MAYORAL candidate Peter Besseling has named his ticket to contest the September council elections. Business consultant Geoff Hawkins and lawyer Justin Levido join businessman Rob Turner on Mr Besseling’s group vying for a place on Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.
Last Thursday, Mr Besseling confirmed Donovan Oates Hannaford Lawyers of Port Macquarie managing partner Justin Levido would be number three in the group, followed by business consultant Geoff Hawkins.
“The skills set that is covered by all four [group members], I think is very complementary,” Mr Besseling said.
“We each have different skills we can utilise for the best interest of council and for the best interest of the community.”
Mr Levido resigned his membership to the Liberal Party, he said, in the interest of best serving the community independently.
“In deciding to nominate for Council I have reached the decision that this area is best served at the local government level by genuine community members without formal political affiliations,” he said.
Mr Levido said his experience as a lawyer, with a masters degree in laws majoring in environment and local government law, will give him good understanding of the role of a councillor.
“I believe that council’s fundamental role is to improve the quality of life of its residents,” he said.
“In leading the council we require a mayor who believes in the potential of our area, who will act without fear or favour, who is a community advocate, who will look forwards and not backwards, who will reject an historical view of our council’s role and challenges and who is not divisive but team focussed and problem solving. For these reasons I am supporting Peter Besseling for Mayor.”
Geoff Hawkins has been one of only two local members of the Port Macquarie Hastings Council’s External Risk and Audit Committee for just over three years.
“It has given me an incredible enthusiasm for and insight into just what great potential lies within our community,” he said.
He said those who represented the community in the council, to be effective and offer value to the electors, needed to have appropriate skills, knowledge and experience.
“I have owned, operated, managed and directed both my own business and large companies in Australia and overseas,” Mr Hawkins said.
“All these businesses provided a diverse range of services to their customers and, like Council, needed to do this efficiently and with excellence. The challenges that I have faced and conquered are exactly the same ones that Council now faces. The key challenges to our community - social, commercial, environmental and financial - can and will only be successfully addressed if Council has the right culture and actively manages it throughout all its activities and in all interactions with all its stakeholders all the time. In the mayoral election, after considerable thought and reflection, I have decided to support Peter Besseling. He is highly experienced and has in depth operational knowledge of not just our local area, but all tiers of government - a rare and valuable asset. Peter and the other members of the team share with me a similar view of the future and a common passion to make it happen.”