Voice for rural towns

October 06, 2016

Tatura’s Rod Schubert says he will bring some much needed ‘big business’ experience if elected as a Greater Shepparton City councillor at the October elections. Mr Schubert’s bid to take up the reins as a council representative for Tatura has been supported by Cr Kevin Ryan. Having lived in the Goulburn Valley for more than 20 years, the prospective councillor has extensive experience in human resources. Mr Schubert has sat on the boards of some of the region’s largest employers but insists that a seat on council would equally provide him with a welcome learning curve. ‘‘I sometimes don’t think I should have had that rush of blood,’’ Mr Schubert said of his decision to stand. The prospective councillor believes the shire’s non- Shepparton centres have in the past been under-represented and said that if elected, he would provide a voice on council for those areas. He said past budgets had been ‘‘Shepp-centric’’ and he would be comfortable as a voice for rural surrounding towns. ‘‘Council needs a representational rural voice as well as urban representation,’’ he said. Greater Shepparton has plenty going for it, but is yet to reach its full potential, he said. Major events, tourism, food, wine, a conference hub and more recently, arts, were all areas he envisioned Greater Shepparton could be known for. Mr Schubert emphasised his experience with large industry places him particularly well in representing its interests. He hopes to better represent the interests of small business, such as those trading in the Maude St Mall. ‘‘Any decision made needs to be principally dictated by the business owners,’’ he said, referring to recent debate about solutions for the beleaguered shopping precinct. Mr Schubert said he sup- ported the new Shepparton Art Museum project and argued that, if done right, it had the potential to be an effective economic driver for the shire. He said he would not be afraid of making tough decisions following the onset of rate capping. He suggested more performance indicators were needed for council executives and councillors alike and supported as much openness and transparency as possible. ‘‘I’d like to see more customer service and more of a can-do attitude,’’ he said. ‘‘The processes seem cumber- some and long winded. Some decisions are terribly slow.’’ Mr Schubert refuted the suggestion that the council needed less ‘‘grey nomads’’, and said he was now doing the best work of his life and that experienced business people rarely had the time to run for council. ‘‘People like me have the time, the effort and the inclination. ‘‘From being a director, I understand the required time, the due diligence, corporate governance and how aspects of law work. ‘‘I want to make a difference,’’ he said.

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