A PROSPECTIVE South Gippsland Shire Council contender until literally minutes before nominating, Fish Creek resident Craig Privett has swapped his local government plans for offering a podcast forum to those who are officially standing as candidates.
Already the president of the Fish Creek Community Development Group, Craig had decided to try for one of the three seats available in the municipality’s Coastal Promontory Ward, alongside the six places in Tarwin Valley and Strzelecki Wards.
However just before his scheduled candidacy nomination interview with the Victorian Electoral Commission’s South Gippsland election manager Janine Taylor in Leongatha last Tuesday September 21 Craig chose not to proceed with his bid.
“I’m comfortable with the decision I’ve made not to run for council, and I do regret that my wake-up call came around the same time as articles announcing my candidacy were published in last week’s editions of The Mirror and the Sentinel Times, ahead of my VEC interview,” he said.
“Part of my campaign to be elected was to create a website that would give all candidates the opportunity to introduce themselves and to state their points of view, allowing voters to learn about each of them before the postal vote deadline at 6 pm on Friday October 22..
“I’ve been working through the local government election process and trying to understand it, and I’ve determined that helping the voter understand all their choices in this election is the best community service work I can do, more so than being on council,” Craig said.
“I am building a new piece of work in the form of a redesigned website featuring open and transparent interviews and podcasts with as many of the candidates who would like to participate, specifically for the benefit of the voters,” he said.
“All of the candidates are personally invited to be interviewed, to be in a podcast or to provide information or a statement for inclusion on the website at www.promcoastpodcast.com.au
“Other community voices are equally welcome to join in and to submit their opinions and questions,” Craig said.
“A number of candidates have already agreed to be part of the podcast and I’ll continue to reach out to everyone, candidates and voters alike,” he said.
“Basically I’ve chosen the podcast project over the candidacy, because I believe the bigger picture is more important for South Gippsland.”
VEC election manager Janine Taylor confirmed that another candidate, Sarah Kerwick, who nominated for Strzelecki Ward, formally withdrew her candidacy after her name had appeared on the VEC website’s list of candidates after nominations closed.