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Putting community first for Pottsville contender

Chris Cherry and her team are running as independents in the Tweed Shire Council election. Pictured from left are: Stephanie Deane, Lindy Smith, Chris Cherry, Eddie Roberts, Richard Mason and Julie Boyd.
Chris Cherry and her team are running as independents in the Tweed Shire Council election. Pictured from left are: Stephanie Deane, Lindy Smith, Chris Cherry, Eddie Roberts, Richard Mason and Julie Boyd. Contributed

MEMORIES of an idyllic childhood growing up at Wooyung drove Chris Cherry to give up her career as a biophysicist and return to the family business with her own young children.

The middle of nine children, Ms Cherry grew up at the Wooyung campgrounds, a business originally purchased by her grandparents some 50 years ago and which she helps run today.

She soon became involved in community work, heading the Pottsville Community Association for the past six years, during which time she has had close contact with council and other government authorities.

That commitment to community is behind Ms Cherry's second run at council, this time with a group of high-profile independent community representatives behind her.

"From years of dealing with the system from the outside, I thought it was time for me to stop complaining and do something about it and put my hand up to try and help the community from the inside," Ms Cherry said.

"I went out of my way to try and get people (to support me in my group) who have very publicly demonstrated their commitment to their own communities. Particularly, Lindy (Smith), she is amazing; she should be running on her own."

Included in her team are: Lindy Smith (President - Tweed District Residents and Ratepayers Association); Stephanie Deane (Secretary - Save Jack Evans Boat Harbour Group); Eddie Roberts (Uki Residents Association); Richard Mason (Chairperson - Save Jack Evans Boat Harbour Group) and Julie Boyd (Hastings Point Progress Association).

Ms Cherry said as president of the PCA, the main issue she had dealt with was the community's push for a high school in the coastal town.

"For Pottsville, the main issue has been the high school, everyone is very much wanting that high school," Ms Cherry said.

"I know it is a state decision, but it is council's role to make sure there is land there for when they finally get some commonsense and agree to put the high school where it is needed.

"Basically my whole platform is wanting to have community-led decisions.

"I have become involved in the Jack Evans Boat Harbour Group - it is not about saying no to Aquasplash, it is about saying we need to have community consultation before something is proposed.

"Everywhere I go - with the Anchorage Island boardwalk, water mining out at Dungay - they are all issues where the community is saying they want a say in what is going on, they don't want council to tell them what is going on."

Ms Cherry, who is running as an independent, is preferencing (in order) Michael McNamara, Ron Cooper, Gary Bagnall, Katie Milne and Reece Byrnes.

FAST FACTS:

Chris Cherry: Group B

Political affiliation: Independent, community group representatives

Policies: More community-led decision-making

* In the lead-up to the council election, we are publishing a series of candidate profiles in a bid to help you make your decision.

Topics:  chris cherry pottsville community association pottsville high school tweed shire council election 2016



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