Naracoorte Lucindale mayoral race looms

Naracoorte Lucindale Council residents will vote to elect a mayor for the first time in eight years.

Current mayor Erika Vickery was first elected in 2010 and then re-elected unopposed in 2014, but this year there will be at least one other candidate.

Naracoorte resident Lee Castine has flagged his intention to stand in the November election, while Mrs Vickery also plans to run for a third term.

Mr Castine, who has been outspoken on recent council-related issues including tree removals and the proposed new multi-million dollar Naracoorte library, said he had been convinced to stand by other residents discontent with the current direction of the council.

“So many people are saying to me it’s time for a change,” he said.

“The trees, the library and even the geese lately, they’re just things that could have been handled better by the council.

“People don’t want to spend $5 million on a new library. I think we can pretty much get the things we want by going slowly and steadily without going into too much debt.”

Mr Castine said he came from a “political family” with a long history of service to local government and community. His father Sidney Castine was a long-time mayor and councillor with Penola District Council, and he received an OAM for his contribution to the Penola community.

If elected, he planned to model his approach to the mayoral role on his father’s example, which he said was widely regarded as very successful.

“He was very available to the community and that’s one thing I would like to mould myself on. You’re not going to please all the people all the time, but you’ve got to listen to them.”

My primary motivation is my passion for the well-being of the people of the Naracoorte Lucindale Council area, and I’d like to continue serving them

Erika Vickery

Mrs Vickery said despite being in the mayoral chair for eight years, and being an elected member for 10 years before that, she still very much wanted to stay involved in local government.

“My primary motivation is my passion for the well-being of the people of the Naracoorte Lucindale Council area, and I’d like to continue serving them,” she said.

"We have big visions for the future and I’d like to see some of those things come to fruition.”

The council is likely to undergo some changes at the November elections, with a number of current elected members considering whether they will stand again. There is also still plenty of time for more candidates to nominate for mayor.

Mrs Vickery welcomed any nominations for elected members or mayor, and encouraged all local people, whether they were considering standing or not, to at least enrol to vote by the cut-off date of Friday, August 10.

To enrol to vote, you need to be aged 18 or over and have lived in the council area for at least a month.

Nominations for councillors and mayoral candidates must be lodged between September 4 and September 18.

Voting forms will be posted out in the week of October 22-26 and must be returned by Friday, November 9. Counting will be done on Saturday, November 10.