Kyogle Council, Simon Dejoux, Gradys Creek, independent
Tell us about where you live and your family
We live on a property at Gradys Creek that we’ve owned since 1999. I have two adult daughters who live in Sydney and Melbourne and are off pursuing their own careers in science and communications.
Simon hasn’t been a councillor before
What do you bring to the role of councillor this election?
I bring passion and commitment to seeing the communities in our council area thrive. I bring a focus on achieving real results that help to improve the lives of as many people as possible.
I bring a common sense approach and a commitment to fairness for all.
I’ve attended just about every council meeting for the last nine years so I know how local government works and I understand the role. I’m fully trained and ready to hit the ground running.
It’s one thing to know what to do but another completely when it comes to how to get the job done.
That’s why I also bring with me nearly 40 years of government skills, knowledge and experience representing rural and remote communities in government decision making processes and learning how to navigate bureaucracy, policy development and analysis, implementation and review across most government portfolios and related agencies and a strong voice for those who aren’t being heard.
I’ve worked on committees and working groups at all levels of government including water, land and resources, drought, social issues, telecommunications and regional development as well as cross agency and cross government groups and the tertiary sector on a range of other topics as diverse as education, community engagement, transport, the GST, national competition policy, fly in/fly out social impacts and aeromedical and air rescue services to name just a few.
I’ve worked with council on the Governance and Community Services Working Group that helped form part of the current Community Services Plan and had input to the amalgamation issues back in 2015. I bring a solid background and understanding of how government works and how to get tangible, meaningful results for people in rural areas.
What brings you joy in life?
Friends and family, peaceful days, quiet nights, travel, good conversation and hearing other points of view and hope for better tomorrows for everyone.
What difficulties does your community face?
I’m not sure they’re difficulties so much as challenges to be met and overcome.
Addressing the ongoing systemic and chronic underfunding of local government is a significant issue.
The ongoing need for improvement in our infrastructure including our roads and bridges.
Ensuring the very diverse voices in the community are all heard, social and affordable housing, climate change, balancing all our industries with sustainable practices, managing the ongoing growth that is occurring across our LGA. Recognising the needs of our young people, adapting and caring for our citizens as they age, identifying sustainable economic development opportunities for Kyogle and the villages including those in the agriculture, tourism and small business sectors, obtaining funding for water and sewerage for those villages without this service, advocating for a fair share of available funding from state and federal governments and developing strong policy positions to manage and direct the way as the Kyogle LGA continues to grow into the future.
What is your job? What do you like/dislike about it?
I’m happily retired (although busier then when I worked full time – go figure) although being a licensed commercial pilot I do some work in the aviation sector from time to time to keep my skills current. I’ve been flying since I was 13 so the freedom of flight holds a special magic for me.
Dare to dream – what is your vision for your region?
I dream of a happy, connected community where people are respectful of each other views, there’s tolerance and compassion for all, good infrastructure, a thriving business sector and a place where we honour the past but are focussed on the future.