Steve Atkins

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How long have you lived in the region?

Like many residents of this beautiful region, I’d been coming to Forster for family holidays since I was a preschool age and continued that tradition into my 20s, when I finally bought my own patch of dirt. While I’ve spent most of my holidaying life exploring the area, I moved here permanently in 2002.

> What do you love about living here?

I’m a big nature lover and am besotted with the natural beauty of the beaches, lakes, rivers and the lush hinterland.

There is a sense of freedom living in this environment that I find invigorating. What motivates me most about living here is the amazing potential I see for the region.

> What is your vision for the region?

The natural beauties I’ve mentioned bring tourism to our region, but I really see the Myall as having much more depth to its future commercial success. We truly have a fabulous opportunity with our location to develop and nurture new industries, upskill and cross skill our workforce, and make the Myall region an even more desirable location to live.

I believe we have opportunities in a variety of ‘smart green’ industries, where we will be recognised for successfully striking that balance of a strong economy combined with the preservation of our natural environment by applying best ‘smart green’ practices.

In order to achieve this, I see infrastructure as being key – so roads, bridges, the regional airport all require upgrading and funding. I want to reinvigorate the region!

> Why have you decided to run as an Independent?

I’ve chosen this path, because I believe the political party system is failing the community. The focus of the parties is more on opposing the other team, rather than making good decisions and delivering for the community. Parties hold no interest for me, and I seriously question their relevance in the future.

Having been a government lobbyist for the past few years, I understand the why, how and where funding is allocated. While you are in a safe political seat, you are not politically important, therefore you receive little attention – and more importantly, little funding. Take a look around and ask yourself why haven’t we received funding over the past couple of decades while we have been a safe, comfortable National party seat – it’s not as if we haven’t needed it!

> Tell us something people may not know about you?

I was a pretty sporty kind of fella when I was young, which saw me break the world sub-junior record for 400 m when I was 16 years of age. And when I wasn’t competing on the track, I used to win the occasional downhill ski competition at Perisher Valley. I can still move pretty quick when I need to – which could come in handy in politics.

> What is your favourite pastime?

Jumping in the ute with the Rob and the kids and taking off round the property checking on the cattle, enjoying a stunning sunset, watching the birds, wandering through the vineyard … all that farm kinda stuff is what I enjoy most.

> Thank you Steve.


 

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