2 June 2024

Wagga Wagga Greens announce full ticket for local government elections

| Jarryd Rowley
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Group of people holding a press conference

Greens member of the Legislative Council Dr Amanda Cohn introduces the party’s five candidates running on the Wagga Wagga City Council elections ticket (from left): George Benedyka, Emma Rush, Jenny McKinnon, Eric Kaiser and Sam Ryot. Photo: Jarryd Rowley.

Five Greens candidates have raised their hands for selection at the 2024 local government elections.

Current Wagga Wagga City councillor Jenny McKinnon, Sam Ryot, George Benedyka, Eric Kaiser and Emma Rush will all be campaigning for a WWCC role, with Cr McKinnon believing she has unfinished business.

“Lots has been achieved but there’s so much more to do,” she said.

“I am very hopeful that we will make further progress this term, but I’m looking forward to just working with this fabulous team of brains. We’ve got so many ideas about the sorts of things that are affecting the people of Wagga.

“We’re going to spend the next few months consulting with our Riverina Greens members and our supporters and with the local community about the issues that affect them.”

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Cr McKinnon said the early release of the Greens ticket would give Wagga residents plenty of time to understand the party’s motivations and policies well ahead of the election.

“We want the community to have plenty of time to understand who we are, what we’re about, the entire team, not just me,” she said.

“I think people know me. I’ve been on council for the last term. And I’ve had a fair bit to say about quite a few different issues in Wagga, but we want the community to know who the rest of our candidates are as well.”

Sitting second on this election’s Greens ticket is first-time candidate Sam Ryot.

Mr Ryot has lived in and around Wagga for the past 40 years and works for his family’s surveying firm. He said his knowledge about infrastructure and Wagga’s roads made him a prime asset not just for the Greens but the council as well.

“Leading into this election, I thought that I’d want to give back to the local area, local government and democracy in general,” Mr Ryot said.

“This looks like a very good way to do that, so that’s why I’ve put myself forward as a candidate in hopes of becoming a councillor.”

Third on the ticket is George Benedyka, a former president of the Wagga Chapter of the National Trust and founding member of Ladysmith United Football Club and Wagga Wilderness Walkers.

“I am a father and grandfather and I’d like to be on Wagga Wagga City Council to help make it an even better place for future generations,” Mr Benedyka said.

READ ALSO Riverina councillors urge more women to get involved ahead of local government elections

Fourth is Eric Kaiser, who is motivated to protect Earth’s ecosystem.

“Political leadership and local activism are absolute necessities for initiating and implementing changes conducive to long-term ecological survival,” Mr Kaiser said.

Charles Sturt University lecturer Emma Rush fills the final spot on the ticket.

Ms Rush has lived in Wagga since 2009 and is passionate about improving social justice and environmental outcomes for the city’s residents.

“As a Greens councillor, I would work to advocate for collective, structural solutions to the climate crisis that will protect our children’s future,” Ms Rush said.

The NSW local government elections will be held on 12 September.

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Ahahahaa… thanks for the chuckle RR

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