Wollongong councillor Bede Crasnich to quit politics

Wollongong’s youngest councillor has announced he will leave politics after six years in the job, revealing he did not nominate to contest the September election.

Liberal councillor Bede Crasnich – who was a 25-year-old university student when he was elected in 2011 – said he had not put his name forward when his party’s nominations for the upcoming council polls closed last Monday.

The young politician, who once held aspirations to follow his friend Gareth Ward into a political career, said six years serving on Wollongong City Council had made him weary of the “game”. 

“Now I don’t even know if I agree with the idea of a career politician,” he said, noting he hoped to gain a broad range of business and “life” experience before ever considering a return to politics.

“I’m proud of what I’ve been able to do – especially for the people in some of the poorer suburbs where my family grew up – but I lack a passion for politics that I once had, and I guess I am a little disillusioned with government in general.

“Once you get involved and see the practicalities of what it takes to get things to happen, you see how hard it is. It’s kind of like trying to stop a freight train with one hand.”

Cr Crasnich also said working as a councillor had taken a personal and physical toll, and was “not worth it” for a salary of $28,000 a year.

“I just can’t do this for another three years,” he said.

Post politics, he plans to expand his work in Sydney’s custom tailoring trade, where he works in business development.

The party’s other three sitting councillors – Leigh Colacino, Michelle Blicavs and John Dorahy – all said they had nominated to run for another term.

Cr Blicavs said she was sad to see Cr Crasnich leave politics, and hoped other young politicians from her party had nominated to run in his place.

“I hope we always have that younger voice on the council because they are the future of our city,” she said.

“And we already have the old voice in the Lord Mayor.”

The council elections for Wollongong and Shellharbour will be held on September 9, ending a six year term for both councils. Wollongong councillors’ final meeting will be held on July 31. 

According to the NSW Electoral Commission, nominations for council elections close on August 9.

Cr Bede Crasnich.

Cr Bede Crasnich.