One interesting aspect of this year's Singleton Council election is the rise in the number of Labor Party candidates with three local members putting their names forward - Tony Jarrett, Andrew Clifton and Sarah Jonhstone.
Mr Jarrett the former deputy mayor who is standing for the mayoral and councillor position in 2021 said the the party's launch last week "I like to think of Labor as a family. We support each other and we stand up for our values and use them to support community and council democratic structures."
"But we don't care about Party lines if you need a pothole fixed or are in need of the services Council provides."
Mr Jarrett went onto outline three planks in the campaign, all focused on the Singleton Community:
- To listen to community, take on board what they are saying, and give feedback.
- To be visible and available to the community.
- To care for the Singleton community.
"In Local Government we will value economic growth and jobs. We acknowledge the central role of the coal and power industries in this community. We need infrastructure development because our coal traffic needs affect the whole valley," he said.
"Singleton has huge potential for prosperity and we will cooperate with other LGAs to further develop needed infrastructure."
"Equality of opportunity and to look after everyone is central to our values. Everyone should have the same treatment in health and education. That is why we will advocate for the future of Singleton TAFE and Singleton hospital." "We stand for social justice and expect diversity to be catered for. We want to promote cultural events, respect our First Nations peoples and create employment for all."
Andrew Clifton, a candidate who moved to Singleton LGA 20 years ago, said that he was running for council to make a difference people's lives.
"I am interested in the everyday issues like footpaths or dog parks that keep people connected and kids off the road.
"I live in Branxton, which is a town split across two LGAs, and I want to be a voice to bridge the gap between them and make sure Branxton has the services and infrastructure it needs to cater to its growing population.
The third candidate, Sarah Johnstone, well-known community advocate and a citizen who has always maintained an interest in Singleton council, was unable to attend the launch. However, continuing the family theme, her brother Stuart spoke saying, "Sarah wants to play her part in the community, collectively working under the banner of the Labor Party." And proudly called for a vote for his sister.
Dan Repacholi, endorsed candidate for Hunter, was also in attendance and thanked the group for the opportunity to meet the families and support the campaign in any way.