OPINION: Letters to the editor of the Western Advocate

THINKING AHEAD: Candidate Jess Jennings has defended his policies for the coming local government election, including his vision for the city's population spread.

THINKING AHEAD: Candidate Jess Jennings has defended his policies for the coming local government election, including his vision for the city's population spread.

Want a local policy? Then take your pick of these

Dear Mr Whisperer (Windradyne Whisperer column, Western Advocate, August 1, p7).

I see your bromance with me continues, but unfortunately your deliberate bias and misinformation leads you to very wrong conclusions about most things, including me and my Better Bathurst team. 

It’s a shame for readers that you regularly and knowingly mislead them to promote your personal gripes, because the truth is I have plenty of big and small policy ideas for Bathurst council.

Yes indeed, I believe our council should save ratepayers money at every opportunity, including investigating battery storage (like South Australia has announced) and (further) investing in ever-cheaper renewable energy - for example, the Sunshine Coast Council switched on its own 15MW solar farm last month to save its ratepayers $22 million over the next 30 years.

Yes, I have a strong vision for managing Bathurst’s looming population boom of 50,000 people by 2030 with a ‘Central Park Masterplan’ which identifies medium-high density housing sites with great amenity on the fringes of the CBD.

Yes absolutely, we need a mayor who is directly elected by the people, and yes, our tourism sector needs real reform that enables our private sector to play a much bigger role in local events plus better marketing of Bathurst over the range and overseas.

But on the small scale I’d like to see the new entrance signage to Bathurst backlit at night, Endurance Walk replaced with a decent tribute to winners of the 12-Hour and ditto for all ‘fallen’ race drivers, the current waste voucher system at the tip replaced with a deductible annual weight allowance per ratepayer, and water stations around town that support public Wi-Fi.

I’d also introduce social enterprise start-ups where needed in Kelso, a police-co-ordinated, low-cost CCTV network (CBD), solar-powered compacting street bins that reduce council collection costs, a monument to the origin of Australian agriculture, encourage electric vehicle charging stations, improve relations between council and the Bathurst Business Chamber, deliver flood lighting and change rooms for touch footy for winter comps and big tournaments, and, perhaps the one you’ll love the most: terminate your current ratepayer-funded shout of free and unlimited alcohol for councillors every single time they turn up to ordinary or policy meetings!

Jess Jennings, lead candidate, Team Better Bathurst, The Lagoon 

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