Former Wyong Mayor Bob Graham has announced he won't run for Central Coast Council at September's Local Government election. Here's the full statement.
To my loyal supporters and friends.
After more than two decades of service to Wyong Shire Council, I have reluctantly decided not to contest the Central Coast Council Election this September.
I am very proud of my involvement and achievements in over thirty five years of service to my community, I am very proud to be the Patron of so many Clubs and Organisations, some for nearly forty years like Shelly Beach Surf Lifesaving Club, Wyong Race Club, The Entrance Leagues Club, the National Servicemen’s Association Tuggerah Lakes Branch, The Entrance Rams Rugby Club, The Entrance Cricket Club, Tuggerah Tuffs Winter Swimming Club, Berkeley Vale Soccer Club, Ourimbah United Football Club, Central Dance Company, The Entrance Amateur Swimming Club, and many more.
I served for ten years as a member of the Wyong Shire Salvation Army Advisory Board. For four years I was a member of the Central Coast Economic Development Board, for twenty years I have been a member of the Berkeley Vale Public School Council and President for most of that time, I am a member of the Greater Sydney Local Land Services, Community Advisory Group. From the creation of the Central Coast Mariners Football Club I served for eight years as a member of the Board of Directors, I am a past member of the Board of Directors of Mingara Recreation Club, I am an Executive Member of The Association of Former Members of the N.S.W. Parliament, I am a member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, I am also a member of Lodge Wyong Tuggerah Lakes Masonic Lodge, I was proud to serve on the Steering Committee to establish the University Campus at Ourimbah.
During my eighteen years of service to Wyong Shire Council I served five years as Mayor and four years as Deputy Mayor. During this service, I achieved much for the local community, and was successful in obtaining a grant from the Federal Government for $80.3 million dollars for the Mardi to Mangrove Link to drought proof the Central Coast for many years to come. I got a $20 million-dollar grant to set up the Wyong Shire Estuary Management Plan, $10 million dollars for the sporting amenities at the Mariners Tuggerah Centre of Excellence, not to mention the State and Federal Government Grants to knock down and re build three Surf Lifesaving Clubs, Shelly Beach, Toowoon Bay and Soldiers Beach.
During my term on Council I served on many Committees including Chair of the Tuggerah Lakes Estuary, Coastal and Floodplain Management Committee, the Beach Liaison Committee, Central Coast Regional Organisation of Councils, Gosford Wyong Water Authority, Council Governance Committee, Grants Committee, Local Traffic Committee and Sports Committee.
I have grave concerns about certain individuals who served previously on Wyong Shire Council and are putting their names forward to run at the upcoming election. Over the years many people have contributed and submitted numerous complaints to the relevant authorities about these individuals from ICAC, the Office of Local Government, Wyong Shire Council, both Federal and State Government Departments, Federal and State Ministers and Premiers, the Law Society, the Order of Australia Committee, State and Federal Ombudsmen, the list goes on, all to no avail. Electronic and print media both local and national have had a go but have given up also defeated. I am firmly of the belief that our opponents have some sort of hold over people at a very senior level and consequently are untouchable. I am sorry but I would go completely insane if I had to put up with another 3 years on Council similar to the last 4 years that I had to endure at Wyong.
I am not naming these people because I remain professional and don’t want to see these people get any more publicity than they deserve. Suffice to say, that I hope one day soon the full truth about their dealings becomes public, and the justice system prevails.
I remain committed to the people of the Central Coast, as I have done throughout my decades of public service both locally and at a State level. In closing, can I take the opportunity to thank all of my friends and supporters for their votes, unwavering support, help, and encouragement over the years. I couldn’t have achieved all that I have without you! And a special thanks to my loving wife Lorraine, who has remained steadfastly by my side.
Finally, let me take the opportunity to warn the electors of the Central Coast to cast your votes carefully and remember that a vote for the Liberal Party, or the Liberal endorsed Save Tuggerah Lakes Party, would not be in the best interests for the future of the newly amalgamated Central Coast Council.
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