‘HONESTY and Integrity’ were number one on the list when members of the Port Macquarie-Hastings community recently put forward their views on what they would like to see in our future councillors.
The ‘Councillor Key Specifications’ list and subsequent community rankings were facilitated by the independent members of the Port Macquarie Hastings Council Governance Review Consultation panel.
The process kicked off in May with an invitation to the community members to nominate the personal attributes, skills or specifications they want to see in our future councillors. The most nominated specifications were then put back to the community for consideration and ranking. While ‘honesty and integrity’ was the stand out specification, the issue of independence or alignment was also prominent.
“The issue of alignment with special interest or political groups was raised consistently,” said chair of the panel Liesa Davies.
“We also heard that people want to see councillors with good financial acumen, who are consultative, have commonsense, communicate and listen well.”
Panel members were pleased with the level and quality of participation in the process.
“It was clear that the community members who engaged with the process are very concerned to see a good field of quality candidates on election day and good governance and leadership in our elected Council,” said Ms Davies.
The panel members initiated the consultation process to promote a wide-ranging and open discussion on candidate qualities and platforms in the lead up to the September 8 election and ensure the community had an opportunity to outline their wishes for our new council governing body. Prospective councillors are being encouraged to demonstrate how they meet these specifications, as well as putting forward their key platforms. In addition, all who engage with councillor candidates - be they media outlets or community groups holding ‘meet the candidate’ events - are encouraged to refer their discussions to the key specifications so that the community will be well-informed of prospective councillor qualities prior to casting their vote.