By Alesha Capone
Wyndham Cr Intaj Khan has announced that he will not contest the upcoming council election in October.
In a press release issued tonight Cr Khan said he was “pursuing what I see as the most challenging issue”, creating local jobs.
“I am proud to have served our community as a councillor for the Wyndham City Council for eight years and even prouder of the journey we have shared as a Wyndham community,” his statement said.
“I was proud to be elected in 2012 as the first Australian Muslim councillor to represent Wyndham City Council and have worked to represent the migrant community and help with the many challenges they face.
“I am not leaving politics. I am just pursuing what I see as the most challenging issue facing our community and the answer to this challenge lies outside of the local council. We must create local jobs and opportunities. This is my most urgent priority.”
As early as last week Cr Khan had said he would stand for re-election in the Harrison ward.
When asked if he was planning to stand for state government in the future, Cr Khan said that for the moment, he was focused on creating local jobs.
“It is because of my commitment to local businesses and the jobs they provide that I must now leave local government,” he said.
“I feel that I must use my skills and channel my focus to the economic repair that simply has to occur in Melbourne’s western suburbs.
“If the council cannot be part of the solution, then I need to look elsewhere to achieve the important goal of getting local residents back into work.
“My vision of Werribee South being the next Gold Coast is a sign of the optimism and can-do attitude that we need in our local community.”
Cr Khan said that having held Wyndham council’s economic development and urban future portfolio, he feels that he has “contributed to the creating opportunities to everyone who moves here, whether from across the city or across the globe”.
“I am proud that my success has been an inspiration to others and motivated them to move to our local area,” he said.
“When people speak of this, it is a truly humbling experience.
“Wyndham must become an innovation and start-up city; a place where we back our young people to “have a go”.
“One day all of this will be up to them, but what they will have to work with is up to us.”
Cr Khan said that the leadership of Wyndham mayor Josh Gilligan and chief executive Kelly Grisby “has brought strength to the council organisationally”.
“I wish them both well going forward, including great friend Cr Heather Marcus,” he said.
Cr Khan said he was proud of his recent achievement on council, of achieving a $100 rates rebate to help struggling families and $50 to pensioners.
He encouraged Wyndham residents to vote for candidates with a strong business background, at next month’s election.
“Wyndham community needs strong leaders with a sound understanding of both economics and needs of business to repair the damage to local livelihoods as a result of COVID-19,” Cr Khan said.
“I urge local residents to support candidates who can work to rebuild our local economy and contribute towards local job creation.”
Cr Khan said that he has some residential development projects under way, which would create hundreds of jobs in the west.
Wyndham council has also recently approved his plan to build a 16-room family house in Tarneit which he said would create many construction jobs in the local area.
Cr Khan said that he has a $5 million budget for the project, but he is no longer planning to include a helipad at the property.