Candidates come forward for merged council

Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council residents can expect to see the names Charlie Sheahan, Leigh Bowden and John Stephens on the ballot paper come September 9 as all three come forward with their intention to stand. 

Mr Sheahan formerly ran for the state seat of Cootamundra.

He is a rural, commercial and residential ratepayer with interests in both the Cootamundra and Gundagai communities. 

He is keen to do his bit on the first elected council since the amalgamation saying “we have to try to find common ground”.

Mr Sheahan said the new council will not be business as usual given the task at hand of continuing to implement a merger that was not the first choice of many residents in both towns and he is keen to be part of the fresh face needed to move the combined council forward. 

Ms Bowden, with her husband Richard White, moved to Cootamundra six years ago from Sydney's Northern Beaches.

She put her hand up for council saying she has a vision for a vibrant, sustainable and prosperous region.

“I'm standing for Council because I have the ability to ‘make things happen’,” she said. 

“I not only have ideas, and take on ideas shared by others, but I can follow through; I am proactive.”

With experience in listening to and consulting with a wide range of people, Ms Bowden wants to ensure that everyone has a voice on the issues that affect them.

She is the woman behind Cootamundra’s AWARE group, advocating for issues around social justice and the environment, having convened the group in July 2014.

Mr Stephens already holds many hats in the Cootamundra community, including chair of the Cootamundra Development Corporation and positions on various sporting committees, particularly relating to his greatest sporting passion cricket. 

His work and sporting interests have seen him associated with both the Cootamundra and Gundagai communities and he is keen to be part of a new era of Local Government in the district, giving a voice to the amalgamated council. 

“We need experience on the new council to guide but now is also the time for people who are really committed with the skills and abilities necessary to move forward to put their hand up,” Mr Stephens said. 

The election is just eight weeks away and fines apply for not voting.

There is no absent voting at this election so people must vote at a polling place or pre-poll venue.

If you have committed to running and have not been featured in this article please contact Jennette on 0475 835 872 or email 


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