Iris Dorsett answers the five questions sent to each candidate in this year's election.

Iris Dorsett.

Iris Dorsett.

Why are you running?

My decision to run for Council stems from the fact that I care. I care about our people and families, our Shire, our community and its facilities, our livelihoods, our children's and grandchildren's futures, and caring for our aged population.

It's very important to me to live in and be part of a safe, happy, healthy environment and I am prepared to work hard for the betterment of the entire Shire.

My aim is to be a true and fair representative of the people and to make no false promises. I recognise it's essential to build a respectful and inclusive relationship between Council and community, working with the people - for the people.

What knowledge, skills and qualities do you bring to council?

While I hold academic qualifications in several disciplines such as research and analysis, business management, project management, education and training, safety and risk management, I believe the most important skills and qualities that I have to offer are common sense and integrity.

For over 30 years my professional life has involved developing and delivering positive outcomes for our community and its people; and I plan to achieve the same if elected to Council.

Fifteen years in media (newsprint and radio) and 13 years in Local Government in 3 LGA's (Road Safety Officer) has provided me a solid foundation of community engagement and experience. I've raised a family in the Blayney Shire, who are now are raising their own families here, and I understand and value the importance of being involved in our school, sport, work, social, cultural and community organisations.

What do you see are some of the strengths of the Blayney Shire?

First and foremost, its people are the fabric of our community! We are people of strength - we band together in times of need, we work together, play, laugh and celebrate together, commiserate and cry together. We are diverse, supportive, caring and welcoming and certainly not timid to voice our concerns. We are a community of many talents.

Geographically, we are in a unique location, quiet and unassuming with a very rich history and a fabulous way of village life - while also possessing a main town centre that offers ample opportunities to further develop into an even more progressive and accommodating rural town. We have easy access to neighbouring major cities and towns and have the benefits of the capital cities of Sydney and Canberra within easy reach. We have the best of all worlds.

What do you see are some of the challenges facing Blayney Shire?

Balancing future growth and development are a major concern. Council obviously requires a business plan that will cater for progress while still retaining the rural lifestyle that we currently cherish and enjoy. Furthermore, it will be exceptionally hard work to find the right formula to achieve this whilst balancing the budget and not hurting ratepayers.

We have an extensive industrial area in Blayney that requires a proactive approach in working with our existing businesses to potentially extend their operations (should they choose to), while also seeking options to attract new development to the Shire. We need to work harder on attracting business development into the main street of Blayney township and portraying an energetic and vibrant image that will attract tourism. There are good wages on offer in Blayney Shire and we need to ensure more of those dollars are spent and invested in our local economy.

What's your vision for Blayney Shire?

For community members to live a productive life 'now', while securing a sustainable future for the next generations. I'd like to see Council stick to and excel in its core business - delivering and improving local facilities for local people.

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