EVANSTON resident Cody Davies believes he can save Gawler Council ratepayers thousands of dollars of unnecessary IT costs, if elected to council in November.
Mr Davies, 28, is the first Gawler Council hopeful to publicly declare their interest in nominating for the November local government elections.
The Evanston resident believes he can bring a level of digital know-how currently lacking among council’s current elected members.
As an example, he used the digital hub planned for the Gawler Civic Centre, which he said would replicate services already offered elsewhere, such as at the Stretton Centre in Munno Para.
“I’ve noticed a level of IT illiteracy on council, which has led to a lot of waste of money,” he said.
“What happens is there’s a whole industry now that’s, basically, there to make a lot of money out of businesses and government organisations who are willing to just throw $100,000 at a website or a job that’s worth a couple of thousand dollars.
“Or, they’ll hire a consultant, pay them $10,000 to come in and say something fancy-sounding about the cloud that I could have already told them.
“Is ratepayer money being wasted? I think, right now, it is.”
Other issues Mr Davies will make a focus of his campaign include greater representation of home-based businesses (which he said aren’t currently being supported inside the council chamber) and local issues affecting Evanston residents, particularly traffic congestion around Gawler Green shopping centre.
Mr Davies has a number of connections with the local community, being a member of the Gawler Broadcasting Association, Gawler Community House, Gawler Suicide Prevention Group and Gawler History Team.
With 54.7 per cent of the Gawler Council population aged under 45 (according to statistics from the 2016 Census), Mr Davies believes council needs someone in this age bracket representing it.
“There’s a lot of the population that’s not represented by the council,” he said.
“A lot of the more open councils do have younger councillors, but Gawler is still a bit country, in that regard.
“It’s got a lot of older people and retirees in these positions.”
It’s not the first time Mr Davies will be nominating for council – he unsuccessfully ran in 2014 and was the fifth candidate to be eliminated, out of a field of 25, with just 67 votes.
Mr Davies said he’s learned from his first attempt, and appreciates how hard he has to work to be successful this time around.
“The first time I ran I didn’t really know what to expect; I, sort of, ran thinking, ‘well, maybe if I just tell them that I’ve got some good ideas, I’ll get the votes’,” he said.
“I did a bit of doorknocking and everything, and I had some plans, but I guess it was a lot tougher than I expected; I didn’t do particularly well.
“But, that just made me want to do better this time.”