Evans en­ters race for next week’s Mur­ray by-elec­tion

The Riverine Herald - - NEWS - By David Rak

THERE’S only so long you can sit and com­plain on the side­lines be­fore you take some ac­tion.

That’s ex­actly why Austin Evans de­cided to throw his hat in the ring as a can­di­date for the Mur­ray by­elec­tion.

“You have to have a go at mak­ing a dif­fer­ence at some point, and I think I have the skills and ex­pe­ri­ence to make a dif­fer­ence in the Mur­ray elec­torate,” Mr Evans said.

After fin­ish­ing school in Nar­ran­dera, NSW, Mr Evans stud­ied en­gi­neer­ing be­fore work­ing for what is now SunWater, man­ag­ing projects through­out the ir­ri­ga­tion re­gions of Queens­land.

After mov­ing back to the Rive­rina, he was elected to Mur­rumbidgee Shire Coun­cil in 2012, be­came the deputy mayor in 2013 and mayor in 2014.

“I love lis­ten­ing to peo­ple’s prob­lems and find­ing a way to solve them,” Mr Evans said.

“I ran for coun­cil be­cause I wasn’t happy with how things were go­ing and it was the same when I ran for mayor.’’

Fol­low­ing an ex­ten­sive tour of the elec­torate, Mr Evans said he had iden­ti­fied sev­eral ar­eas he be­lieved needed im­prove­ment in the elec­torate.

“De­vel­op­ment laws are some­thing a lot of peo­ple have brought up. Many have said it’s much eas­ier to get ap­proval to build in Vic­to­ria. It can get quite cum­ber­some once you cross the river,” he said.

“Vic­to­ria is more stream­lined when it comes to de­vel­op­ment.

“We also have to work on cross­bor­der re­la­tions. Things such as ed­u­ca­tion qual­i­fi­ca­tions don’t trans­fer across the border like they should, and many peo­ple have told me they reg­is­ter their car in Vic­to­ria be­cause it’s eas­ier.”

Mr Evans said while mul­ti­ple in­dus­tries con­trib­ute to the elec­torate, agri­cul­ture re­mains the corner­stone of the re­gion.

“Farm­ing un­der­pins the area,” he said. “And roads are ex­tremely im­por­tant. If they don’t func­tion prop­erly, life be­comes very hard for the agri­cul­tural com­mu­nity.

“We must sup­port lo­cal coun­cils to main­tain road net­works. We haven’t got road main­te­nance right yet, but it’s some­thing we need to work on.”

“The other ma­jor is­sue is com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Our elec­torate is huge and we need ad­e­quate com­mu­ni­ca­tion fa­cil­i­ties.

“There is a need for more sup­port in big coun­try elec­torates like ours.”

Mr Evans said he has no min­is­te­rial am­bi­tions and plans to fo­cus all his time on the Mur­ray elec­torate.

“I love lis­ten­ing to peo­ple and I look for­ward to spend­ing time with peo­ple and talk­ing through their is­sues,” he said.

“I have ex­pe­ri­ence solv­ing prob­lems and im­ple­ment­ing so­lu­tions and I hope I get the chance to serve the peo­ple of Mur­ray.”

WALK­ING THE WALK: to solve them’’. Austin Evans said “I love lis­ten­ing to peo­ple’s prob­lems and find­ing a way

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