IT is fitting that ex-councillor Andrew Murat should arrive for interview in a work shirt, because work is all he can talk about.
Mr Murat has decided he will run for Council in the September election.
“There are quite a number of issues that I think need following up or addressing, the airport is my pet project that I’ve been pushing for the last four years,” he said.
A member of the Armidale Regional Airport Users Group, Mr Murat said he has never stopped pushing for development. A Visitors Information Centre, shops and upgrades to parking are just some of the items on his wishlist for the airport.
“The new terminal is a major step forward, it brings us up to a higher standard,” he said. Some have expressed concerns that ex-councillors were inefficient, but Mr Murat said this was not the case.
“I think in the time that I was on Council I actually did things, such as the airport,” he said.
“I moved it in a positive direction, there’s a lot of project that were with Council for a long time – the landfill was on Council’s books for 20 years, the library for 15, the industrial land for 15.
“In the time that I and a number of new councillors were there, we got those projects to proceed.
“We stopped projects that we thought were detrimental to the community and the library is one of them – to spend 10, 12, 15 million dollars was, as far as I was concerned, a bad move for Armidale.”
Mr Murat is also chairman of the Disability Access Committee, and played a role in the installation of the first drive-thru post office box in Australia.
Youth unemployment, bringing businesses to the industrial land area and tourism are high on his agenda.
He said he looks forward to the election, and hopes new faces can bring opportunities to Armidale.
“Whether it’s someone from the existing Council or a new Council, you have to have vision and you have to have ideas,” he said.
“Whoever is going to stand for Council needs to have vision, tell me how you’re going to do it because wanting to support something is not having a vision for it.”
Click the link to see the rest of the council candidates here.