Member of the Week - Tim Norton
Tim Norton, Northern Tablelands Local Land Services board member and Greg Livermore, Anaiwan LALC CEO (Tingha), celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Northern Tablelands Aboriginal Reference Advisory Group in Glen Innes. Image courtesy of Northern Tablelands Local Land Services.
Born and bred and Walcha, Tim first became involved with the Nationals after his partner Sonia encouraged him to stop wasting his energy complaining to her about local issues and join.
Now Chair of the Walcha Branch, Tim considers the Nats to be “like a family” and values the policy development opportunities that a Nationals membership affords, having attended Conferences across the State since joining in 2011.
Community is an important aspect of Tim’s life, with his first love being the small but strong community of Walcha, he returned to the farm as soon as he could after school. Admitting he is a little biased, Tim considers Walcha to have one of the strongest community spirit of any region, and it is what drives his involvement with the Nationals, the Walcha Show Society and the Local Land Services – to which he has just being appointed to the Board for a second term.
Image courtesy of The Land. [Tim Norton centre]
His partner Sonia serves as the Walcha Branch Secretary and is also heavily involved with NSW Farmers. With Tim's family’s involvement in the area dating back to the 1860s, they still farm some of the original family acreage. Tim also considers himself fortunate to have built his home only a few hundred metres from where he planned it as a teenager and to also have his two sons farming alongside. Involved for many years in merinos and now focussing on cattle and fat lambs, farming, he says “has been very good to me”.
Tim believes more policy work and investment is critical for world-standard telecommunications in regional areas – allowing farmers and businesses to compete nationally and internationally, and in creating practical biodiversity measures, with the impacts of the federal changes still yet to trickle down to the regulatory and day-to-day usage level. He thinks it’s important that the policies developed are not just old schemes in new clothes but genuinely address current and future issues.
Recruitment of younger members is a concern to Tim, noting that there seems to be increased apathy among younger generations towards politics. How to combine strong social networks facilitated by modern technology with politics is an area he’d like to see more emphasis on at a Branch and Party level.
Tim’s ultimate reason for becoming involved with the Nationals is something that resonates with most our members and hopefully, future members, noting that “if you’re going to complain, you should be getting involved”.