Crucial insider knowledge passed to prospective councillors
COMMUNITY-minded council candidates are cautioned that becoming an elected representative will change their lives in unexpected ways.
The prospective councillor information sessions held in Warwick and Stanthorpe this week aimed to combat that culture shock by laying down foundational knowledge.
The optional evening sessions, hosted by Southern Downs Regional Council CEO David Keenan, provided information on everything from council budget to population size.
“These sessions are absolutely essential if you want to be able to conduct a valid election campaign and to know what to expect,” Cr Dobie said.
“We need good candidates to nominate for council, and they need to be well informed and understand what local government is all about.”
Cr Dobie said the meetings offered key insight into council’s strategic decisions and plans for future projects.
“Unless you’re following council meeting minutes every month you don’t really know what’s going on in the region,” she said.
“This session makes sure when candidates are electioneering they’re dealing with facts and information relevant to this local government area.
“It’s no good campaigning on issues that have already been solved.”
More than that, the sharing of information gave candidates a glimpse of what life would look like, should they win the vote.
“Candidates need to have an understanding of what their day-to-day will be like when they get elected,” said Cr Dobie.
“They need to know what their daily obligations are as councillors.
“New candidates might be in for a surprise because the roles and powers of the mayor and councillors have changed dramatically over the last few years.”
The information session works hand-in-hand with the So you want to be a Councillor? online training module, made mandatory by the recent Belcarra reforms.