Kathy Rice, Greens candidate for Kiama Council
Kathy is a local science teacher who moved to Kiama Downs with her partner and two sons 15 years ago. She is experienced in community management of health and environmental organisations and her special passion is to increase the production of fresh, nutritious food across the whole Kiama region.
Before moving to Kiama, Kathy worked in Health and Health Promotion and she has had a long term interest in the development of healthy communities. Kathy’s community activities include actively developing and publicising the Kiama Community Garden, membership of the Kiama Council Health and Sustainability Advisory Committee, membership of Kiama Uniting Church and regular work as a relief teacher at Kiama High School. She has brought up her two sons in Kiama and in the process assisted on various committees in the Kiama district.
“I believe that healthy communities provide opportunities for people to interact and develop connections with others in their community. In turn, these local networks provide a valuable voice in local planning. I am hopeful that future urban development in Kiama will not encroach upon our agricultural land, but instead seek to strengthen our existing townships and include diversification of the businesses, community facilities and accommodation located within them. The assets of well-designed local communities should be accessible to all community members and avoid undue reliance on private cars.
Regular rainfall in the Kiama municipality enables reliable agricultural production. Whilst most of the country was declared drought affected in recent years, Kiama’s rainfall was marginal, but not low enough to disrupt agriculture entirely. Future climate predictions indicate that a drier Murray Darling Basin will gradually produce a lower proportion of our nation’s food supply. As trucking costs increase, fresh food from distant sources will become more expensive. We are in a perfect position to produce much of our community’s fresh food requirements locally and I would like to engage all local food producers, including farmers, community gardeners and backyard growers to develop a self-reliant agricultural economy that is also capable of providing employment and training within the community.
Our Kiama towns and countryside offer a clean and beautiful environment in which to live and our Council has done an excellent job in maintaining the individuality of local townships and ensuring the financial and environmental integrity of the region. A locally accountable council is in the best position to continue this work and any amalgamation of Kiama into a larger less responsive Council is not in the best interest of our community.”
I will also actively support