CANDIDATES who will run in September's Tweed Shire Council election have been invited to hear about how local government works from an old hand at the game.
NSW Shires Association vice president Bruce Miller, who has served on Cowra Council for more than two decades, will be the guest speaker at the information session in Murwillumbah on July 11.
Councillor Miller said like most people, he went into local government with clear goals about what he wanted to achieve but quickly discovered the role and opportunities to initiate change were very different to what he expected.
"You soon understand that your level of influence on specific issues and your discretionary spending can be very limited by other factors," Cr Miller said.
"In reality, it's more about developing effective policy and helping to shape the future of our community, by addressing the bigger picture.
"You are looking at all aspects of community life - community and cultural infrastructure - and making sure you are on a sound financial footing.
"This is what's kept me motivated throughout my 21 years in local government."
Cr Miller said the most effective councillors he had worked with "also had an excellent relationship with council staff".
"It's a team effort and everyone has to have the same objectives," he said.
The free information session will be held in the council chambers, Murwillumbah Civic Centre, from 6.30pm.
It will complement a forum being held in Ballina on Monday 9 July by the NSW Electoral Commission, to outline the rules and responsibilities for election candidates.