• Tony Bosworth

Group focus – Andrew Cadman Group – raising dam wall gets tick, attracting business is key

Andrew Cadman’s no stranger to politics, given his father Alan was the well known federal Liberal MP for Mitchell for over 30 years, but he says he and his team – Cadman Group - are fighting this council election as independents.

“We are an independent group. None of us are members of a political party,” he says.

“We’ve been speaking to Labor, Liberal and Independent candidates to form connections with the view to be working together if elected. As a divided house cannot stand, so unity amongst the councillors will achieve a lot.”

Not too surprisingly, given the family link, Mr Cadman was a member of the Liberal Party – though he says he left around 15 years ago – though in this election Cadman Group is preferencing both the Liberals and the Les Sheather group who have links to the Liberals (‘The Doc’, ex-councillor Warwick Mackay, running with Les Sheather, is a Liberal Party member) and One Nation, Mr Sheather having previously run for them as a federal candidate.

The Andrew Cadman group - Mr Cadman front centre

Andrew Cadman Group has most recently also decided to preference the nine-candidate independent group headed by solicitor Preeti Karan – so Liberals first, Les Sheather second and Preeti Karan third, on preferences.

Let’s give Mr Cadman the floor here though, because he has some firm ideas about how to boost business and protect and enhance heritage in the Hawkesbury, as well as thoughts on development.

He makes the point that five out of six of his group are business people.

“We want to see the Hawkesbury flourish,” Mr Cadman told the Post.

“Small businesses, and larger alike, need to be given incentives to stay in the Hawkesbury.

“We need more business, and businesses running with higher efficiency. Lobbying the other tiers of government that will bring new businesses who will employ locals is very important to us,” he says.

“We understand what is needed to make businesses run. We understand the importance of listening to our clients, or in this case LGA [local government area] residents. We understand the intricacies of business and also the needs of small business.

“We’d like to see decisions made that will release the people of the Hawkesbury to be able to fulfil their desires in a business and domestic sense while keeping the ‘feel’ and open way of the rural life that encompasses the Hawkesbury.”

He believes one way of achieving that is for Hawkesbury Council to lobby the state government to raise the Warragamba Dam wall – a project being pushed by the Coalition state government at a mooted cost of between $1.6 to $2bn – but he is keen to point out only as a flood mitigation measure, not as a way to increase development in the Hawkesbury.

“Yes, we support the raising of the dam wall, but not increased development on the flood-prone land.

“A mitigation-only raising would alleviate some of the fears and, hopefully, give a sense of hope that hasn’t been possible to landowners, farmers and business owners to try new ideas and ways of working,” he says.

On the biggest land conflict question - there are some sizeable developments happening in the Hawkesbury including the expansion of Redbank and the soon-to-be started Jacaranda Ponds at Glossodia - he says, “I think it’s going to be the pressure of small block size development moving toward the Hawkesbury.

“We’d like to see this slowed in its pace from what we’ve seen in the huge developments like The Hills of Carmel. Also, much larger block sizes, with nothing under 2000 square metres.

“Making the Hawkesbury an exclusive and prestigious place to live could be brought about by selective, thoughtful, well considered developments - not small, jammed in blocks,” he says.

“And very limited development on the northern/western side of the river. Losing the farming land will see the loss of the Hawkesbury to many existing and long-term residents. We need to find much more innovative ways to bring the needed finances into the Hawkesbury.”

And that’s partly where the business aspect comes in, he says.

“We’d like to see businesses within the Hawkesbury increase in number. We’d like to see more businesses open in the Hawkesbury. We’d like to see business owners in the Hawkesbury given incentives to stay in the Hawkesbury, and incentives that draw more businesses to the Hawkesbury."

Mr Cadman says the group also wants to protect Hawkesbury heritage but he wants the rules looked at, and loosened, around renovating heritage buildings.

“We will lobby to allow easier regulations surrounding heritage building renovations and restoring our parks and parking areas,” he said.

Mr Cadman believes the greatest challenge will be, “to bring the necessary finances to the Hawkesbury and keep the Hawkesbury’s unique way and feel. To lose our farmland to a sea of houses would be tragic. This is why we’d like to have more business owners on council".

“We want to create river paths for walking, running, riding, promote rural cafés and restaurants, and encourage more farm gates to open to sell produce, and we want to promote these to Greater Sydney and beyond.”

On the Richmond Bridge Duplication plans, Mr Cadman says his group support, “…a higher purple-like route”. They are not fans of the government’s chosen Green Route.

“With the extra finances promised by the Federal Governmentt a more in-depth study by Transport for NSW could mean a route being built that has a life beyond 2046, possibly as far as 2096. What’s the point of spending $250m for 20 years (once finished) when we have the money available to spend double and get an extra 50 years of usefulness from the road?

“It would see less sporting land destroyed. There would be less impact on the roads and residents of Hobartville. Traffic could more easily flow through North Richmond than it could with the other routes. Raising the level of a crossing like that would mean greater flood resilience for the Hawkesbury, which is also part of a good flood mitigation plan.”

Andrew Cadman Group candidates:

Andrew Cadman

He’s a businessman, and owner of a Hawkesbury-based asphalting company for the past 16 years.

Married, with 2 school-age boys, his family has lived in The Hawkesbury for the past 17 years. Mr Cadman was born in Dubbo and grew up in Galston on a stone fruit orchard.

He says, “it would be fitting for The Hawkesbury to become known as ‘the heart of Australia’. Australia survived, when a fledgling nation, because of what The Hawkesbury provided, as the food bowl for the country. “The diversity of The Hawkesbury is quite vast. Being rich in: history; industry; small and large business; manufacturing; farming; tourism; bushland; wilderness areas and loads more. The Hawkesbury has massive opportunities to flourish, inspiring greater prosperity, vitality and health in our nation.”

Kristine Waters

She has a real estate business and has lived in the Hawkesbury for the past 30 years. She says she spent her young adult years travelling and riding horses which led to running her own Travel Consultancy.

“For the past 10 years I’ve been involved in volunteering to help a women’s group, connecting and giving a place to feel loved in the community. I’m enthusiastic about seeing the people of The Hawkesbury flourish in all areas of life.” A mum of four children and, she says, “wife to an amazing go-getter husband”.

“I absolutely love the land, farms, architecture and the real potential of the Hawkesbury. It has to be one of the most unique places to visit in Australia.”

Catherine Cadman

Mrs Cadman is married to Andrew Cadman. She grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney and says she frequently visited the Hawkesbury on youth camps when growing up. “I worked in the fashion industry for many years. I then got a degree in social work, which led me to mainly work with the homeless and refugees. I later worked in event styling as well as some volunteer work running groups on relationships, while my family has been my main focus.”

Ian Macgregor

He’s a retired member of the RAAF and Australian Public Service and he came to the Hawkesbury with the Airforce, while still a teenager. He’s been married to wife Fiona for 28 years and they have raised four adult children and have four grandchildren.

Mr Macgregor studied Electronics and Communications at RMIT and has a diploma in Project Management. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (Military Division) for meritorious service and the Pathfinder Force Association award for excellence during his Airforce service. He serves on the board of Vineyard Church and support those in need through his volunteer work at Hawkesbury

Community Kitchen. “I am particularly interested in seeing the Hawkesbury flourish as a destination of choice for tourism, preserving our heritage without hindering owners and improving sporting and recreational infrastructure together with minimising the impact of flooding upon the area,” he says.

Gabbie (Kirk) Baker

She has lived in the Hawkesbury for the past 16 years, and for many years she worked as a

sales rep based out of the Hawkesbury, including working at The Wedding Centre in Windsor and more recently at the Australian Christian College (ACC) in Marsden Park. She’s a mum and married to the owner of a local auto-electrical business.

“I greatly value people and have always been very aware of the struggles of real life that so many people face,” she says. “I want to see people overcome the obstacles that are preventing them from moving into the fullness of enjoying their lives and their potential.”

Michelle Tapara

“I am passionate about people, my three amazing children and the Hawkesbury, my home for the last 15 years,” she says.

The Richmond salon owner says she is running because she believes in “unity and strong people representation”.

“As a mum I invest time in my children and understand the value of community sports to create a place of achievement and companionship amongst our young. I appreciate the Hawkesbury's fine collection of heritage, art and produce. I want to see the Hawkesbury flourish, growing from strength to strength,” she says.

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