Eppalock Ward candidates 2012

After a ward review for the City of Greater Bendigo Council the Eppalock Ward now includes: Kennington, Strathdale, Flora Hill, Strathfieldsaye, Junortoun, Longlea, Emu Creek, Axe Creek, Eppalock, Kimbolton, Axedale, Derrinal, Heathcote and Costerfield.

Meet the nine candidates vying for three vacancies below.

Tim Bardsley

As the endorsed Australian Greens candidate for Eppalock Ward, if elected my decision making will be based on central Greens’ values of ecological sustainability, democracy, social and economic justice. 

I will strongly advocate for the improvement of public transport in Bendigo and surrounding towns, meaning, more buses, more often to more places. 

A significant upgrade and expansion of bike paths and lanes, off roads where possible, is needed. 

Bendigo is experiencing steady population growth, and we need to plan carefully to ensure we get commensurate growth in quality of life and social equality. To deliver this, the council needs to carefully consider whether expanding growth boundaries for the city is the best way to “grow”. 

Do we want to maintain our bushland and heritage values? 

Do we want developer-driven planning of new areas, or genuine, pro-active community consultation to ensure new developments reflect the needs of the communities that live nearby? 

A democracy is a system whereby the people who will be affected get a say in decision making, not just a vote every three to four years. 

I want to know, as a ratepayer, that the money being spent by the City of Greater Bendigo is being well used to improve services, infrastructure and ultimately quality of life for residents. Therefore, a comprehensive independent review of city finances is prudent and sensible.

Supporting service and infrastructure growth for towns and communities outside the Bendigo urban area will be a priority, as will developing sustainable waste management and renewable energy for the municipality.

About me: 

- Resident of Eppalock Ward;

- University education at La Trobe Bendigo;

- Moved here seven years ago to raise my family;

- Public school teacher for nine years, now in community welfare;

- Sat on school council and kindergarten committees. 

Rod Campbell

Eppalock Ward councillor and former mayor Rod Campbell is keen to continue serving residents with commitment and common sense.

As a qualified municipal engineer possessing vast experience with communities, he understands the complex demands faced by council.    

Having no political affiliations, Cr Campbell strives for fair outcomes. He is dedicated to ensuring council moves towards more fundamental core values, improving efficient delivery of facilities and services and addressing the detrimental impact of cost shifting. 

Cr Campbell supports the use of renewable energies where appropriate and striking a balance between sensible development and the environment. 

He believes priorities include public transport, waste management re-evaluation, prudent financial management, economic development and employment initiatives, tourism, focused community facilities and realistic policies that reflect community aspirations. 

Rod considers that council’s most important work in the near future involves the development of the integrated transport and land use strategy, revised residential strategy, maximising NBN opportunities and provision for population growth whilst maintaining the historic integrity and lifestyle choices associated with our city. 

Additionally, Rod is focused on social inclusion, disability considerations and providing for both ageing communities and universal access. 

 Some projects supported by Cr Campbell include significant improvement to rural roads, urban drainage improvements, Ewing Park Oval redevelopment, Spring Gully Reserve Corridor plan, walking and riding paths, redevelopment of the Barrack Reserve stadium at Heathcote, finalisation of the Big Hill and Mandurang landscape assessment and completion of the O’Keefe Rail Trail between Bendigo and Heathcote. 

Culturally, the new theatre complex, significant alterations to the art gallery and the library will continue to give Bendigo vibrancy.

Cr Campbell has a fine track record of attending promptly to requests. He is committed to having stronger and more effective engagement between the community and council at all levels. 

George Flack

Bendigo needs a transparent, accountable and responsive council.

A council that will focus on residents and support industries to value-add and create high-skilled employment opportunities.

Budget blowouts, costly CBD projects, spiralling superannuation and staff costs can mean less infrastructure and services for suburbs and rural areas, crumbling roads and increased rates.

An independent review of council is essential to increase productivity, better utilise council staff without calling in expensive consultants, helping to give rate relief to the ratepayers.

Bendigo born and educated, I am a local businessman with 40 years financial services experience, and winner of Australia’s Financial Planner of the Year twice.

In the community, I am a long-time member of Marist Brothers Band and CFA, involved in athletics and charity work, and was honoured to be named our City’s 2000 Citizen of the Year.

An experienced businessman, and passionate about our communities –  I’ll listen, I’ll act. 

Stuart Fraser

I have lived almost all my life within Bendigo, a city that has as its defining character a distinctive built environment existing within a Box-Ironbark forest. 

Having lived most of my life in Bendigo and my working life in agriculture as a commercial beekeeper I am aware of the needs of both city and country.

Greater Bendigo covers a large area in both social and geographical terms and I would welcome the opportunity to be involved in achieving the balance that is required, between the different and sometimes competing interests that are brought about by the environmental, geographic, social and economic. 

Bendigo is about to review its residential strategy and I will work towards a compact city as I believe it will make the servicing of infrastructure, such as an integrated transport system, more efficient and cost effective, and reduce the pressure on the natural environment.

As growth in liveability has run a very poor second to the implied need for population growth in Bendigo I would encourage people to be involved in the review. 

Urban planning is as much as anything else a liveability, environment and health issue as it affects where and how we live. 

The word sustainable in front of city does not make it so.

I will advocate for an independent and open review of the city and its finances that is able to inform the people of Bendigo. 

It is not possible in our democracy for citizens to fully participate in the debate concerning the future of the City of Greater Bendigo if they don’t feel sufficiently informed.

If elected I would endeavour to be open and transparent with people and work to increase the liveability of the City of Greater Bendigo. 

Helen Leach

I know what it is like to balance the budget – I am a country person born and bred, with my father being heavily involved in primary industries and transport.

I am a wife, a mother, and a grandmother. I have been a partner in businesses, a carer and registered nurse. 

Above all, I am an active person in our community and passionate that Bendigo is a great place in the future.

If elected as your representative, my priority as a councillor for the rural and city communities in Eppalock Ward and Bendigo as a whole would be to work for the useful services that ratepayers expect, to achieve our goals for the future.

Ensuring that Bendigo is not only regional Victoria’s number one city, but the leader in regional Australia for ideas and innovation, achievement and success is important.

I believe that all areas of our regional city deserve equal treatment. 

I believe that a better and fairer landfill fee system should be implemented, and that semi- regular hard rubbish collections be introduced so that disposing of unwanted rubbish in an appropriate manner does not become prohibitive for fellow residents. 

The equitable disposal of green waste is another matter which the council should be looking into. 

A functioning council should be transparent and more accepting of ratepayer scrutiny to better balance the budget and keep rate increases to a minimum. 

I will support an external review of council.

I look forward to meeting fellow Eppalock Ward residents on the campaign trail. 

Wayne McKay

I am a resident of the Eppalock Ward and I asked myself, what could I do to bring about effective and positive change in our area? 

My wife and I currently own and operate the Heathcote Newsagency. I joined Heathcote Tourism and Development and was voted in as president – but I knew there was more that I could do. 

When it was suggested by other residents that I run for a position on council, I felt that this could be the opportunity I was looking for.

Now you can ask yourself, do you want effective representation, appropriate use of your money, professionalism and working for the community’s best interest? 

The Bendigo region has fantastic potential and growth opportunities. 

It is expanding and developing and I want to ensure its true potential is achieved while maintaining its rural character and charm.

I was born, raised and educated in Melbourne but have travelled widely.  I am married with two adult children. I have an engineering background with post graduate MBA.  

I have had extensive experience in senior business management roles, the last being Bushmaster operations manager at Thales Bendigo. 

I bring with me the ability to listen, understand, represent and deliver on your behalf. 

We need open communication in conjunction with financial transparency; this is critical to the success of any council. 

It is really important to me that council becomes a dynamic team delivering results on your behalf.

I will continually be available to seek your views and opinions so we, together, can improve our ward.

Julian Poloniato

My underlying rationale for running in the 2012 Council election is that more councillors need to rely on their own common sense and the common sense of Bendigo people, rather than predominantly giving  priority to consultants’ and council officers’ opinions.

As an example, the decision to redevelop the mall taken by 2004-2008 council.  The mall has become a sterile, barren and uninviting place. This is what can happen when you think the consultants must always be right.

Councillors should be better informed of Res Code regulations. A proposed unit development next to my house and approved by council was subsequently found to be inadequate at the VCAT hearing.  Had it not gone to VCAT, there would now be people living there in not too ideal circumstances.

 Is keeping Central Deborah tourist attraction, justifiable; if it will cause environmental harm? Now that Unity Mining has ceased operating in Bendigo, Central Deborah will flood.  It will have to be continuously dewatered.  Mine water has high arsenic content.  It cannot be just released down the creek.  Treatment by reverse osmosis will be required.  This is a very financially expensive process involving the consumption of large amounts of electricity.  Also an arsenic waste steam will be continuously generated.  The dewatering of Central Deborah should not proceed.  

Bendigo is not just the CBD.  It is inequitable to pour millions into the CBD capital works projects at the expense of the rest of Bendigo.  It is wrong to then expect all the rates will not exceed CPI.

In the long term, oil will become more and more expensive.  A foresighted council would be planning future transport options that are not predominantly reliant on private car transport. 

Alec Sandner

Dear Eppalock Ward Voter

I am Alec Sandner and I am your candidate for the City of Greater Bendigo Council Eppalock Ward election.

I am a qualified accountant, property investment adviser, councillor and I am the current mayor of City of Greater Bendigo. As well, I am a past councillor and president of the Shire of Strathfieldsaye prior to amalgamation.

I will advocate for the following:

- Strathfieldsaye Equestrian Centre

- Heathcote transport action group

- Kangaroo Flat Aquatic Centre

- Logical transport system

- Upgrade of the Bendigo Aerodrome

- Completion of the Barrack Reserve

- An environmentally sustainable city.

- Minimum rate increases

- Master plans for:

    Axedale, Mia Mia and Redesdale

The New (state government funded) Bendigo Hospital project will cost $630 million and in order to attract the best qualified people to live locally and work at the hospital, the City of Greater Bendigo councillors must have sound business management experience.

Your councillors must be prepared to make good, sound and sensible decisions. 

As a City of Greater Bendigo councillor for the last four years Alec Sandner has done that and will continue to include common sense when voting.

I ask you to keep Bendigo the best place in Victoria to invest, live, work and visit. 

Mark Weragoda

I am passionate about Bendigo and I feel I can provide an invaluable link between the community and council. 

As a local businessman of 23 years, I have seen Bendigo grow from a great town to a fabulous city it is today. Now it is time to move forward with new councillors and a fresh approach towards the aspirations of our community.

Every day in my interactions with business and community members, I hear common threads that I feel are key elements in the growth and development of the City of Greater Bendigo and its surroundings areas.

Some great foundational work has been done, and I have strongly held views of how the balanced development between community, business and recreation can be even more positive in the Eppalock Ward.

Our city’s growth and managing it effectively is fundamental to our community. This seems to be a common topic of conversation as I interact with local people in all walks of life.

Public transport and addressing high-density inner city living, sensible urban development, balanced with environmental sustainability are equally important key issues for our community.

I also feel the strong need for the continuing support of sporting and service clubs, which in my experience serves to strengthen and sustain the balance in our community.

I feel if I am elected as a councillor, I can address real issues with real action. 

Editor's note:

Council election comment

The Victorian Electoral Commission states a person must not print, publish or distribute or cause, permit or authorize to be printed, published or distributed, an electoral advertisement, handbill, pamphlet or notice unless  the name and address of the person who authorized the electoral advertisement, handbill, pamphlet or notice appears at its end. The address must be a physical address not a PO box. 

The exception to this is a letter to the editor where an author’s name and suburb/locality is acceptable. This rule also covers website comments. Any comment must have author's name and suburb/locality at the end. Any comment not following these rules can not be published.

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