MAYORAL candidate Adam Roberts believes his team has what it takes to lead the next council and make the Port Macquarie Hastings the best place in the world to live, work and visit.
Mr Roberts announced his councillor candidacy in August 2010, a full two years out from next month’s elections and was the first to publicly announce intentions to run for mayor in March this year.
On September 8, residents in Port Macquarie-Hastings will go to the polls to elect a mayor and also eight councillors in two elections held simultaneously.
Mr Roberts had previously not planned to run in the councillor election as part of a group, but has since seen the benefit of such a move for the broader community.
‘Already being involved in local issues and lobbying on behalf of the community over the last two years will see me hit the ground running if elected.’
Mr Roberts has been publicly vocal on issues such a previous Administrator Garry Payne’s move to cut councillor numbers without a referendum. He lobbied against increasing rates until council was more financially responsible with their current funds.
Mr Roberts more recently stood alongside Lake Cathie residents to have the option of planned retreat removed from the list of options in the coastal erosion debate.
‘For me, leading a team is something that comes naturally and I’ve had plenty of experience in the private sector doing this. But at the end of the day, you’re only as good as the team around you.’
Putting a group together to contest the councillor elections wasn’t something that I originally had in my sights but after talking to literally hundreds of community members I feel that it’s the best way forward. I asked the community how they would feel about me putting together a group to contest the councillor elections and I received a mixed but mostly positive response.’
‘Some community members warned me against ‘siding’ with a political party or special interest group. Others suggested they’d like to see a broad section of the community represented. The suggestions also included that the individuals had to be focussed on using the opportunity to better the area, not using it as a stepping-stone to further their own careers.’
‘Having listened intently and taken this community advice, I believe that the group we now have in Mike Cusato, Ann-Maree Crowe, Glenn Scott and myself, are everything the community has asked for and more.’
Mike Cusato has a long family history in the local area, owns one of the areas best known family businesses in the Growers Market. His business interacts with literally thousands of locals every week. He brings a wealth of knowledge in the area of small business. Mike also has ties with the rural community through owning and operating several working farms where he grows much of his own produce for the Growers Market. Over the years, Mike has gained respect from locals through supporting numerous community groups and organisations.
Ann-Maree Crowe is an amazing woman with an incredible work history spanning many sectors including working as Tourism Manager for council, lecturer in Marketing at Southern Cross University and North Coast Institute of TAFE, Consultant to small businesses, assisting them develop Business Plans, General Manager for Mercure Port Macquarie and more recently as Manager of a Retirement Village in Laurieton. Ann-Maree has strong ties with many community groups including being a founding member of the Hastings Business Women’s Network and currently Secretary, a volunteer Director with the Local Organising Committee for the Australian Ironman and is also a founding member of Council’s Mayor’s Sporting Fund committee. Ann-Maree has also previously been President of Rotary Club of Port Macquarie Sunrise. Ann-Maree also has her daughter, son-in-law and grandson in the area with her.
Glenn Scott grew up in the Hastings and has many close ties through being a long-time local. He spent numerous years serving as a police officer and reached the rank of Sergeant having served the community in Sydney, Tweed/Byron and most recently back in the Mid North Coast local area command. Glenn possesses a tertiary qualification in Policing and holds Diplomas in both Business and Management. He is a Justice of the Peace and a devoted family man, with three young boys who attend local schools. Glenn’s current roles see him split his time between the owner/director of a local small business in Lighthouse Cellars, including his new addition of an online store. Glenn spends numerous hours involved in local sporting groups and organising charity events.
Adam Roberts’ background includes many years owning small businesses, working in the public sector caring for youth in and out of juvenile justice and wards of the state and also with Country Energy. He is a trained business mentor and is a life coach to the long-term unemployed. Adam currently splits his time between life coaching, business consulting and being a Mr Mom to his two young children. Adam’s wife Kristy went back to work full time last year to allow for Adam to concentrate on running for mayor and consulting with the community on many critical issues. Adam would take on the mayoral role as a full time responsibility if elected.
‘All four of us already have regular interaction with the broader community on a daily basis. I believe we’ve come up with a ‘winning ticket’ and certainly hope that the community sees us as just that when it comes to polling day.’
‘In the lead up to the elections, our team will be conducting our own community forums across the region as a group and also as individuals.’
‘We all want the same thing for our region – to make it the best place in the world to live, work and visit. We all know the importance of putting in one hundred percent effort over the next four years and we’re all in it for the long haul.’
‘Having had three Administrators and two general managers in the last three years in council has most certainly been a huge factor in the deterioration of the organisation and also the visual appeal of the area.’
‘On the stable leadership issue, and to answer a critical question in this regard, I will not use the opportunity of being elected as mayor as a stepping-stone to other levels of government. I have a keen interest in politics but have no aspirations for being a politician. With respect, I’m only interested in the Port Macquarie Hastings area, not dealing with issues such as boat people and the carbon tax.’
‘I would go as far as to say that I would ultimately love to be our areas longest serving mayor and I’m certainly young enough to achieve that.’
‘I believe the process of fundamental change that is needed to bring council organisation and the visual appeal of the area back up to a high quality standard, may realistically take ten years. I want to be around during that time as mayor to see the job through.’
‘Our team comes with no baggage and none of us have contested an election before. We’re as community minded and focussed as it gets. We’ll be taking a pretty simple message to the community in the coming weeks and we’re focussed on what is achievable and what we have control of.’
‘What we can achieve now is tidying the place up, both the council organisation and the visual appeal of the area. We will focus on being financially responsible with the funds and assets under our control and are committed to pro-actively engaging with the community to include them in the decision making process.’
‘Our team believes there is such a positive future ahead of our community and we’ll be focussing on just that – the future.’