ALP team for council elections

Ward 1 candidate Suzie van Opdorp (centre) with Mary Waterford and Aunty Carol Cooper.
Ward 1 candidate Suzie van Opdorp (centre) with Mary Waterford and Aunty Carol Cooper.

Long-term Mountains resident, Suzie van Opdorp, will lead the Labor ticket for Ward 1 in this year's council elections.

Ms Van Opdorp, a local resident of 38 years, will head the team, with sitting Councillor Don McGregor as her number two candidate followed by former Blue Mountains Councillor Sarah Shrubb.

"Under the leadership of Mayor Mark Greenhill, our council has been led by an experienced and progressive team resulting in a long period of stability," said Ms van Opdorp. "This has made a real difference to our community. Making a positive difference to the lives of people has been a big part of my life. I hope to have the opportunity to continue to do this if elected."

The mayor said he was proud to have served with Cr McGregor over the last nine years but was excited by Ms van Opdorp's candidacy.

"I don't mind admitting Don and I are close mates and that I have always relied on him for guidance and wise counsel. We have been a progressive council that has fought hard to protect the beautiful environment of the Blue Mountains and to walk the journey with community during and after bushfires and other natural disasters," he said.

"Don has been a central part of what is undoubtedly one of the most progressive councils in NSW.

"My sadness at Don stepping back is tempered with excitement at who will replace him."

Ms van Opdorp describes herself as a community worker who is passionate about social justice and women's issues. Her background includes working in child protection, domestic violence, rape crisis and women's health, HIV/AIDS education and support work. Most recently she worked as an electorate officer with Blue Mountains MP, Trish Doyle, resigning last month to pursue studies in the Masters of Social Work.

"To me the personal is political. I have always worked in areas that I feel passionate about and I'm driven by a sense of justice. I have a voice and believe that standing up for people is a responsibility."

Local resident Mary Waterford AM congratulated Suzie on her candidacy.

"We need more people of Suzie's calibre so that council understand the need for a thriving community where everyone has a voice and an opportunity to participate. I wish Suzie all the best."

Aunty Carol Cooper said: "I've known Suzie for a long time and I know she will work hard for the Blue Mountains."

Cr McGregor said "It has been a real privilege being a Blue Mountains Councillor. With Suzie on board I am looking forward to more women being on council."