CANDIDATE STATEMENT FOR RURAL PRESS BY ROSEMARY BEAUMONT

The next four year may well see major social, economic and ecological changes, and the ability to respond responsibly and creatively lies primarily with the community. The Council can actively strengthen connections and cohesion within our community through thoughtful policies, applied vision and wisdom, skilful advocacy, strategic focus and inclusive, respectful decision-making which engages multiple perspectives.

The Greens lead the way on climate change policies enabling global and local social adaptation and genuine green energy initiatives. Our community is already initiating actions such as Transition Towns to reorient our ways of living, working and organising together in the light of peak oil. The Council can champion such initiatives to enable regional vibrancy and real sustainability which is not captive to short-sighted self-interests that simply replicate old destructive patterns. As obvious commonsense, our future is intimately entwined with the health of the Earth – to me this means relating to nature with deep respect and not as an exploitable resource – we can learn from our Koori community here.

The next Bega Valley Shire Council will make important decisions on development like the Tathra River Estate and the Bermagui Country Club proposals. Greens councillors support sustainable development which flows with local communities and protects fragile environments. The Greens don’t accept developer donations, nor any corporate donations at all. Grassroots democracy is a basic principle underlying all Greens policies and processes and particularly interests me.

It is the impacts of increasing pressures and changes on the most vulnerable in our community that concern me – the poor, elderly, mentally ill and others. With all the hype about growth economics and maximising profits it is easy to loose sight of the richness of community, the role of arts and music, festivals and learning, the care that acts as social glue and the fact that we are all in this together. I believe our community health is measured by its interconnectedness and the state of our most vulnerable members.

Should I be elected to the Council, I offer care, commitment, some experience and skill, understanding of the three levels of government and processes of inclusive, social transformation.