The race has begun for local council elections

NEW BLOOD: Matthew Hurley is standing for election to the Katherine Town Council.

NEW BLOOD: Matthew Hurley is standing for election to the Katherine Town Council.

Matthew Hurley has become one of the most recognisable faces in Katherine. 

The 35-year-old has probably served you at Woolworths or Red Rooster and now he wants to serve you on council.

Mr Hurley has nominated for an alderman position on the next Katherine Town Council and said it is time for the next generation to stand up.

“It is time for new blood, we need fresh opinions and new visions for the town,” Mr Hurley said.

“I want to see Katherine thriving and growing.

“I have heard a lot of comments from people that there needs to be more honesty and evidence in council.”

The 35-year-old has three children under the age of three and describes himself as a “family man”.

“There are things that need to be addressed in this town that aren’t being addressed right now,” he said. 

“Strategies need to be implemented to reduce crime, people are scared at the moment with all of the house break-ins and kids roaming the streets at night. 

“I was at a council meeting a few months ago and it was mentioned that there are back alleys all over the east side that teenagers roam around in and they mentioned closing them off, I want to make sure that happens.”

Another major issue the prospective aldermen wants to address is the declining CBD. 

“There are a lot of empty shops in town and I want to put in place some strategies to reduce rents because something needs to be done,” Mr Hurley said. 

“Residential rent prices are too high, we could entice more people into town if the rents were cheaper. I want to help reduce the rents by reducing council rates.

“The community is telling me a nine per cent rate hike in the last two or three years is a lot, and people deserve to know more in-depth about where their rates are going,” he said.

Mr Hurley moved to Katherine from Queensland five years ago. 

‘What bought me to Katherine will give everyone a chuckle. I came here on a holiday and I met my wife at Kirby’s, three kids later and the rest is history,” he said. 

“Since I moved here the community has been behind me and I would love to represent the people of this town who have supported me.”

Mr Hurley said he wants the community to know more about him. 

“I have a disability because I have a tumour in my brain called an astrocytoma of the thalamus which has caused nerve damage down my left side,” he said.

“I got sick when I was four-years-old but I just live with it; it is my mobility that is affected.”

Nominations are now open for six aldermen positions and the office of the mayor of Katherine. 

Nominations close on August 3 and residents will go the polls on August 26.