TONY Aquino admits he has entered new territory in the race for a seat on the new Murray River Council.
The 64-year-old from Moama is vying for a place on the Greater Murray ward but says he has gone in the deep end.
‘‘I am going to have to swim as hard as I can,’’ Mr Aquino said.
‘‘I’m not there to reinvent the wheel. The wheel was there thousands of years ago. The wheel needs to be serviced and it needs to be looked after.
‘‘And also a lot of common sense needs to come into play which isn’t always there.’’
Mr Aquino is adamant if elected on September 9 he can make a difference to the community and become an asset to the council.
He believes the biggest issue facing council is whether or not the councillors choose to be different.
‘‘I think the biggest issue is going to be if it starts off where they left off I can only see it falling and crumbling in a heap again,’’ Mr Aquino said.
‘‘Whatever has happened in the past, I think people need to get over it, go in and start fresh.
‘‘We are there as a messenger for the ratepayer.
‘‘We are there to do the job that we are hired for, nothing more.
‘‘I would like to say, at the end of the term, I can walk down the street and someone will say to me ‘You did listen to us’.
‘‘Whether every single item gets through and whether every single item gets done is sometimes not as important as actually listening to someone.’’
A qualified builder, Mr Aquino built Riverpark Motel in Moama 18 years ago, having lived in Moama permanently for seven years.
‘‘I’ve learnt to manage time, how to manage finance and how to manage people and their problems,’’ Mr Aquino said.
‘‘I know how to listen to people. When someone says to you ‘I want a cup of coffee’ you give them a cup of coffee. You don’t say here’s a cup of tea.’’
Mr Aquino said there were probably a ‘‘million things’’ he would like to stand on as an election platform.
But being in the building trade most of his life, one thing he is passionate about is infrastructure.
‘‘I can see a lot of downfalls in the way they put things together ... the other thing is farmers. Through nature they are not whingers but when they do whinge I think we need to pay a lot more attention to them,’’ he said.
Unfortunately Mr Aquino’s wife Debbie, who he had three children with, died 18 months ago from Leukaemia.
‘‘I want to keep busy at the moment and this is a great way of doing that,’’ he said.
‘‘She battled Leukaemia for 16 years. Losing her was very, very tough and it still is very tough and it will be for a long time.’’
Mr Aquino’s hobbies include snow skiing (although he doesn’t do it much anymore because of his age), flying planes and getting in his motorhome and hitting the road.
‘‘People watching is also one of my favourite things to do,’’ he said.
‘‘I’ve enjoyed doing that all around the world. Just sitting around and watching people have a coffee, doing different things and going about their daily lives.’’