Last week candidates were emailed your ratepayer questions as ratepayers of the Warrumbungle Shire, and asked to return their responses by the 1st September for publication after the 2nd September. The full content of the request email can be read here [PDF download]. Of the 16 active candidates (Colley has withdrawn late but will still be on the ballot) 14 received emails and two were left voicemail messages requesting their email addresses. Those messages were not returned and so candidates Hill and Lewis did not receive the questions. Of the 14 who did receive emails, 6 responded and 8 did not. The request email does point out that to not respond sends its own message to ratepayers.

As there’s a lot to read, the answers will be published over several articles.

Background – what is your background and connection to the Warrumbungle Shire?

Brady, Kodi

I moved to Coonabarabran 33 years ago at the age of 2, when my parents Michelle and Ken Brady purchased the Lunch box and moved from Dubbo both originating from Coonamble. I attended St Lawrence’s school my entire schooling life until I landed an apprenticeship at the Coonabarabran Bakery. Over the years I’ve held jobs and positions in lots of different business and organisations around Coonabarabran. In the past 6 years I had my restaurant Gecko Red, Gecko Storage and Gecko Grind Coffee van. I love to work with people and so I started local businesses that created jobs and delivered services that the locals needed. Those businesses meant that I could also give back to the community in the form of sponsorships, and time volunteering on committees. Which I am on many. At the moment I am in a role as Community worker with Centacare Bathurst, I still have local businesses going on in the background, but up front I love dedicating my professional and private life helping those that need a hand. Engaging, Inspiring, mentoring and role modelling for people young and old. I do this on a local, National and International Level.

Burton, Donna

My partner Christopher and I moved to Coonabarabran over 14 years ago. I have a BSc and MSc from the University of Southern Qld and am currently working on a PhD in Astronomy. I have also previously worked for large multi-national IT companies as a Business Analyst, Trainer and Network Support Team Leader for the Asia/Pacific region.

I have been involved in a number of community organisations over the years.. Community positions held include, but are not limited to: President of Coonabarabran Chamber of Commerce; Committee Member of Baradine & District Progress Association; Board member and Manager of Community Technology Centre (CTC) Coonabarabran and Treasurer Baradine CWA.

I strongly believe that the people are what make this Shire great. They are our strength. Their support for one another in times of trouble and in emergency is outstanding and I am proud to call the Warrumbungle Shire my home.

Doolan, Ambrose

I was born in the old Coonabarabran Hospital, the same hospital that my mother was born in. Our two children were born in the new hospital, and it is a great shame that our recently arrived grand daughter had to be born in Gunnedah because our hospital is not allowed to provide obstetric services. I was educated at St Lawrence’s until the end of year 10 in 1980, and I completed my final two years of high school in Bathurst at St Stanislaus’, receiving enough marks to do most degrees at university. That prospect held little attraction for me though because I had always set my sights on being a farmer, and so two days after my last HSC exam I was at home harvesting crops with my father. No “schoolies” hijinks in the olden days!
Sport played a major part in the social life of young people in Coonabarabran at the time I left school, and it was not uncommon for me to be involved in organised sporting activities six days a week. Rugby union, basketball, touch footy, softball, indoor volleyball, tennis and a little bit of cricket provided me with a great deal of fun and a wide circle of friends. I strongly feel that if we could re-animate the level of sporting activity in our towns back to these levels our young people would be so much better off socially, physically and mentally.
For the past thirty years my wife Lisa and I have operated a beef, sheep and cropping farm near Ulamambri. When our two children were at school I was involved as a coach or on the committee of a lot of the sporting organisations that they were involved in, and as much fun as it was when I played myself, that was even more enjoyable. Our daughter is a qualified town planner and was employed by Warrumbungle Council for some. Our son works with Lisa and I and he and his wife Pip have just purchased their own property to the west of the Warrumbungles.

Hunter, Nicole

I moved to the Warrumbungle Shire with my husband in 2009 as paramedics with the Ambulance Service of NSW. My home town is Yamba, Northern NSW. For 20 years, I lived in Sydney where I worked in tourism and hospitality management, built and operated my own restaurant for 7 of those years. Today I work with the Environmental Education Centre in the Warrumbungle National Park and operate a successful small business from our home. With my husband David and our three young daughters, our family is fully involved in the Coonabarabran community and strongly committed to the growth of the Warrumbungle Shire.

Johnston, Phil

I came to the Warrumbungle shire 23 years ago and now run a fairly large cattle farm called Maderty near Ulamambri with my wife,son,and his young family.

Shinton, Peter

My name is Peter Shinton, I have been a Councillor since 1995 and Mayor since 2004. I am married with a very supportive wife, have 2 daughters and 4 grandchildren. I own a woolbuying business in Coonabarabran and a rural property. I am a geologist by profession. I formally worked with the RTA as a Scientific Officer involved in road and bridge design and construction.

Affiliations – What is your political affiliation, do you represent a particular party? Are you running as part of a group?

Brady, Kodi 

I am running as an Independent. As I believe at this level of Government there should be no parties involved. By being Independent doesn’t mean I will not work as a team. It means that I feel confident and strong enough to run by myself.

Burton, Donna

I am running as an Independent. I do not represent any political party and am not part of any group.

Doolan, Ambrose

I am not a member of any political party. At the last state election I voted for Kevin Humphries, a good man who I first met through junior rugby when our sons were playing. I voted for Mark Coulton at the federal election, and I know him through my involvement with Cooinda.
I am running on a group ticket with Phil Johnston, and the reason is not very complicated. Rightly or wrongly Phil and I thought that because I have lived here all my life I might be better known in the community, and that if we pooled our resources and worked together we might stand a better chance of us both being elected. We have a double sided how to vote card, with vote 1 Doolan 2 Johnston on one side, and vote 1 Johnston 2 Doolan on the other. We are not indicating a preference for any other candidates, rather we will leave that up to the voter. In the three years that I was chairman of the board at Cooinda Phil was a valuable sounding board on matters of corporate governance and financial management. If elected Phil would be a huge asset to WSC.

Hunter, Nicole

I am not a member of any particular political party. I am not affiliated with or running with any other candidate or group of candidates. I will approach any issue on its merits and seek to work co-operatively with other councilors, council staff and community members.

Johnston, Phil

I have no political affiliations. I am running for council as part of a group ticket with Ambrose Doolan with whom I share common goals and  vision for the future of our Shire.

Shinton, Peter

What is your political affiliation, I have none. Do you represent a particular party? No Are you running as part of a group? No

Skills – Warrumbungle Shire runs a multi-million dollar budget that you will be responsible for.  What qualifications do you offer for the community to trust you with this? What skills do you bring to the table that the council needs.

Brady, Kodi

I have run, and still run, successful businesses of my own that have involved staff, budgets and growth and marketing plans. I understand the need for careful consideration in spending, in planning, in meeting government requirements, and to be prepared for the unexpected.  I believe the community has seen that I am a trust worthy person in my actions and that I focus on everyone in my community. I believe that as well as business skills I bring integrity and a reputation of making sure that there’s a fair go for everyone.

Burton, Donna

I have operated my own business in the Shire for the past 14 years and been actively involved in tourism. I have many years’ experience working with large multi-national companies, their budgets, contracts and the development of processes and policies. I have experience working with and can communicate well with people of all walks of life. I have strong verbal and written communication skills. I am accessible to anyone who wishes to contact me and am always happy to listen and do what I can to get a resolution.

My studies, undertaken as an external student indicate a commitment to achieving goals and with time management.

Doolan, Ambrose

This is a very important one because I am asking you to trust me to look after your money and spend it wisely. Together with my wife Lisa I have operated a mixed farming operation near Ulamambri  for the past thirty years. To survive in agriculture these days you have to have a strong grounding in financial management; knowing what the costs of production are, selling for the best price at the right time and budgeting for any future possibilities. My mother always said that “in farming you make more money with your head that your hands”. I have always tried to adopt the latest farming methods to  push our levels of production higher while at the same time protecting our farm for future generations. We have completed many landcare projects over the years using a combination of grant money and our own funds, and at one time one of the projects was rated in the top ten to have been completed in NSW. In recent years we have tripled the number of cattle we run.

In 2003 we had a big storm that caused serious erosion to our recently planted paddocks. We resolved to adopt direct drilling in the future, and searched Australia for a suitable planter that could handle our tough conditions, and unable to find one we looked overseas and found the machine we needed in Canada. After agreeing to a purchase price we had arrange to have the funds paid to them in Canadian currency, organise freight to the coast and book a container  place on a ship to Australia. Getting the container through customs was a mine field for new players, as was dealing with the companies that handle freight out of the port in Sydney. Eventually our new machine arrived like a giant mechanno set that had to be put together. It did such a good job of planting crops that other farmers that saw it wanted one too and so we developed a sideline business that soon was grossing more income than our farm. The machines had to be ordered ten months before they arrived, and paid for before they left Canada, so it was usual for them not to be sold as they went onto the ship. To finance their purchase our bank required us to provide a detailed business case with projected costs, revenues, cash flows and profit forecasts. Nothing motivates you more than having a small fleet of machines on their way to you that owe you more than $2 million on! We were always able to sell, construct, deliver, install and back-up all that we had ordered. Ten years in this business provides me with business and life skills that would be usefull to WSC. I have been on the board at Cooinda since 2002 and was honoured to be chairman from 2013-2015. Cooinda is the largest private employer in town, paying over $4.5million in wages into our community and has a turnover of over $6million. We as a board along with the management are currently assessing the financial viability of a multi million dollar upgrade to Cooinda to improve the services we can offer to those who live there and those who work there. I have been on the Finance Committee of St Lawrence’s parish for many years.

Hunter, Nicole

I have developed a broad skills base across a wide range of work and life experiences. Running my own business and family I have had to understand and develop budgets and manage finances. My training and work as a paramedic developed skills in analyzing and responding strategically to high order problems under pressure. As a tourism and hospitality operative I developed a clear understanding of issues in tourism and excellent people management skills when dealing with colleagues and the public.

Johnston, Phil

Apart from running a farm with annual turnover around $1 million, I have extensive experience in the business world.I was the Operations Director for Wellcome Australia Ltd, a division of The Wellcome Foundation a UK based multinational Pharmaceutical company who also owned Coopers Animal Health. I had approximately 300 reporting staff covering responsibility for Manufacturing,Logistics,Quality Assurance and property. I managed two $20 million + capital projects and was deeply involved in Strategic and Financial Planning. After 20 years with Wellcome ,for the next 10 years to 2011, I was the Non-Executive Chairman for Novogen, an ASX and Nasdaq listed Australian Biotech company involved in Cancer Research. As chairman I was responsible for guiding the board and ensuring the company met all its reporting and governance obligations and managing shareholder expectations with implementation of the company’s strategic and business plans.

Shinton, Peter

Proven record of fiscal oversight as a Councillor with the Shire returning a record financial and service delivery result in the 2015-16 year

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Tomorrow’s questions to be answered are

Growth + Development – Do you think the Shire needs to grow? If yes, in what areas do you think need focus and what will you do to help? Do you support the development of large industry within the shire? Do you think the shire needs to do more for local businesses?
Tourism – What is your position on tourism in the Shire? Do you think it is an industry worthy of Council focus? Do you think the shire should encourage more tourism?
Shire – Do you think your role is to represent your town, or the WSC as a whole? How will you ensure you are representing ratepayers and their needs?
CSG and Mining – What is your position on Coal Seam Gas Mining? Do you approve of large open cut mines in arable areas of the shire?

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