IT'S time to put the Port Macquarie-Hastings first and that's the clear message being taken to the September 4 council elections by a team of five independents.
Hastings First is a group ticket being led by local radio personality Nik James Lipovac, who will also contest the top job of mayor. He is supported by Kerry Fox, Linda Lenord, Michael Clarke and Justin Hardie.
Mr Lipovac said Hastings First is focused on the concerns of the community at the grassroots level.
"The team wants to provide the community with a strong, informed voice in council on matters concerning its future," he said.
"Hastings First is a team with integrity at its core and is prepared to work with fellow councillors to achieve the best outcomes for the community.
"Between us, we bring a wealth of local knowledge and experience coupled with professional expertise in key areas."
Hastings First believes it has the experience and commitment to help make informed decisions on the key issues impacting the local government area. They said the "in-fighting" in council must stop and believe council has "lost touch" with its ratepayers.
The group will push to develop economic hubs to leverage community skills and create employment opportunities; create a more connected community and shared workspace environments; improve traffic bottlenecks through championing for better infrastructure; help develop a post-COVID tourist plan and encourage more people to discover the hinterland.
"The group wants to work with council to understand the priorities and plans to fix urgent infrastructure requirements following the fires, floods and COVID and communicate this to the community," Mr Lipovac said.
"Community mental health and safety are vital issues during this stressful period and Hastings First will listen to the concerns of local grassroots groups within the community and work with state and federal authorities to set up local "health hubs" to provide support on the ground in various locales."
Social housing is also on their agenda.
Who else is in the running so far?
- Group Ticket: Peta Pinson, Sharon Griffiths, Danielle Maltman and Adam Roberts
- Group Ticket (Greens): Lauren Edwards, Stuart Watson, Les Mitchell and Drusi Megget
- Group Ticket (Fighters for our Region): Lisa Intemann, Kingsley Searle, Stewart Cooper, Narelle Milligan and Paul Bradford
Mr Lipovac is known as a media personality on 2MC-FM and Radio 531, as well as his links to business, community and sporting organisations.
Kerry Fox has many years of leadership experience in strategy and innovation across all facets of business. She has passion, energy and a focus on fairness and justice for the community
Linda Lenord has a background in the education sector with a focus on young people and their link to the future of the region. Linda has her own business which focuses on helping organisations build strong, effective leadership teams from a strengths-based perspective.
Michael Clarke has 42 years of experience working in the finance sector. He is relationship driven and brings strong analytical and risk assessment skills with an existing connection to the business community via his banking and finance experience.
Justin Hardie has experience working in the area of investment in, and delivery of, renewable energy, rail and road infrastructure. He is a believes council should represent the needs of the whole community, not just "prioritise the privileged few".
What else is making news?
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: