Getting to know Neale Genge

Richmond Valley Council, Neale Genge, Casino, Independent

Tell us about where you live and your family.
I first moved to the Northern Rivers in the 1990s and returned to the area nine years ago to take up employment in Casino.  I live with my wife and two teenage children on five acres just out of Casino, while our eldest adult son lives just down the road.

 

Neale has not been a councillor before.
What do you bring to the role of councillor this election?
I come from a firmly working-class background and such values have remained with me throughout my life. Leaving high school I never thought I would go to university and took on a number of different roles from landscaping to bartending.  I was however fortunate to be able to put myself through university being the first member of my family to attend college where I juggled employment, study and later on, early parenthood.
At university I completed a Bachelor of Business, a Master of Professional Accounting, and a Graduate Certificate in Business Law.  While I also served as a council member of Southern Cross University’s governing body for several years.
I have a strong range of life and business skills which I bring to the role of councillor.  I have a good legal mind, strong financial skills and a firm understanding of corporate governance principles.  This combined with my life skills and above all common sense, I believe would be very valuable in the council chamber.
What brings you joy in life?
My family is my main joy in life.  I have had the privilege of spending time and undertaking some awesome activities with my children through the Scouting movement whilst watching them grow.  My two sons have both matured into fine young men and my lovely daughter (the baby of the family) is about to enter adulthood.
As our kids have grown older their need for their parents has reduced and I have found myself devoting more time to the garden and animals on our property, while also looking forward to the opportunity to travel more with my wife once covid restrictions ease.

I have also been an active rugby league referee for over 25 years, and I look forward to increasing my involvement in league next season.

What difficulties does your community face?
Of late the biggest difficulties our community has faced is the ever-changing covid situation.  I have seen the impact this has had on community groups, students, workers, and people’s mental health.  Hopefully in 2022 this will move to a memory.

Locally the major ongoing difficulty is housing affordability, lack of community facilities and transport infrastructure.

Council can assist with this through planning and working with developers and land holders for the release of more residential land.  While also working with our State Government to work on the development of more community facilities and transport infrastructure within our region.  If we have transport services that are available, reliable, and affordable it can assist with the growth of our local population and employment and educational opportunities for our younger people.
What is your job? What do you like/dislike about it?
I am the manager of the Casino RSM Club, a role I have been in for almost nine years.
This role is both a challenging and rewarding one. With over 8,000 and 65 staff, no two days are the same and the role encompasses a wide range of responsibilities from marketing, human resource management, legal compliance, accounting, real estate management, planning, and day to day operations.  One moment I might be working on a multimillion-dollar development, the next minute I’ll be out the bar pouring a beer, talking to members or cleaning tables.
The role can be very rewarding with the positive difference we can make on people’s lives, from seeing our young local kids running around in their sporting jumpers with the RSM logo on it, and knowing that we have helped them to partake in sport, or contributing funds to the Casino Community Kitchen, Evans Head Surf Club or Mid Richmond Neighbourhood Centre and other such services, which you know will help make a positive impact on the daily lives of local people.
The only real dislike would be the increasing compliance and paperwork, especially through the covid pandemic which has seen a significant amount of time and resources being drawn away to ensure compliance, rather than being focused on the day-to-day operations.
Dare to dream – what is your vision for your region?
My vision for the region would be an area with sensible, sustainable, environmentally friendly, economic development which will allow it to grow and provide a future for our children and future generations.
It would be sensational if our youth had the opportunity to grow up, be educated, find a job, buy a home, and retire in their own local community if they wish, with all the facilities and health services needed for all stages of life.
I would like to see an inclusive community of which all members can feel a part of and the facilities youth, families and all generations of the Richmond Valley need to interact so as to create an active, inclusive, harmonious collective.
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