Mohit Kumar of Blacktown NSW is well known to Sydney-based Indian-Australians not only as a community leader and representative but also as a Sgt Police Prosecutor in the NSW Police Force. As a candidate in the upcoming NSW Local Council Elections (for the Blacktown City Council), he answers these questions for Indian Link.
Why did you choose to stand for local council?
There were three reasons that I decided to stand for council. Firstly, I’ve been raised with a sense of civic duty to help others. Secondly, I have been part of and continue to be an avid member of several community groups and charities, and have been boosted by their encouragement and trust to stand for this election. And thirdly, as a passionate local living in this vibrant area I can see, like many others in the community, that it’s time for a change of guard at our Council, and I believe I have the experience, skills and drive to make it happen.
I am contesting from Ward 1 as the Lead Candidate for the Blacktown Coalition Team at the Blacktown Council Elections. We are endorsed by the Liberal Member for Riverstone Mr Kevin Conolly MP. Ward 1 area includes the suburbs of Quakers Hill, Riverstone, Schofields, Tallawong, Grantham Farm, The Ponds, Stanhope Gardens, Parklea, Acacia Gardens, Vineyard and parts of Rouse Hill. Early voting starts from Monday 22 Nov at the Blacktown Leisure Centre. To vote for me, please write number “1” in the Group “C” square.
What would you say are the three main issues of concern in your local area?
Our group, the Blacktown Coalition Team, has five main areas that we wish to focus solutions on, but my personal top three are: 1. Better roads, footpaths and parks, 2. Low rates, and 3. Efficient council services. Our community is sick of our roads being in chaos every time it rains, with insufficient upkeep. Young families are moving into new estates in the area to only find that the promised playgrounds and parks won’t be developed until their children are teenagers. Rates are souring, and with little justification of what ratepayers are getting in return. And where are the promised council developments – such as Riverstone Shopping Centre and Mall, and not to mention missed opportunities such as at the management of the Blacktown Leisure Centre. These are just some of the initial concerns I have heard from constituents and wish to bring to action with our local council to make them happen.
How do you propose to address these issues?
If elected, I would work hard with the other elected Councillors, Blacktown Council Management and staff to push for visible solutions with smarter, more focused, and accountable planning and deliverables.
Your contributions to the community so far?
I am involved in several community groups, such as The Council of Indian Australians, a not-for-profit charity who, with accountability, good governance and integrity serve the Indian community actively. From being their voice in the media on diplomatic issues, supporting causes, to organising forums and big festival celebrations – we are often top of mind with our positive reputation in the community.
I am a White Ribbon Australia Ambassador, connecting with men in our society to bring about change in the fight against domestic violence. I am on the board of Sydney Health Partners, a peak medical research organisation. I’m also a member of the “Family and Consumer Council” of the Westmead Children’s Hospital where I advocate for our community to the of board of the Children’s Hospital, for better health care and services both for the children and their parents. In addition, after being involved for over 3 years, I have recently been elected President of the Schofields Cricket Club which is in a state of flux and exponential membership growth.
A bit about your background – personal and professional.
After arriving in Australia from India over 25 years ago as an international student, I quickly fell in love with this country. It gave me wonderful opportunities, career success and blessed me with my beautiful family. For over 18 years I have been a public servant, and although the work is intense, I enjoy the challenge and seeing the positive outcomes for our society. I’m a people person, and love to connect with individuals to hear their story and to look for collaborations. In my down time, I love to cook up a storm – with friends and family often requesting my signature dish Chicken Manchurian, spending quality time with my family and performing my favourite Indian songs.
Tell us about your team at these elections.
We, of the Blacktown Coalition Team, are proud locals who are passionate for positive chance to advance our community.
A team of 15, we have an unbridled wealth of experience from many different private and public sectors. Many of us already familiar faces who have a strong record of giving back to the community – in governance, local businesses, running charities, community and cultural groups, and assisting with the welfare and development of those in need.
One of our strengths is our diversity – both women and men, in a range of ages, and multicultural backgrounds – a true representation of you, the people in the Blacktown LGA.
We’ve seen the need for a fresh approach to leadership for our local area for some time now. This is the perfect coming of age for our LGA, and a time to step up and inject into our community a progressive, proactive, and personable team that is ready to roll up their sleeves and work hard.
We’re here to listen and serve you, and we hope that you will come on the journey with us for the area you call home. The Blacktown Coalition Team (stands for) Advancing Our Community.
Election day is Sat 4 Dec 2021, but iVote and pre-polls commence on Mon 22 Nov 2021.