New team yet to show its shape

WHEN the privatisation debate heated up during the Kiama Council campaign, the Greens were concerned residents had a limited choice of candidates to continue the area's "unique" direction.

The elected council's skills base surely disproves this.

In the new group of nine, there is a former council general manager, a dairy farmer, an engineer, a teacher, a retired police officer, a fisherman and three current or retired businessmen - many of whom also volunteer for different causes.

Residents and community groups should be confident their interests will have some representation on the council.

However, after years of smooth sailing under the careful guidance of outgoing mayor Sandra McCarthy, and with no groups successful in having three councillors elected, the question yet to be answered is how the new council will function.

Councillor Brian Petschler says the new council should be able to operate in the same spirit as the last council.

Some newly-elected councillors, on the other hand, have already described the mix as "interesting" - whether this simply means diverse, or whether the council is about to enter a more tumultuous period is yet to be seen.

It will be interesting to see which councillors find common ground as they consider wider driveways, CCTV cameras and an outdoor entertainment space at Jerrara as raised during the campaign, through to the larger challenge of defending Kiama's interests during the state government's planning review.

Congratulations to all the successful candidates and we look forward to your ideas.

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