Mornington Peninsula Shire Council candidates for Briars ward

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FIFTEEN candidates are running for three seats to represent the Briars ward at Mornington Peninsula Shire council for the next four years. The Briars ward includes Mount Eliza, through to Mornington and Mount Martha, and borders Port Phillip Bay and Moorooduc.

Ballot papers are being mailed out to voters by the Victorian Electoral Commission ahead of Mornington Peninsula Shire elections on 22 October. Voters should return completed ballot papers well before a final deadline of Friday 21 October, 6pm.

Voters who have not received a ballot pack by Wednesday 12 October should call  the VEC on 8619 1615 to arrange a replacement.


MEGAN BAUMANN-WAKEFIELD 

Megan Baumann-Wakefield

What suburb do you live in? I live in Mornington.

What is your occupation? After 24 years working for a huge corporate company globally (and yes I’ve travelled heaps and seen lots over the years!), I’m self employed. In my spare time I enjoy creative pursuits. 

What do you believe is the number 1 issue for council to tackle? Why?
The number 1 issue for council to tackle is fewer rules, less bureaucracy and red tape. There are just way too many rules and regulations. I believe as a community we need to practice more tolerance and trust plus old fashioned neighbourly caring. If we do that, then ultimately we could certainly live with less rules. Common sense would be to inspire and motivate the community to pull together more plus for council to listen more carefully to what is really important to residents. Residents first, tourists thereafter.

Are you, or have you ever been, a member of a political party? If so, which party (and when if no longer a member)? No. 


PETER CHAPLIN

Peter Chaplain

Peter Chaplin

What suburb do you live in? As a resident of Mount Eliza for 30 years, I will listen to and represent all ratepayers.

What is your occupation? I am a Civil Engineer and am also involved in sales and marketing. I have played an active role across various sporting programs. I have the time to represent you as a well-experienced, impartial and understanding candidate who will work well with others.

What do you believe is the number 1 issue for council to tackle? Why?
I believe the following is the most important issue: 
The Shire needs to work with the State and Federal governments for more support and funding. This would lead to better outcomes for public transport and the protection of our Green wedge areas, and continue to support services for the young and the elderly. With more funding, the Shire can provide more services such as new bicycle and shared paths, better cleaning of public places and more security measures to keep our streets safe from crime. It would improve community health services, provide cultural programs for all and provide the rate payers with best practice customer service.

Are you, or have you ever been, a member of a political party? If so, which party (and when if no longer a member)? I am not a member of a political party, nor have I ever been one.


ROSIE CLARK

Rosie Clark

Rosie Clark

What suburb do you live in?
Mt Eliza.

What is your occupation?
Retired.

What do you believe is the number 1 issue for council to tackle? Why?
Lower council rates and council debt.

Are you, or have you ever been, a member of a political party? If so, which party (and when if no longer a member)? No.

 

 


Cr BEV COLOMB

Cr Bev Colomb

Cr Bev Colomb

What suburb do you live in? I live in Mornington.

What is your occupation? I teach part time community development, social science and management.

What do you believe is the number 1 issue for council to tackle? Why?
Protecting what we value while addressing the social, economic, environmental and population issues and pressures. 
The population growth in Victoria means we are affected by increased visitations and more people living here permanently. This needs good planning and resources and no moving of the urban growth boundary protecting our agricultural land.

What has been your biggest achievement during this council term?
Meeting with community, sporting and service groups to hear their needs and then persistently pushing to see the new or improved buildings,recreational facilities, and kinder rooms happen.

What has been your biggest regret during this council term?
As delegate and then president of the Association of Bayside Municipalities I was disappointed that we didn’t get the commitment from the state to monitor our bay to the degree needed before the port was leased. Our beaches and water quality is so important to us all.

Are you, or have you ever been, a member of a political party? If so, which party (and when if no longer a member)? No I have never been a member of a party. Very independent and work well with all.


LEIGH EUSTACE

Leigh Eustace

Leigh Eustace

What suburb do you live in? Long term Mount Eliza resident with wife’s family going back many years.  Wife went to Toorak College.

What is your occupation? Operate a Computer Support Services local business.  I have a Bachelor Applied Science (Computing) degree.

What do you believe is the number 1 issue for council to tackle? Why?
To refocus and work together as a Council team for the betterment of the community.  The factional dysfunction of the current council is apparent to many.

Are you, or have you ever been, a member of a political party? If so, which party (and when if no longer a member)? Never been a member, endorsed or affiliated with any political party. Truly independent.


GREG GILBERT

Greg Gilbert

Greg Gilbert

What suburb do you live in? I live in Mt Eliza, and have done so for about 28-29 years.  Same house, raised a family here etc.

What is your occupation? I was a career officer in a federal law enforcement agency (the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service,  if your candidate profiles require more detail), retiring as a Manager. It was a very good job and the AC&PBS was a fine organisation. I was fortunate to be able to work in senior roles across a large range of operational areas, including enforcement, intelligence, border controls, cargo and ports management, identification of high risk movements across the border and targeted interventions, as well as corporate roles involving finance, security and governance, policy coordination and organisational development and change, disciplinary investigations and reviews (including equity and diversity policy) etc. I was involved in industry/government committees, undertook studies of port operations, supply chains and logistics.  I have also been a lecturer at RMIT University, having been invited to develop the inaugural Customs and Border Security course within the Criminal Justice discipline. 

What do you believe is the number 1 issue for council to tackle? Why?
I know you want one issue, but there are really three interconnected issues that need to be addressed by the incoming council: Reconnecting a properly functioning and cooperative council with the community it serves (without that, progress on important issues will be very difficult);  More effectively support the sustainability of the peninsula, the integrity of our green wedges, open spaces and township  by fixing the planning scheme (this is a major concern consistently raised by residents, but not addressed by the outgoing council); Ensuring that Council invests in the services, facilities and support the community identifies as priorities (again, this requires council actively listening to, and working with the community, working constructively within council and recognising the value, not simply the cost of council services). 

Are you, or have you ever been, a member of a political party? If so, which party (and when if no longer a member)? I’m a member of the Australian Greens and the endorsed candidate for Briars ward. And as you would be aware, we announced our Greens endorsed candidates at the beginning of the election campaign and are very open and honest about our association and our shared values.  We believe those values of grass-roots democracy, ecological sustainability etc., will serve to underpin our independence,  effective representation of our communities and leadership on important peninsula issues if we are fortunate enough to be elected. 


SAM HEARN

Sam Hearn

Sam Hearn

What suburb do you live in? Mornington – but have also lived in Mt Martha in the last number of years.

What is your occupation? Company Executive Director (Not-for-profit).

What do you believe is the number 1 issue for council to tackle? Why?
I believe council has to work for a balanced and sustainable allocation of resources and services to support safe and thriving neighbourhoods. Every person, and each issue, matters.

Are you, or have you ever been, a member of a political party? If so, which party (and when if no longer a member)? No, and I have never been.


KEVIN MURPHY

Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy

What suburb do you live in? I have lived in Sorrento, Blairgowrie and am presently living in Rye.

What is your occupation? I am an accountant by profession presently General Manager of the Mount Martha Community Learning Centre in Mt Martha. I am also Chairman of the Oakhill Art Gallery and a member of the Mt Martha House committee.

What do you believe is the number 1 issue for council to tackle?
Back to basics. Reconnect and listen to the local community.

Why?
We need transparency and not self-interest

  • We live in a time where our better values are waning. Where promises are disregarded and elected members put their own survival ahead of those they purport to represent
  • We read that recent changes to “codes of conduct policy” are being used to stifle councillor’s ability to raise issues in related to integrity and transparency concerns.
  • The minutes of the last meeting prior to caretaker mode record a number of outgoing councillors forced through an uncosted issue to potentially compulsory acquire  an area of land covered by the Mt Martha Tennis Club lease. This action should have been held over for the incoming councillors.

Are you, or have you ever been, a member of a political party? If so, which party (and when if no longer a member)? I am a candidate independent of all political parties and sectional groups.


BARBARA O’REILLY

Barbara O'Reilly

Barbara O’Reilly

What suburb do you live in? I live in Mornington.

What is your occupation? Retired from the workforce. 

What do you believe is the number 1 issue for council to tackle? Why?
I feel it is important to speak out against the uncontrolled development in our residential and green wedge areas which contributes to the changing face of our suburb.  Our council should be concentrating on basic services and I am against overseas and interstate trips that do not benefit the ratepayers. 

Are you, or have you ever been, a member of a political party? If so, which party (and when if no longer a member)? I have never been a member of any political party and feel it is important for people to work in harmony for the benefit of the community they serve.


REBECCA TAYLOR 

Rebecca Taylor

Rebecca Taylor

What suburb do you live in? I live in the Kunyung area of Mt Eliza.

What is your occupation? Humanities Secondary School Teacher at Kambrya College, Berwick. I mostly teach History to Year 9’s and 10’s as well as Geography, Economics, Politics, Careers and some English. I have an Arts Degree in History/Politics from Monash University, A degree in Public Policy from Deakin University and Degree in Teaching from Monash also.

What do you believe is the number 1 issue for council to tackle?
The issue I am campaigning on is to save the Kunyung South East Water Reservoir from being rezoned from public land to residential. I am the founder of the Kunyung Residents Group.

Why? This is pivotal to saving the only stable frog breeding habitat left in Mt Eliza, the only area that botanists can collect seeds from the almost non-existent kangaroo grasses that used to cover the whole Mt Eliza area and the home of the federally threatened species the Grey Headed Flying Fox. It is also home to over 80 other native Australian plants and animals with little invasive flora or fauna. Council has not been transparent on its dealings with South East Water over the potential rezone.

Are you, or have you ever been, a member of a political party? If so, which party (and when if no longer a member)? Between 1998 and 2004 I was a member of the Labor Party and worked as an Electorate Officer for two federal Labor politicians, Mr Christian Zahra MP, Member for McMillan and The Hon. Laurie Brereton MP, Member for Kingsford Smith and former Minister in the Keating government.


TARA VANDELIGHT

Tara Vandelight

Tara Vandelight

What suburb do you live in? I live in Mount Eliza.

What is your occupation? I am currently staying home to care for our two year old son and school age children, but before that I worked full time as a communication designer.

What do you believe is the number 1 issue for council to tackle? Why?
I’m running to advocate for young families and youth; I passionately want to see the council facilities and services that we rely upon improve. 

Are you, or have you ever been, a member of a political party? If so, which party (and when if no longer a member)? Have never been a member of any political party, past, present or future.


Candidates Nic Wishart, Stewart Lockie and John Woodman did not respond to emailed questions. Fred Crump is also standing for election.

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