RHYS Dive has been a paramedic for 16 years and before that he served in the Navy. Now he has made the decision to run for Bathurst Regional Council.
Mr Dive, who is married to Rebecca and has two children – Bethany, 14, and William, 12 – is the paramedic district inspector for the Bathurst region.
He says his six years of service as a marine engineer, combined with his time in the ambulance service, has prepared him for a role as a councillor by giving him skills in listening, negotiating and making important decisions.
It has also given him an insight into the challenges people in the region face.
“We see Bathurst in the daytime and at night and talk with people from all walks of life,” he said.
“This has given me an overall broad awareness of what is happening in the area.”
His previous service has also helped him develop a cool head, which resulted in him being awarded a bravery medal by the Queen for rescuing a young girl from a flooded river.
Mr Dive is involved in the Bathurst Show, the Carillon Theatrical Society and Cathedral and MacKillop schools, and helps with the scoreboard for junior basketball.
“I believe in order to get fullness out of a town you need to be involved,” he said. “Councillors need to be workers, not celebrities.
“It doesn’t matter what a councillor’s background is, everyone needs to come together and make decisions for Bathurst.
“Bathurst is one of the fastest growing regions in the state. We need to make sure that growth is sustainable with measured decisions made by the entire community.
“But we also need to be pro-active in attracting investment and infrastructure.
“A clear example of that is health services. As a town of nearly 40,000 we deserve to have clinical services available for our hospital.”
Mr Dive said the decision to nominate for council was not taken lightly. He needed to make sure he had the time to commit to being an active councillor.
He said he has attended all but one council meeting in the past nine months to get an understanding of the dynamic of council.
“It is at least a four-year commitment so I believe it is important to go into it with your eyes wide open,” he said.
“A councillor is a face and advocate for the people of the Bathurst region and as such needs to be aware of all the issues affecting ratepayers and making sure those concerns are raised at all three levels of government if necessary.”
Mr Dive said he is a member of the Nationals but believes there is no place in local government for politics.
“I’m not here to push any kind of agenda,” he said. “I’m simply saying who I am and what I stand for.”
He said he has been approached to run on a ticket but has not yet made a decision.