At least two new faces for the new council

With two of the current councillors, Mayor Brian Petschler and Councillor Dennis Seage, not running for re-election there will be at least two new faces on Kiama Council after the votes are cast. Maybe more, if current councillors lose their seats. Here we offer you a chance to find out about the people who are next in line on the various tickets.

Dr Susan Ang    
Kiama Municipality’s Independents
Susan expanded her Eyestore business to Kiama 18 months ago, but says she fell in love with the area years ago.2016-01-26 12.19.07

While not yet a resident, she qualifies to run as a business owner with a long term commitment to Kiama.

“We plan to move down here (from Warilla), but the time hasn’t been right yet,” she says. The timing has been further complicated by her first child, which is due in October. “I’d like to settle in with motherhood before we make the move.”

The popular optometrist believes her patients give her a great insight into the needs of our community.

“I have no political affiliations; no political background.  I just want to be able to represent the community.

“I get along well with Mark Way because he speaks his mind, and so do I.  We aren’t shy to fight for what is right.”

Susan believes her business experience, youth and gender will help her to make a valuable contribution.

Matt Brown
Community & Labor
BrownWell-known within the community for his time as the state Labor MP, Matt Brown says he is ready to re-enter public life following the urging of others.

He says the threat of merger highlighted the value of local government to our community.

“Amalgamation is an on-going threat,” he says. “The main defence is to keep Kiama Council financially strong and viable.

“Things can also be done better in town to keep it a great place to live.”

Apart from his role in the local Labor Party branch, Matt is a dedicated member of the Kiama Surf Lifesaving Club, which gives him
a good feel for what is concerning people.

“It upsets me to see Kiama die over winter,” he says. “I hope to get elected with a strong team so we can get a great events calendar here.”

He believes his experience as a state member and business person will add value to the Council.

David Connelly
Community Voices
While David rose to prominence with his opposition to the sale of Iluka Reserve, he says he is not just a one issue candidate.2016-08-22 12.02.33

“The way Iluka has been handled is a great example of a lot of problems existing with the way Kiama Council is run,” he says.

“It got me keen to make a contribution to making council more open, accountable and efficient.”

Prior to a medical retirement due to Parkinsons (which has now been halted), David worked for a number of councils in compliance and regulatory roles.

He believes this behind-the-scenes knowledge, backed up by post-graduate management studies, will help to identify how things can be improved.

He’s full of ideas, and is happy to devote a good deal of time to his role if elected.

He believes it would be good to have a disabled person and parent of young children on council to give their perspective on issues.

Roy Schmidt
Experience Counts
2016-06-29 10.31.24Roy Schmidt says the recent eviction of his Scoops business from Fern St Gerringong has left him with a bit of time on his hands to run for council.

He sees it as a progression from his longstanding invol-vement with the Business Chamber, Tourism and the Economic Development Committee, and he feels this experience will hold him in good stead.

His recent experiences on the South Precinct committee opposing aspects of the redevelopment of 98 Fern St have extended his understanding of the community’s concerns.

“I learnt more about the Gerringong Charette and I think that needs to be revisited, along with the one for Kiama.”

He is keen to ensure the current development is managed so the essence of the place isn’t lost.

“Since Sandra retired Gerringong and Gerroa haven’t had a local councillor to ensure our area gets its fair share and its views are represented.

“You need to get things in balance environmentally and economically.”

Brian Westhoff
Brian arrived to teach at Gerringong Public School forty years ago, just as it was moving from its main street site, and has never left the area.2016-08-24 14.10.20

“I’ve always worked for my community and wanted to help out my town, but hadn’t thought of standing for Council until Brian Petschler asked me if I was interested.

“I thought it was another opportunity to do something for my town and that it would be good for Gerringong to get someone on council.”

He is very active with Lions and other community organisations, including local surf and golf clubs, meaning he is well known throughout the Municipality.

“I just want to do my bit to help,” he says.

Beth Woodstone
The Greens
Beth is the newest resident to be running for council, having lived in Gerringong for two and a half years.

She sees that as a positive in that she can come to the table with experience of how things are done in other councils.

Beth Woodstone“I am also a woman with a young family which connects me to the community in a special way – my children go to Ss Peter and Paul and play sport in the area, we shop here and use local GPs. I feel I understand the challenges faced by local families and I hope to be their voice in Council.

“I also have a particular interest and experience in conflict resolution and complex problem solving, which are useful skills for achieving positive outcomes on a diverse Council team.”

She feels she has a lot to offer the new Council.


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