Hastings First - Your Voice | Your Community | Your Future

Updated: Aug 11, 2021

Five independent candidates have joined forces to run on a combined ticket for the upcoming Port Macquarie Hastings Council elections which have been rescheduled to the 4th of December due to the recent surge in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The team, called HASTINGS FIRST is focused on the concerns of our community at the grassroots level. The team wants to provide the community with a strong, informed voice in Council on matters concerning its future. HASTINGS FIRST is a team with integrity at its core and is prepared to work with fellow councillors to achieve the best outcomes for the community.

Between them, the five candidates bring a wealth of local knowledge and experience coupled with professional expertise in key areas.

The candidates are:

(see photo from left to right)

Hastings First - Nik James Lipovac with Kerry Fox, Linda Lenord, Michael Clarke and Justin Hardie.
HASTINGS FIRST - Left to Right: Justin Hardie, Kerry Fox, Nik James Lipovac, Linda Lenord, and Michael Clarke

We spent some time chatting to two of the team, Nik and Michael, who outlined both their individual and team aims and objectives for the future of our LGA.

Connected Community

They both agree that the Hastings LGA is large and diverse with both urban and rural components and that we all are living through uncertain and constantly changing times. When natural disasters such as bushfires and floods affect our community, coupled with the ongoing impact of a global pandemic, it is the local council which is at the coal face of both immediate and ongoing community concerns and needs.

HASTINGS FIRST believes it has the experience and commitment to help make informed decisions to facilitate the needs of our community both now and moving forward. Additionally, it is confident and possesses the skills and experience to make responsive and strategic decisions to address current and future concerns and needs of the community throughout the whole area. To this end HASTINGS FIRST will develop economic hubs to leverage community skills and create employment opportunities across the LGA.

They aim to facilitate a more connected community and shared workspace with improvement of traffic bottlenecks through improved infrastructure, and will develop a post- COVID tourist plan and encourage more people to discover the hinterland.

Team HASTINGS FIRST aim to work with Council to understand the priorities and plans to fix urgent infrastructure requirements following the fires, floods and COVID and communicate this to the community.

Also, high on the priority list is community mental health and safety - the team say these are vital issues during this stressful period and HASTINGS FIRST will listen to the concerns of local grassroots groups within the community and work with state/federal authorities to set up local “health hubs” to provide support on the ground in various locales.

Social housing projects are always a priority, but with loss of jobs/businesses as a result of COVID as well as the impact of bushfires and floods and population growth, HASTINGS FIRST wants to work with state and federal authorities to fast track both improvements to and expansion of social housing in the area.

Meet Nik James Lipovac...

Nik, Niko as we know him :)

A familiar voice and face to many, HASTINGS FIRST team member and Mayoral candidate Nik James Lipovac is excited and very enthusiastic about the local area and the upcoming local government elections. So much so that he formed HASTINGS FIRST to enter into the electoral race.

Nik, aka Niko, came to the Hastings region back in 2003, taking on a role at the local radio station called 2MC, now named Triple M. Of Croatian and Greek heritage, Nick considered his last name, Lipovac, a bit of a mouthful for radio and thus decided to simplify it to Nik James