Kenrick Winchester will contest the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council election

“Queanbeyan is so good they built the capital of the country next door.” You would be hard-pressed to find someone more openly in love with this town than Kenrick Winchester.
“Queanbeyan is so good they built the capital of the country next door.” You would be hard-pressed to find someone more openly in love with this town than Kenrick Winchester.

Sitting down with Kenrick Winchester, even briefly, two things become immediately clear - his determination and his passion for Queanbeyan.

If the Googong Hogs jumper didn’t make clear his loyalty to the area, the moment Mr Winchester opens his mouth it becomes perfectly obvious.

He has a very clear goal for the town and should he be elected he has promised to not stop until he reaches it.

“I want to get Queanbeyan back on the map,” Mr Winchester said.

“At the moment, what are we?”

“A cheaper place to buy if you want to build a new house? That’s not good enough for me.”

“There’s very little reason for people from Canberra to come to Queanbeyan, and we need to change that.”

While Mr Winchester is running on an unendorsed ticket as an independent, he is a member of the Labor Party. He decided to join after the council merger, which he strongly opposed.

He said he was determined to govern for Queanbeyan should he be elected, not for the Labor Party and wants his affiliation to be common knowledge.

“I’d prefer to not get in with people knowing where I stand than to get in but people think I’ve been underhanded about the whole thing,” he said.

Mr Winchester is running a ticket with 10 other locals including high profile sports figures Terry Campese and Justin Giteau.

Sport is the key platform Mr Winchester sees as a way of boosting Queanbeyan and the region.

“It’s my plan to make Queanbeyan the rugby league capital of NSW,” he said.

“At the moment for a town of our size, where we pride ourselves on our sporting background, we don’t have any decent sized sporting venues.”

Ensuring that Queanbeyan gets a new basketball and netball facility and improving Seiffert Oval in the hope of bringing the Raiders back to town are priorities for Mr Winchester and his team. Making local sport more accessible for people is also a major issue as he feels that registration fees often make it prohibitive for some.

Having been elected to Queanbeyan City Council in 2012 Mr Winchester feels he would go into the new council with a greater understanding of how it operates. He said he was determined it should not have the same issues that he says plagued the last council.

“I want to see that stuff out the window and a totally new culture brought into this new organisation,” he said

“The new council shouldn’t just be the rebranded QCC.”

Joining Mr Winchester’s ticket for the September 9 election are Kevin Butt, Jan Browne, Maria Taylor, Robert Lenon, Shaun Ebert, Denis Reid, Tony Wood, Jane Vucago, Terry Campese and Justin Giteau.