Bruce Wright is a familiar face for just about everybody in Tumbarumba.
He’s been a member of the Rotary Club for over thirty years. He’s the former environmental manager and maintenance manager at the Hyne Timber Mill, and an owner/manager of the Neville Smith Timber Industries sawmill in Laurel Hill. He’s the founder and key organiser of the Tumbarumba2Kokoda trek to Papua New Guinea. Now, he’s running for council.
“I want to run because I believe that I have plenty to offer our community, and I would like the opportunity to work towards unity and good governance between Tumbarumba and Tumut,” said Bruce.
“I’m disappointed about us being amalgamated but I don’t see any point in being bitter about it. Really, we’re all the same, we all put our trousers on one leg at a time; we’ve got to work together and get on with it and make a good, strong, responsible shire. I think I can help do that.”
One of Bruce’s passions is cycle tourism in the region. He believes the Snowy Valleys has the potential to be an adventure cycling magnet, and wants to help make that happen through a role in local government.
“We’ve got some of the best mountains and hills and streams and dams in the country – what a wonderful place to ride a bike around!” he said.
“Adventure cycling is a big thing at the present moment, and if we say ‘the Snowy Valleys shire is the centre of adventure cycling in Australia’ how good would that be! We could bring thousands of people to the district.
“I’m very focused on trying to help the rail trail get completed in Tumbarumba, it’s all happening now and we’ve got to make sure that it happens properly, and that our farmers and everybody are looked after along the way. I want it to happen but I don’t want to have people offside or disadvantaged over it.
“The Tumut-Batlow rail trail has huge potential, particularly for Batlow. If you go and have a look in Victoria, you’ll see what the rail trails are doing for the small towns.
“A lot of people think that they’re going to encroach on their property and they’re going to leave a mess, but bike riders are not like that. They’re very environmentally friendly, and they’re mostly respectful towards other people, like farmers.”
Bruce said he’s not interested in interfering with council staff responsible for things like roads and sewerage: “they’re the experts in their field.”
Instead, he sees the role of council as focusing on people.
“There’s no use headbutting,” he said.
“Headbutting doesn’t help anybody, and neither does holding anger in your heart. That will only cause you to have anger, you know, it makes you unhappy. Sure there’s things we might not always get, we may not particularly like each other, but we must work together. We’re adults, we should be able to work together without pulling each other apart.
“I think at the end of the day, at the end of everything we do, we should say, “is that fair?” And if we walk away saying, “yes, that is fair,” then we’re doing okay.”