollongbar Sporting Fields, continuing work on the Coastal Pathway, doing some environmental work around Lake Ainsworth, but most importantly, working with the public to find out what's important to them.
Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson
"Personally I'm looking forward to one of my girls' first day in kinder, and look forward to getting more time with my kids and family.
Professionally I'm looking forward to continuing to support innovation and continuing to work together to maintain the integrity of our community and environment."
Richmond Valley Mayor Ernie Bennett
"There are a couple of key issues that I really want to see progress over the next year - One being the 24-hour policing, and another being the upgrade of the Casino Live-stock centre (Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange).
I'm also hoping for good weather for the full year - not too much to destroy our roads but enough to satisfy our farmers. There's just so much you want to happen for the community - the list goes on and on."
Kyogle Mayor Danielle Mulholland
"I'm looking at economic growth, that's sustainable in the long term - it doesn't rely on industries, which offer relatively short term job opportunities that has long term impacts. Also supporting small business and industry is a priority over foreign investment. Live local, buy local - that's a truly sustainable approach. I'd also like to build more networks across boundaries and LGAs."