TOP TIPS: What it takes to be a good councillor
WITH local Government elections due to be held in March next year, now is the time to consider if you have what it takes to take a place at the table.
Livingstone councillor Jan Kelly will be stepping down from her role at the next elections after more than six years.
She said there was more than meets the eye for councillors and mayors of local councils.
"Councillors need to draw on many skills, attributes and diverse knowledge to help guide their decision-making and to connect with the community in the most positive and effective way," she said.
"It's important that potential candidates have a firm understanding of local government legislation policies, procedures and take their place at the table having read all agendas and reports so informed decisions can be made.
"Candidates need to have a high level of integrity, vision, entrepreneurial skills, self-confidence, and have the ability to read legislation and financial reports, understand them and comply with them.
"You will need long-sighted vision to benefit the future of the shire.
"Candidates are now required to undertake mandatory training before the ECQ can accept a candidate's nomination for the 2020 local government election.
"This is a good move as it ensures candidates have an understanding of local government before taking on the role."
Cr Kelly said she was proud of what Livingstone Shire Council had achieved in the past six years.
"I have loved my time on council, but it is time for me to step away," she said.
"The rewards of being on council are wonderful but candidates need to be prepared because it is a lot of work.
"We have a young and vibrant shire and we have a lot of young vibrant people in our community who would bring fresh ideas and attitudes to the table, but don't expect it to be a walk in the park.
"People need to recognise it is healthy for any form of government to have a regular turnover at the table. With the changeover comes a breath of fresh air.
"As a councillor, candidates need to understand they will be on call 24/7, it is not just showing up at a meeting once a fortnight.
"It's attending workshops, community meetings, events and being available to the community that we represent.
"Councillors need to listen to our educated and experienced council officers who bring us all the facts and ensure we are legally compliant in our decisions and those decisions, need to be made to benefit the whole community in the most positive manner possible.
"Councillors are there to represent the whole of community, they are not there on a four year election campaign and as such, they need to listen to community and take their concerns, desires and needs to the table.
"There are six councillors and one mayor at the table who need to work collectively for the very best outcomes for our shire."
Cr Kelly said she believed there was absolutely no place for politics in local government.
"Every councillor is there to represent every aspect of our community and no party politics should enter into the decisions made at a local level," she said.
"Councillors need to realise that not every decision made will be met favourably by every member of the community.
"You will need to take a positive approach and work together to achieve the best possible outcomes, we need people who want to achieve great things for the shire.
"We need people at the table who are prepared to listen to the concerns of the community and be part of the solution."
"Councillors are the voice of the people, it's not about our own voice, it is about what the community needs."
If you are planning to run in the 2020 Livingstone Shire elections please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.