This Saturday, December 4, Parkes shire residents will head to the polls to decide which 10 councillors will represent us for the next term.
Here is all you need to know before you vote.
How to vote
The Parkes Champion Post has fielded a lot of questions about how the Group (A) will affect voting this year. The simple answer is that the group does not change how you vote.
Voters are asked to place the numbers 1 to 5 in the squares next to the top five candidates in order of your preferences for them.
Since there is only one group that has registered for this election, they don't have a separate box.
Their names appear as a list on the ballot paper, on the left side, where the ungrouped candidates appear on the right.
You can include as many or as few group candidates in your list as you prefer.
If you wish to vote for more than five candidates, place consecutive numbers from 6 onwards in the order of your preference.
The Parkes shire will be represented by 10 councillors.
Where to vote
In-person voting will be available at many locations across the shire, from 8am to 6pm on Saturday.
- Parkes East Public School: Renshaw McGirr Way, Parkes. Parkes East P&C have you covered this Saturday, with our famous cake stall, coffee and bacon and egg rolls from 8am-12pm.
- Parkes Assemblies of God Hall: 7 Rees Avenue, Parkes
- Middleton Public School: Medlyn Street, Parkes
- Coventry Room, Parkes Shire Library: 23 Bogan Street, Parkes
- Bogan Gate Public School: 5 Bogan Street, Bogan Gate NSW
- Alectown Soldiers Memorial Hall: Newell Highway, Alectown
- Peak Hill Central School: Derribong Street, Peak Hill
- Trundle Central School: Croft Street, Trundle
- Tullamore Central School: Hinkler Street, Tullamore
Meet your 2021 candidates
Over the past month, the Parkes Champion Post has run full profiles on the candidates for the upcoming council elections.
You can read a small blurb about each candidate, and click through to their full profile, below.
People often ask what I believe has been my greatest achievement during my current term, and my answer to that is any achievement involves a team effort within council.
In saying that, I'm particularly proud of firstly bringing to Council, and then seeing the following come to fruition:
- The bollard lighting of all the entrances to Memorial Hill
- The dog park at Kelly Reserve
- Free admission to all the shire pools during the horrible drought (an initiative that remains in place at the pools in Peak Hill, Trundle and Tullamore)
- Painting in white the edges of all 170 plus road 'islands'
- Lighting of the Post Office car park
I am proud to be part of a proactive Council team that is responsive to the needs of the shire as a whole.
I have nominated as a candidate to give a voice to families and youth in our Shire, to drive opportunity in education and industry.
To work towards a Parkes Shire where people do not have to choose between relocating for exciting and long careers or staying in the town they love.
Let's build those opportunities here in our Shire, build the infrastructure needed to support these aspirations and grow our community.
In this next term of council, I wish to continue to be part of a progressive team that will continue to build confidence and prosperity to everyone who calls this place home.
The Special Activation Precinct will move into its next phase, and this will bring amazing opportunities to farming and Town Businesses alike.
A growing population presents new challenges but things that seemed out of reach will become possible and we dare to dream.
I want people to know I have an understanding of the everyday issues that a family faces, experience working in a team and I truly want our communities within the Parkes Shire to be the best that they can be.
I want to be able to contribute to the wonderful work that our councillors have been doing.
I don't want to be elected because we have two wonderful women leaving, but I still recognise that having women amongst our councillors is essential.
I feel that it would be beneficial to have representation from a younger, but experienced, demographic within council.
If re-elected, my focus will be on making sure project ideas that have been suggested during the recent Community consultations, are prioritised, and developed into planning phase.
There are several community and village projects that are still being finalised, so their completion will also be at the top of the list.
The next term of council will be a short term, and there will be several new faces around the table, so helping new councillors adapt to 'all things Council' will take a good 12 to 18 months.
If elected, I would prioritise the following areas:
- Improve the poor quality roads that force farmers to travel on unsafe machinery damaging roads
- Look to how we can revitalize the small villages within the shire, because .any of these places are on life support innovative thinking is required. Location should not affect opportunity
- Encourage a review of council processing and charges to determine how as a council we can better encourage small business to survive and employ more locals
- Encourage private and government providers to establish services and infrastructure across the Parkes Shire to support positive mental health
My aims, should I be elected:
- Clear, transparent administration of council
- Information on council's financial dealings to be made available to public
- Improve customer service areas in council
- Fair and equal distribution of funds to cover ALL the areas of the shire
- Take advice from rate payers and renters - especially through the Parkes Renters and Ratepayers Association
- Scrutiny of employment and staff levels
The current council has done some good work, we own our wastewater supply, and they do a marvellous job of maintaining all the ovals around town.
I would, however, like to see more attention paid to our outlying towns - of course Parkes will have the lions share of the attention given the population but it shouldn't discourage those small towns from getting things done.
Being a councillor for the Parkes Shire has been a very rewarding time post-retirement from the NSW Ambulance Service after almost 30 years.
It has allowed me to reach new objectives by being on many committees that serve this shire of ours.
Apart from council committees, I have given representation to our smaller towns and villages.
Road safety is a big priority for me, as well as the safety and wellbeing of the elderly - safety for those who use mobility scooters is a must.
Ken Keith OAM
I believe it is essential not to have politics or factions in the chamber in order to have the best results.
Parkes has a very exciting future and I'm standing because I can offer experience and stability to try and bring some of the visions of past councils together in the development of the National Logistics Hub and the Special Activation Precinct.
I believe it is important for councillors to ensure they represent and listen to all the communities that make up our wonderful shire.
I seek your Number 1 Vote, but encourage you to vote for at least 10 candidates in order of your preferences rather than the minimum legal vote of five - as these votes could well determine the outcome of the new Council.
Group A, led by Glenn Wilson
I have thought about running for council for the past 20 years, but like most people that are very capable of being a councillor, when the election draws close, they decide they are too busy in their busy life to spare the time.
For me, that has changed - I'm thoroughly sick of the way the Parkes Shire Council has operated for decades.
The sealed roads in the shire are poorly constructed from years of using poor cheap materials, that eventually fail, and result in the continuous pot holes that join up to each other, resulting in more money to patch up the mess.
There needs to be a whole re-think in the traffic restrictions forced upon us.
I'm used to confronting issues, and maternity services issues need to be confronted.
As Cr Barbara Newton is retiring, she leaves a gap in the council with medical knowledge which I feel I can contribute to due to my recent management role.
I want to see a more stable Doctor and nurse workforce. There is so much constant upheaval with healthcare in the shire and it cannot continue.
Something needs to change, and we simply must have birthing return to Parkes.
In growing Parkes, young families moving here for work look at medical services and facilities/opportunities available prior to making the move. As a manager I have seen firsthand the challenges in Parkes.
My main goal, should I be elected, is to listen and respond ethically and thoughtfully.
I'm not a promiser of what can be achieved, as this would be a new role.
I can say, however, that issues around mental health, youth support systems and put to sleep rates of animals at our pound are all important to me.
I've been in Parkes since 2000, and have been running the Parkes Pet Barn since 2009
I'm a very proud father who wants to see the best for not only my own children, but everyone's children - they our are future. I believe in approachability, transparency and community input when it comes to council. I will take everyone's voices into the chamber.
I can be found more often than not at work, and I will always listen to ideas from Parkes Shire ratepayers.
Cr McGrath is a lifelong resident of Parkes, married to Sue with eight children.
Self-employed Cr McGrath started his earthmoving business over 25 years ago, which now also includes landscaping. The business employs his wife and two sons.
Some of Council's operations relate to the business that Cr McGrath conducts and he feels that he can well represent the community in this area. Cr McGrath believes that children should be given the opportunities to get the best start in life. He is proud of the Parkes community and enjoys being part of it.