Mornington Peninsula Shire Council candidates for Seawinds ward

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TEN candidates are running for three seats to represent the Seawinds ward at Mornington Peninsula Shire council for the next four years. The Seawinds ward includes Safety Beach, through Dromana, McCrae and Rosebud to Rosebud West and Tootgarook.

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.


SIMON BROOKS

Simon Brooks

Simon Brooks

What suburb do you live in? I live in Dromana (have done since 1979).

What is your occupation? I have a residential building and design background and have recently gained a Bachelor of Design in Architecture. I’m currently working as a designer and some project management.

What do you believe is the number 1 issue for council to tackle? Why?
I believe that Strategic Planning is the number one challenge for Council.  As the Peninsula comes under more pressure from visitors, development and growing resident numbers, the only way we will handle this growth and renewal is to put in place good forward planning.  We need to advocate to State and Federal Governments for better resourcing of this to get ahead of the game.  We need to value what we have and protect this into the future without discouraging good development and renewal.  Infrastructure is central to this; if we don’t plan for inter-generational infrastructure we won’t meet our current needs or those into the future.

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’ve never been a member of any political party.   


CAMERON BROWN

Cameron Brown

Cameron Brown

What suburb do you live in? Rosebud West, though recently renamed to Capel Sound.

What is your occupation? Ecological restoration at Boneo Park Equestrian Centre.

What do you believe is the number 1 issue for council to tackle? Why?
The Peninsula is a unique place, one that is a mix of beautiful natural environments and rural and urban townships. With this comes the complexity to get this right, it’s what makes us the Peninsula and not just another suburb of Melbourne.

Strategic Planning is the number 1 issue for the council to tackle, We need to keep the places we love with appropriate development, for future generations to enjoy. Appropriately funded strategic planning is desperately needed within the shire, it is though this strategic planning that we shape our future development and ensure its appropriateness with recognition of the community aspiration’s and instilled character of the Peninsula, it is the way that we can grow our economy and tourism opportunities in the off-peak season to provide better stability in employment and community resilience. The need to buy Local, for local food and local employment, within this we can become self-sufficient.

Are you, or have you ever been, a member of a political party? If so, which party (and when if no longer a member)?
Not a member of any party, and never have been, I do have concerns that party politics could impact on local residents needs and aspirations.

That local representatives need to collaborative work with any active state government to achieve results for their community.


Cr ANTONELLA CELI

Cr Antonella Celi

Cr Antonella Celi

What suburb do you live in? I live in the township of Dromana.

What is your occupation? Currently elected Councillor of the Mornington Peninsula Shire for Seawinds.

What do you believe is the number 1 issue for council to tackle?
Increased financial pressure through cost shifting from State and Federal Government in a climate of declining State and Federal Assistance Grants and rate capping at CPI.

Financial pressure caused by cost shifting by State and Federal government onto Council is forcing more financial responsibility to fall on local government (and ratepayers) to meet the funding gap shortfalls in order to provide community programs and service delivery and maintain municipal infrastructure and asset renewal.  Local Government also carries the financial burden in the administration and collection of State government levies from the ratepayer including landfill levies and the fire services property levy which are passed on to the State government in full without a rebate to local government to help cover the cost for the administration charges incurred to administer these charges to the ratepayers on behalf of the State government.

The reason why it is a major issue is because the Council is continually placed under pressure to financially meet the funding shortfall through ratepayers funds in order to meet the competing demands of community needs and expectations inprogram and service delivery and also carry the municipal responsibility of infrastructure and asset renewal under a climate of decreasing State and Federal Assistance Grant funding that is currently indexed and capped at CPI until 2017-18 along with the rate capping at CPI introduced by the State government.

Are you, or have you ever been, a member of a political party? If so, which party (and when if no longer a member)? N/A not a member of a party.

What has been your biggest achievement during this council term?
This is the biggest over the four years: Advocating for and initiating the Tootgarook Wetlands Management Plan development through stakeholder engagement.  For many years the value of the Tootgarook Wetlands catchment area was ignored and previous Council resolutions from many years before were significantly overlooked.  In working with local community who highlighted the importance of the Tootgarook Wetlands I put forward a series of Council recommendation that were supported by the Council to work towards an analysis of the Tootgarook Wetlands, strengthening planning controls and overlays and work towards a Tootgarook Wetlands Management Plan that would thoroughly assess and research the catchment area with a view to applying for a RAMSAR listing of the site due to its protected flora and fauna species that are internationally recognised.

Funding for the PenBus pilot program which is now operating as the Route 887 bus connecting residents, in particular young people, to education and work opportunities.

Serving as Mayor in 2014.

Safety Beach Foreshore Placemaking Project.

Community Garden policy development for Dromana.

Funding for Mens Shed for Seawinds Hub and Dromana.

Chair of four municipal committees: Health and Wellbeing; Positive Ageing Steering Committee; Triple A Housing Committee; Peninsula Reads Literacy Committee.

Changing Places toilet and change facility for people with a disability.

Plenty more in my brochure as attached.

What has been your biggest regret during this council term? N/A


JANE CLARKE

Jane Clarke

What suburb do you live in? Reside in Rosebud.

What is your occupation? Community Development Worker.

What do you believe is the number 1 issue for council to tackle?
Planning – maintaining our unique diversity whilst addressing economic sustainable development.

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


REX GRIFFIN

Rex Griffin

Rex Griffin

What suburb do you live in?  Safety Beach.

What is your occupation?  Retail, I work for Bunnings.

What do you believe is the number 1 issue for council to tackle? Why?
Most people that I have spoken to have complained about the poor standards of the roads, and the amount of potholes every were. These roads are unsafe and dangerous, and many parents walk with their children on the road, to the shops and the beach, because there is not a footpath on either side of the road. Traffic has increased, and we require better management, to keep cars rat running the side streets.

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 totally Independent and never have been a member of a political party or groups.


GARY HOMEWOOD

Gary Homewood

Gary Homewood

What suburb do you live in?  I live in Arthurs Seat and I am standing in my local Ward (Seawinds Ward).

What is your occupation?  I have worked for nearly 30 years in IT as an analyst, system developer, and manager. The role requires listening and working with people to under their issues and requirements then identifying and delivering solutions. I have approximately 10 years experience with a global food manufacturer as an executive and member of the Australian / New Zealand leadership team which had responsibility for business growth, profitability and governance. I have also worked with a regional Victorian local council in a voluntary capacity to encourage the growth and utilisation of technology in regional communities.

What do you believe is the number 1 issue for council to tackle? Why?
I have met with many local community groups over the past months and understand the broad issue of Planning and Infrastructure to be he the number 1 issue in the Ward. Businesses in Rosebud are concerned that Rosebud has lost its heart and needs revitalising. Residents in McCrae, Dromana and Safety Beach are concerned with building development and the need to maintain the character of our Towns and manage the impacts on demographics, services and infrastructure. Older residents across the Ward are concerned about transport and services, while younger residents would like to be able to find good jobs and establish careers on the Peninsula. The vast majority of community members support the protection of the environment, places of historical significance and existing council plans for carbon neutrality.

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 member of the Greens because they share my views, to encourage community engagement and preserve our environment.


JOE LENZO

Joe Lenzo

Joe Lenzo

What suburb do you live in? Safety Beach.

What is your occupation?  Retired Private Sector Business Executive Financial Background.

What do you believe is the number 1 issue for council to tackle? Why?
Planning:  Moonah Links best example where state and shire officers have been involved the 600 million $$$ theme park and residents and councillors were kept in the dark.  Gets back to the basics of good governance: Collaboration with ratepayers, Accountability of Officers and their Decisions, and Transparency at the onset of an issue.  Each of these was not applied and it seems that the exact opposite happened.

Are you, or have you ever been, a member of a political party? If so, which party (and when if no longer a member)?
Was a member of Greens.  Resigned to stand as totally independent councillor (rather than a Greens Candidate) influenced by no one except ratepayers.


LEE STANFORD

Lee Stanford

Lee Stanford

What suburb do you live in? I live in Rosebud in First Avenue.

What is your occupation?  My occupation is builder/handyman and I have my own business and work mostly anywhere from Safety Beach to Rye.  I do lots of work for our community seniors.

What do you believe is the number 1 issue for council to tackle? Why?
Big issues facing council ie from most people I talk to would be ‘hard rubbish’ and rates. People want good value for their dollarand don’t want to see duplication or waste.

Are you, or have you ever been, a member of a political party? If so, which party (and when if no longer a member)?
Totally independent.  No, I have never been a member of a political party and see major issues with both major parties.


Candidates Phillip Parker and Frank Martin did not respond to emailed questions.

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