Degens ramps up stakes
HE’S had a taste of local politics and now Rodney Degens wants to enter State parliament.
The Bonville resident will stand as The Greens candidate for Coffs Harbour at the March poll and says he will campaign on transport, planning, family friendly sustainable economic development and social problems.
“I joined the Greens because the party is committed to principled policies and we are a progressive party with visionary and sustainable ideas for the future of NSW,” said Cr Degens, a Coffs Harbour City councillor.
“With Coffs Harbour’s growing population, a local rail system would provide much-needed relief for motorists on our increasingly busy roads.
“Moving more freight onto rail would also improve road safety in and around Coffs Harbour and with peak oil passing, the need to develop alternative transport options is even more pressing.”
Cr Degens said state planning powers and protecting our coastal strip and floodplain from inappropriate development were also priorities.
“We live in an area that has immense natural beauty and this must be protected to enhance the lives of all residents,” he said.
Cr Degens, who was elected to Coffs Harbour City Council in 2008, says he has worked hard to achieve better outcomes for the community.
Soon after his election he established a council working group for rail authorities to guide the scoping of a feasibility study for a local rail service.
Cr Degens, a high school teacher, grew up in the region and after a stint overseas returned in 2005.
He has two daughters now at university and he says he understands the challenges of living in a regional city where employment prospects were limited and where social problems, largely due to these limitations, challenged residents and visitors.
“I am keen to discuss these issues with the voters of our electorate as I strongly support development of an economic plan and employment prospects in genuinely sustainable industries,” he said.
Cr Degens will be joined tomorrow at the site of the contentious Hearnes Lake development proposal by David Shoebridge, the number one Upper House Greens candidate at the state election.