FIVE candidates will contest the Victorian Lower House seat of Nepean at the 24 November state election. They are Simon Mulvany, Rodger Gully, Chris Brayne, Russell Joseph and Paul Saunders.
Mr Joseph has been office manager for retiring member Martin Dixon for the past five years. Mr Dixon has held the safe Liberal seat since 2002. He has a 16 per cent margin on a two party preferred basis.
Neither Nepean or the adjoining seat of Mornington have attracted any female candidates – making them two out of only six seats state-wide to be men-only.
Here, The News publishes biographical details of the candidates in the order they were drawn in the ballot.
Simon Mulvany – Independent
THE Blairgowrie resident has a son at Sorrento Primary and has run Savethebeesaustralia since 2014. Simon supports bee welfare, local business and food security. He is proud of his involvement in the investigation that revealed many honeys being sold in supermarkets were fake. He is impressed by independent Kerry Phelps’ win in Sydney and hopes to offer Nepean voters an alternative. He is concerned for the environment and says chemicals that harm bees also harm people.
Fair funding for all schools is needed to prepare children for their future education needs. Health care workers are under-resourced with too few staff and unreasonable waiting times. Nurses and ambulance officers are being put under stress. A two-hour wait at Rosebud casualty with a young child is unsatisfactory.
Simon says he is blessed to witness the harmony and cooperation of the beehive and aspires for our community to function in a similar manner.
Rodger Gully – Independent
RODGER works on the public transport service on the Mornington Peninsula. Over the past 10 years he has seen a lot of anti-social behaviour. He is concerned about inadequate sentences being handed out to criminals. He wants sentencing taken away from the judges, with juries doing the sentencing. He believes juries should have anonymity from defendants and defendants’ legal representatives. He believes maximum penalties should be doubled and that police resources should be increased to enable them to deal with anti-social behaviour.
After growing up in Mornington, Rodger and his wife have lived in Rye for 20 years. Their three sons went to Rye Primary and Rosebud Secondary College. All were involved with the Rye Junior Football Club. The family is passionate about the peninsula’s parks and coastline. Rodger loves the bush and walked the Kokoda Track, PNG, in June.
Chris Brayne – Australian Labor Party
CHRIS says for too long the peninsula has been taken for granted by MPs who never fear losing their seats. He says one-party dominance is not the way to achieve effective outcomes. He lives in Balnarring and has lived on the Mornington Peninsula all his life. He has been a Labor member for many years and loves reading, hiking, meeting people, attempting to write sitcom pilot scripts and politics. He also works at Dromana drive-in on weekends, which he enjoys.
His focus is on protecting the Green Wedge and preventing further development, upgrading and supporting Rosebud Hospital which is often overstretched, particularly in tourist season. He will work hard to deliver a Headspace centre on the peninsula as it is unacceptable that young people, at Rye, Rosebud and Dromana, have to go to Frankston for help in time of need.
Russell Joseph – Liberal
AN active community member, Russell has lived on the Mornington Peninsula for nearly 40 years with his wife Mary. They live in Dromana. The qualified carpenter and registered builder successfully managed his own business for 25 years. He understands what matters to small business and will bring real world commercial experience to the parliament. He is passionate and experienced in listening to the community and putting its needs first.
Mr Joseph says he will reshape three-storey planning rules, fix the Red Hill School, fund a feasibility study to pump recycled water to farmers, pave the carpark at St Marks Balnarring, fund public information and education into Buruli ulcer and build the St Andrews Beach CFA station.
As an experienced candidate, he says he is ready to serve the people of Nepean.
Paul Saunders – Greens
A resident of the Mornington Peninsula for 14 years, Paul feels fortunate to have migrated from the UK in 2003 and immediately make his home in the beautiful village of Balnarring. His children have grown up on the peninsula and his partner teaches at the Balnarring Primary School. Education is his passion.
Paul was a leading teacher in high schools in the UK and, since arriving in Australia, has made a new career in the vocational education sector.
He has had various roles at Chisholm Institute of Tafe and now provides advice and support to the Victorian Department of Education and Training as a curriculum manager.
Paul was a stay-at-home Dad, raising two daughters and serving on a kindergarten committee for four years. His mapping services businesses supplies those managing outdoor spaces.
Paul’s passion is the natural environment, improving opportunities for residents and pursuing social justice.