Kyogle Council, James Murray, Gradys Creek, Independent
Tell us about where you live and your family.
I was born in the old Kyogle Maternity Hospital in 1967. My maternal great, great grandfather was a shepherd for Roseberry Station. I’m fifth generation so almost a local!
Growing up on Gradys Creek on a beef property, life revolved around cattle, horses and timber.
These pursuits became my life’s work – although it was never work, not if you love what you’re doing.
I worked in various places as a stockman, dozer driver, post cutter and sawmill worker and managed a cattle property at Bonalbo before becoming self employed as a logging contractor 25 years ago. I returned to the farm at Gradys Creek in 2001.
James hasn’t been a councillor before.
What do you bring to the role of councillor this election?
As a councillor, if elected, I would push a common sense path to the future, to pushback against restrictive state government legislation imposed on councils.
I will work for the “forgotten” people west of the range.
What brings you joy in life?
I love the bush, the animals and the people and I’m fortunate to be part of two true sustainable industries – agriculture and forestry.
I enjoy the challenges and the simple joys that come with the tasks.
The feel of a colt’s velvet muzzle, the milky breath of cattle, the yellow robins that come down to sit with me in the forest and the sight of mist rising on the mountains silhouetting the ragged crowns of majestic pines.
What difficulties does your community face?
Our rural roads like Theresa Creek, Upper Duck and Deep Creek are atrocious and the Clarence Way from Sandilands to Urbenville is a spine shattering experience.
Bushfires are high on the list. Bonalbo, Woodenbong and Kyogle surrounds are primed to burn and attempts to do controlled hazard reduction has been stymied.
Dare to dream – what is your vision for your region?
Change is inevitable but we must not disregard our history, the good and the bad and we have both but I believe more to the good and we must not change simply for the sake of change.
Our next elected council must take control back from the bureaucrats and show positive leadership because at the present time the foxes are running the chook pen.
Council faces interesting times as the area becomes more lifestyle orientated and assimilation with existing rural.