Kevin Ward is three-term Uralla shire councillor and plans to make it four if he is re-elected on Saturday.
Spending over $400,000 redeveloping the tourist information centre, I think that's a bloody disgrace.- Kevin Ward
He is a straight-talking country man who has lived in the area for almost 40 years.
Mr Ward believes the new council’s top priority should reigning in discretionary spending and bringing their budget back into balance.
And he believes, Council should start by scrapping the $400,000 visitors information centre relocation project.
“Spending over $400,000 redeveloping the tourist information centre, I think that's a bloody disgrace,” he said.
“You’ve got a purpose built visitors information centre and a purpose built library.
“The foyer in the library is a space ten-by-six and they want to redevelop it at a cost of around $400,000.
“You can build a bloody four bedroom house for that.
“I asked 12 months ago … for example based evidence that the little ten-by-six area would work and it hasn’t been done.
“We haven’t got a cost-benefit study on it yet.”
Mr Ward said Council needed to sort out its finances.
“We have to do-away with discretionary spending for the next few years,” he said.
“If we can bring our budget back to square within the term of this next council, that will be a pretty good achievement.
“We can’t keep spending more than we bring in, because all we are doing is transferring debt to future generations.”
He also said while corporate knowledge was important, he hoped the new council would have some fresh faces and ideas.
“If you can get 50 per cent new councillors and 50 per cent continuing councillors, I think that’s pretty good,” he said.
Industrial development is another key issue for Mr Ward.
Council has recently purchased industrial land with highway frontage and Mr Ward would like to see development in the space within Council’s next term.
“People who wanted to set up a business had to build a shed down in the backyard,” he said.
“Finally the sale has gone through and we have secured a block of land for industrial development.”
Election day is this Saturday, September 10.
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