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Fit the Bill: More candidates emerge for ACT elections

Since last week, a number of new candidates have raised their hands for the October local elections.

Belco Party co-founder and 2020 candidate, local AFL legend and hawker shop owner Alan Tutt has been approved to stand again for Ginninderra for the Belco Party. Alan was largely responsible for preventing the West Belconnen garden waste dump from being closed by the local authority at the last election. He is currently campaigning to get 250 more police officers to help reduce crime in Belconnen (and the ACT in general), and also save the hawker shops car park. He would also like to see the legacy of the late Chic Henry honored by building the Chic Henry Canberra International Motorsport & Driver Training Facility in Canberra.

Last week I attended two meetings to hear from candidates who wanted to run for the Canberra Independents. The Canberra Independents committee has now gone away to consider every potential candidate; they aim to announce two candidates in each electorate, while the other candidates are endorsement candidates. All of the candidates I saw and heard at the two meetings would, in my opinion, be qualified to represent their constituents. Due to space constraints, I will write about the Yerrabi and Ginninderra candidates, and next week about the Kurrajong and Murrumbidgee candidates, as well as the recently endorsed Liberal number one Senate candidate Jacob Vadakkedathu.
Yerrabi is home to a nestor of the local multicultural community, Mainul Haque. Mainul was a teacher and manager of radio station 2XX. He is also a published author and received an OAM for his service to the community.

David Pollard is making the rounds again. David has been a very effective member of the Gungahlin Community Council. He has a software engineering background and polled well in the 2020 elections.

Vikram Kulkarni is a senior ACT housing officer working in the Community Services Directorate, promoting consensus around decision-making. He also presented himself very well.

Finally, Snehalata KC, originally from Nepal, was the fourth candidate. She works in aged care and is a passionate advocate for our elderly. She is a proud Australian citizen, is grateful for the opportunities afforded her in Australia and especially Canberra, and wants to give back to the community. She was an impressive speaker.

Two candidates for Ginninderra presented; another, Sue Read, was ill. Sue is a local sports star who has represented Australia in hockey and is a top athlete in athletics. Sue successfully delivered the recent ‘save Canberra United’ campaign.

Nick Spence, an experienced former political operative and now federal government employee responsible for running an agency of forty people, presented well and answered questions directly, with courtesy and style.

Finally, Acting Inspector Mark Richardson of the local police, who has recently become known for calling it all together when talking about hoon drivers in Summernats, gave an excellent speech on public order problems in Canberra and how we need more police which in turn need more support from the government.

Thank you all for your efforts to run for office.