Two vacancies in upcoming council elections

Former Dungog Mayor Glenn Wall intends to take another shot at the position should he be elected to council in September’s local government elections.
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He will most likely be up against incumbent, Harold Johnston, who is keen to continue as mayor of the shire.

“I think I’ve done my apprenticeship now and there are quite a few things I’d like to see develop in the shire,” Mr Johnston said.

Mr Wall, who was deposed by his former deputy at the last local government elections, said he had plenty of unfinished business.

“We’ve got the integrated planning and reporting reform,” he said.

“That’s dealing with the long-term sustainability of the shire.

“We’ve also got the constitutional recognition of local government.

“We’ve also got the Lower Hunter water plan to contend with and there is no doubt there will be something to do with this shire, whether it be the augmentation of an existing dam or a new dam.

“This term of council is going to be a very busy one.”

Both councilors sited the ongoing campaign for better roads funding for the Dungog local government area.

Mr Johnston was also keen to see through developments with the James Theatre.

“There are also policing matters at Clarence Town that need addressing and the number of timber bridges need to be addressed,” he said.

“Planning has taken a big turn for the better in recent years, particularly in Paterson, Vacy and Clarence Town and I would like to see that continue.

“I think there is lots to do in this community.”

Mr Johnston and Mr Wall will be contesting their seats on council in wards B and C respectively.

The shire’s Mayor will be voted in by sitting councilors after the local government elections.

B-Ward Councilor Tony McKenzie will stand for re-election in September’s poll.

Mr McKenzie is keen to come back for a second term in order to help establish Dungog as a regular tourist destination, rather than just a couple of times a year.

“We’ve got as good a destination as Katoomba,” he said.

“We don’t want to be a place that has something once or twice a year.

“I want to see us build something more regular.”

C Ward councilor Robert Booth was non-committal about his intentions for the coming election.

“I don’t think it’s a fair question to be asking at this time,” he said.

“What can happen in three to four months? I’m going to stay professional and keep going with my work as a councillor until the time comes.”

A Ward councilor Stephen Farrow said he would probably put his hand up for a second term.

“I haven’t decided yet,” he said.

“I probably will but it’s four months away.”

A ward councilor Lea Mitchell will be stepping down at before the next election.

“I think three terms is enough,” she said.

Ian Lloyd said he won’t be standing for re-election.

“When I stood for election four years ago I was only working part time as a barrister in Sydney and spending a good deal of my time at my home in Dungog,” he said.

“But the Global Economic Crisis adversely affected my super fund and as a result I have gone back to full time work as a barrister and am spending less time in Dungog.

“I am finding it increasingly more difficult to attend early evening council meetings.

“In the circumstances I feel it only fair that I stand aside and let someone take my place who can attend every meeting.

“But I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a councillor serving the community of Dungog.

Peter Ainsworth and Joe Thompson could not be contacted in time for this article.

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