Search

Blog

Meet Sue Price and Michael Montgomery – Group E in the upcoming MPSC local election

GroupE

Sue Price

Sue Price is 59 years of age and married to Glen. They have two adult children Romana and Samuel and just recently became first-time grandparents.

Sue and Glen live at Mungindi on the north-eastern edge of Moree Plains Shire, where Sue is a director of a family farming business. She also teaches music and was formally a school teacher.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Diploma of Education.

Sue was born in Bingara and after graduating from the University of New England in 1978, she enjoyed a 25-year teaching career across several schools in northern New South Wales.

In 1982, Sue and Glen moved to Mungindi.

“We have been there ever since and now have our own farming business in the area,” Sue said.

“In those 34 years I have taught at both schools in Mungindi as well as in many schools in the surrounding area including Boomi, Garah, Mallawa and Bullarah.

Sue has also been involved in wider community organisations, such as the Mungindi Progress Association, St James Anglican Church and Mungindi Show Society.

“As a member of the Progress Association I spent a lot of time working to improve the services of our local area and two of the greatest achievements while I was involved were the funding and building of the Mungindi Community Technology Centre and the purchase of a second ambulance house to ensure better ambulance services in the local area,” she said.

How long have you sat as a councillor on MPSC, and what was your initial reason for standing as a candidate?

I have been a councillor and deputy mayor since 2008.  I stood for council as I wanted to give something back to the community that has supported my family and myself for many years. I also wanted to be involved in creating opportunities to enable Moree Plains Shire Council to continue to prosper.

What are the main reasons you are standing for council again?

I am standing again as I enjoy serving the people of Moree Plains.  There are also a number of projects I would like to see through to completion if re-elected.

I am also chairperson of the Australian Rural Road Group (a group dedicated to finding better ways of funding local council roads) and vice-chair of the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Alliance and I wish to continue to represent the interests of MPSC in these forums. The projects being advocated for by these organisations will, I believe, bring benefits to our region.

Are you standing alone or with a running mate(s)?

SuePrice

Sue Price (Image supplied)

I am pleased to be running with Michael Montgomery.

What do you love most about Moree Plains Shire?

I love the people of the shire and their love of the area.

What do you think the main issues are in Moree that need addressing?

I believe that employment and ensuring that the shire has adequate services and facilities are main concerns –both are crucial to keeping people in the area.

MPSC also needs to continue to look for ways to improve the shire’s road network, especially our local roads which are so important to the economy of the shire.

Do you think the current council is aiming in the right direction on various projects and/or issues?

I do.  Many of the projects MPSC has supported and/or implemented have a long-term time-frame and will therefore take a number of years before they reach their full capacity.

How can the current council improve on what it is doing at the moment? Is money being spent on the right projects?

As with all governments, in particular local government, MPSC has a defined budget.  Although council has had to make a number of difficult decisions in relation to the shire’s budget, in particular its spending commitments, I believe that it is spending ratepayers’ money in a way that best serves all of the people of the shire.  As a councillor, I try to listen to and consider the views of the whole shire and will continue to do so if re-elected.

How do you think MPSC performed in the last term? What projects have been delivered and is it meeting targets?

The current council has met is targets by being financially responsible, while still providing services and facilities to the people of Moree Plains.  This was demonstrated by the council being considered fit for the future in the current NSW State Government reforms (something many other councils failed).  I believe that this is a significant achievement, and one I am very proud to have been involved with.  In my view, council made many brave decisions which led to this outcome and that demonstrates the strength of MPSC.

What do you think have been MPSC’s biggest achievements in the past five years?

Maintaining a financially viable shire and being assessed as fit for the future by the NSW Government; completion of the Gateway Project and securing the first tenant; construction of the Moree Ski Park, a project which utilises a by-product and will benefit the local community for years to come; securing grants for upgraded water facilities at Boggabilla and upgrades for the airport; and upgrading a number of roads, through grants as well as those financed directly by council.

Have there been any disappointments?

Having to spend so much time and effort proving to the State Government that MPSC was fit and viable (although the outcome was positive and the council was not forced to amalgamate).

Also, as a council, we seem to be constantly asked by the State Government to do more and more for the community with less financial support from the government to achieve the desired results.

What will be you main goals and targets with council if re-elected this year?

I would like to see increased economic activity which will lead to more jobs and growth for the region.  I also want to ensure that the Moree Plains community has access to (and where relevant, maintain) all of the services and facilities the people of our shire need.  However, these services/facilities need to be provided within the current budget restrictions and by being financially responsible.  If re-elected I would work towards maintaining MPSC’s strong financial position, something which I hope will enable the shire to remain a stand-alone council.

What are you pastimes, hobbies or passions?

I really enjoy music, in particular playing the piano, and singing in Mungindi’s choir.  I have also recently taken up bike riding.

Is there anything else you would like to add that hasn’t been covered in this questionnaire?

If re-elected I would like to see continued support for the proposed Inland Rail Project as I believe that it has to potential to bring many opportunities to our region.  I would also like to see the Gateway Project continue to develop further.

I am passionate about the Moree Plains and want to see the shire prosper.  In my view this means maintaining and continuing to grow our local economy which will benefit the shire and its people, and attract new people and businesses to the region.

Michael Montgomery

Michael Montgomery, a former mayor of Moree, is 56 years of age and married to Janelle, better-known as ‘Nell’. They have four children, Paddy, 16, Jack, 13, Edward, 11 and five-year-old Clare. Janelle is employed at the Department of Primary Industries and both her and Michael live at, and operate, the family property Urella on the Rosedale Road, north of Ashley.

Michael’s father’s grandparents moved to the Garah district in the 1850s and Michael hasn’t moved very far from the nest since. He was born in Moree, also schooled in town, and has lived in Moree Plains Shire for most of his life. As a young man he spent a few years working interstate, but eventually found his way back to the family farm at Ashley.

Have you had any previous roles, either as an employee or volunteer in local, state or federal government?

I was originally elected to Moree Plains Shire Council in 1987 when I was 27. I was very fortunate to have been allowed to serve 25 years as a Moree Plains councillor, including six years as mayor. I also undertook other roles in local government, most notably as national president of the Australian Local Government Association.

I spent over a decade on the Great Artesian Basin Consultative Committee, continued as a board member of the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety, and have this year been appointed to the AR Bluett and the Stephen Ward Memorial Scholarship Trusts, a great honour in local government in NSW.

What are the main reasons that made you want to stand for council?

At the last election I decided to take a break to spend more time with my family. Clare was only one, Janelle was travelling extensively for work and I was needed at home. Clare is now at school, Janelle is still travelling a fair bit, but the routine is easier, and it allows me to again spend the time needed for council. I would hope that in the most productive agricultural shire in Australia, we could have more than one out of nine councillors who are on the land.

Is this the first time you have stood for council?

I was first elected to Moree Plains Shire Council in 1987 and served for 25 years, six of those as mayor.

Are you standing alone or with a running mate(s)?

MikeMontgomery

Michael Montgomery

I am fortunate to be in Group E with Cr Sue Price. Sue is from Mungindi, has been the deputy mayor for the past two terms, and has led the push for both road and rail Infrastructure in the Inland regions. Sue is one of the most talented and dedicated local councillors that I have met, and as we both are rural-based, we hope to bring that perspective to the table.

What do you love most about Moree Plains Shire?

Moree Plains is unique in regional NSW, in that we gather our residents from all over Australia and beyond, and they bring with them the innovation and energy that keeps our region at the forefront of this nation’s agriculture. What we lose in a churning population is more than offset by the talent and ideas that are left behind, and the flow-on benefits to all our industries.

We do struggle to turn these positives into employment for our communities, and I see this as our great challenge in the years ahead. We have to embrace the new economy, but this is also our dilemma. What will translate into jobs in our towns for all of our residents, at the same time as we adopt the very technology that eliminates existing jobs in our farming sector.

What do you think the main issues are in Moree that need addressing?

Council issues are the same today as ever. As we get improvements, we expect more. We’re all shareholders, and rightly demand value for our dollars. The shire has certainly improved in recent times. The roads are good, but could be better. Towns and villages are well maintained, watered and sewered. Libraries, cemeteries, parks and public facilities all serve us well. The Gateway is an ongoing concern, new job development is a priority, and a good flood would be a great help.

Do you think the current council is aiming in the right direction on various projects and/or issues?

Council can’t be asked to do everything. By the same token, few people have the time to do more themselves, but many can and will give some help if asked.

How can the current council improve on what it is doing at the moment? Is money being spent on the right projects?

It is harder than ever for council to get the important messages out to us all. Once it was as simple as getting information to the Moree Champion, Goondiwindi Argus or the Mungindi Newsletter. Now, with social media, online posts, and email and text groups, we are snowed under with information and yet don’t hear very much at all!  When we don’t know what’s happening and why, we tend to make the story up ourselves, and inevitably believe the worst.

“Has the current council let down the people of Moree? If so, how?

Not really, no, but better communication will help us all understand why council makes its decisions.

What are you pastimes, hobbies or passions?

I go to a lot of junior sport. If our kids aren’t playing cricket or hockey, there will be some school event to attend the rest of the time. I’m very fortunate to be able to go to most of their events.

Of course I’m not alone. So much of what happens in our towns would disappear without those who turn up week after week to help, organise and clean up afterwards. You meet the best people at junior sport – especially junior cricket. Sign up is not too far away so roll on summer!

Is there anything else you would like to add that hasn’t been covered in this questionnaire?

To take the journey together, we all need to know where we are going, why we want to go there, and what we each need to do. As Mark Twain said, “The secret to getting ahead is getting started”.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions published herein are those of the individual Moree Plains Shire Council election candidates.

Please note: Unless clearly taglined “media release”, all articles published on www.deluxecafemoree.com.au are the sole Copyright of Bill and Cindy Poulos.

All images, unless taglined “supplied” or credited to other parties, are the sole Copyright of Bill and Cindy Poulos