Retired Corowa businessman Graham Withers is keen to see his passion for volunteering within the community extend to a position on Federation Council where he promises to listen to people’s concerns.
The secretary of both the Corowa Lions Club and Corowa Men’s Shed told the Free Press/Yarrawonga Chronicle he is passionate about the community and would like to see it continue to grow.
Mr Withers has been involved in the business community for his entire working career, which has included owning a clothing business, then starting Corowa Wholesale and finishing as a financial investor at G and P Withers Financial Services.
With his experience in business, Mr Withers believes new industry is the answer to seeing the town develop.
“I would like to see some growth in the town in different ways; we have basically stagnated in a lot of areas,” he said.
“There has been no new industry or anything like that to bring people to town or provide new employment opportunities.”
Mr Withers, who has lived in Corowa for the past 40 years with his wife Pauline, said his decision to stand for council was an easy one.
“I had been mulling it over for some time and I thought that if I was going to do it then now was the time,” he said.
“It’s a new council and I think we need some new people with new ideas.
“I am not aligned to any group and now that I am retired, aside from my volunteer work, I have the time to put into the position.
“I know some businesses in the main street have been battling and I am happy to hear any concerns that they or the community may have.”
Mr Withers said while there had been some recent disunity over the amalgamation process, council had made some positive progress.
“Council has made some improvements through grants, providing the money for worthwhile projects,” he said.
“There’s been money spent here and there and, as I say, some of it is progressive and some is still in motion and we have to see how that all plays out.
“The new council will need to build upon that good work and move forward.”
After announcing his intention to stand for council, Mr Withers has received many positive words of encouragement.
“I do think we need a few new guns in there and everyone has been telling me: ‘go for it’,” he said.
One of the key issues Mr Withers hopes to see resolved is the Corowa pool situation.
“It seems to have come to a standstill at the moment,” he said.
“We need to get the pool sorted out in the best interest of the town and get the place up and going again.
“It appears residents are in favour of the 50 metre pool and I believe that the council should listen to what the community want.”