Jonathan Cassell at the Coffs Climate Action Group 2021 LG Forum

When I stood for local council, I knew that it would be a big job in winning the Green votes necessary in a conservative electorate. But what gave me hope was the sense that people sought renewed community based political leadership. The last term of council had been drawn out for 5 years and is regarded as one of the most divisive in recent times. Hats off to the 8 Councillors for sticking it out but it’s clear the community want change!

Hats off to the 8 Councillors for sticking it out but it’s clear the community want change!

So what will be offered going forward and how can the current councillors build trust with the community again?

This is an important question for me as our Council is central to the lives of all who call Coffs Harbour home. The prosperity we all share requires Council to plan and institute decisions that support our lives, respect Gumbaynggirr culture and preserve our wonderful environment. We all have a job in preserving our coastal home but Council have a unique role in shaping the social structures at a local level that influence each and every one of us.  

The tension the last council experienced can’t have simply evaporated with the local election and the rise of radicalisation in Australia generally points to a weakening in the trust of democratic institutions generally. With a new term of council, new councillors and a new year, we have a chance to push reset.

We as a regional city have several issues to deal with that will continue to require a high level of cooperation as a council and as a community. This includes a determined effort to improve housing affordability, waste management, waterway quality and emissions reduction targets. We have the bypass starting and Covid-19 continuing. Solving these issues will require a community-wide and collaborative effort that builds trust between us all and those empowered to make the final decisions.

Mayor Paul Amos with Cr Jonathan Cassell

I’m actually really excited by what we can achieve together as a community when we place cooperation and collaboration at the top of our Council’s values.

While I’m excited to have been elected as a Councillor, I’m actually really excited by what we can achieve together as a community when we place cooperation and collaboration at the top of our Council’s values. We’re all in this together and making our community resilient and responsive to change requires everyone’s input.

As a Coffs Harbour local, I hope you’ll join me on this journey!!

Councillor contact details are:

E: jonathan.cassell@chcc.nsw.gov.au

M: 0419 875 322.  

Featured image: Jonathan Cassell at Climate Action Group LG Candidate Forum 2021 by Rob Cleary

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