Pocklington prepared to be a blunt candidate

July 20, 2017

Louis and Geraldine Chirnside and John Pocklington. Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

OUTGOING Murray Shire mayor John Pocklington has encouraged people to think about who they vote for when they go to the polls in September.

Mr Pocklington, who is standing for the new Murray River Council, said those voting had a big responsibility to get it right this time.

Because they didn’t get it right last time.

‘‘I am going to be blunt — some of the fault lies with the people who did the electing — they did not take care ... picking their preferred people,’’ Mr Pocklington said.

A Bunnaloo man, Mr Pocklington has served on Local Government for several years in the ’80s and ’90s and then from 2008 until the shire was suspended.

He was the man who wrote to then Local Government Minister Paul O’Toole requesting his council’s suspension.

Mr Pocklington was the mayor of the embattled council for the last five months of the council.

He said ‘‘coming to grips’’ with the new structure would be the biggest issue facing Murray River Council.

‘‘They have to get over that mindset of Murray Shire,’’ he said.

‘‘People need to get their mind around it’s a whole new dynamic.

‘‘The council is three times bigger than the old shire was.

‘‘The population is 50 per cent bigger ... I think that will be the biggest thing. It’s a whole new deal.’’

Mr Pocklington said there was a couple of projects he wanted to see through but he did not want to elaborate ‘‘at this point’’.

During the last term he said there was nothing achieved because ‘‘not all the councillors were there with good will’’.

‘‘I’ve got a track record of achieving things,’’ he said.

‘‘I don’t have personal garbage ... or trying to get things done on a personal level, I am there for the community.’’

Mr Pocklington said on the old council there were councillors who had baggage and could not work as a team and ‘‘never would have’’.

‘‘There were councillors there that had egos bigger than their abilities,’’ he said.

Mr Pocklington said he believed the administrator David Shaw had done a ‘‘fairly good job under trying times’’.

He said he did not agree with the merger but there was ‘‘nothing we can do about it’’.

‘‘Local Government is at the whim of the minister and always has done,’’ he said.

Mr Pocklington wants to be able to look back at the end of the next term, if he is elected, and see a united council.

‘‘And that people in the council area all think they are a community,’’ he said.

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