Whipstick Ward candidates 2012

After a ward review for the City of Greater Bendigo Council the Whipstick Ward now includes: Drummartin, Elmore, Kamarooka, Avonmore, Goornong, Neilborough, Bagshot, Huntly, Fosterville, Wellsford, Epsom, Ascot, Eaglehawk, Bendigo, East Bendigo and North Bendigo.

Meet the five candidates vying for three vacancies below.

Peter Cox

I have strongly advocated for residents over the past four years as councillor for Eaglehawk Ward and I am now standing for the newly formed Whipstick Ward. 

I work for Future Employment Opportunities and have assisted to create new jobs in central Victoria over many years. I am secretary of Community Recycling Network Australia and tertiary qualified in community development. 

I have a track record of listening to and acting on what people have to say. I am prepared to take on difficult issues and I get results. The Victoria Hotel application is a prime example.

I will advocate for;

l an independent public review of council’s operations as current expenditure on wages has escalated by over $14million in just 4 years and Council is spending $4 million on consultants annually;

- A maximum annual cap on rates of 4% is essential; 

- Protection of the municipality’s heritage, history and natural vegetation;

- Drainage projects throughout the Whipstick Ward to relieve flooding; 

- Efficient public transport; new rail stations at North Bendigo, Epsom and Huntly;

- Further development of the Botanical and Canterbury Gardens; 

- Protection of Rosalind Park; and 

-  Advance a variety of recreational projects

There needs to be reviews of council’s economic development strategy to create more jobs, the Bendigo CBD Plan to evaluate changing retail trends, the high cost of  waste, to introduce new strategies for resource management and Eaglehawk’s library service. 

I believe the best outcomes evolve when you have diversity of views, therefore, involving neighbourhoods, precincts of interest and local organisations is fundamental to making good decisions. 

I represent these views around the council table and regularly remind myself and other councillors that we are here to represent the people who elected us. 

Elaine Harrington

My association with Greater Bendigo is an extensive one having grown up and worked in the dynamic environment of the Whipstick Ward, along with raising my wonderful children here too. This has contributed to my ongoing involvement as a volunteer in a diverse range of local organisations over many years.

I am a legal administration worker at the Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre in Bendigo and a former City of Greater Bendigo councillor. I therefore possess a vast array of knowledge of the immense level of work that councillor positions demand. You will find no stronger advocate with such a passionate commitment to represent residents of the Whipstick Ward than myself.  

Communication for me is a priority and the key to a successful well balanced and progressive municipality.  

I have a love and respect for the area and recognise that maintaining our unique forests, managing growth and infrastructure so development is economically sustainable, advancing social equity for all residents have equal rights in accessing services, safeguarding our environment and heritage along with linking walking and cycling bike trails and transport issues are all areas that need to be balanced strategically, as combined they are our way forward into the future for a harmonious liveable municipality.

Improvements to essential services such as water, sewerage and natural gas infrastructure still need to be linked to some remote localities within the Whipstick Ward. 

These services were the responsibility of the Victorian government until they sold some off to private business. The Greater Bendigo council can strongly advocate for the services to be established to provide social equity in line with what already exists throughout the majority of the Whipstick Ward. 

Lisa Ruffell

I have lived and operated businesses and raised a family in Bendigo for 31years. I’m an active, committed community member.

I stand on the values of honesty and transparency. An accountable council is a productive council. I’ve proven a work ethic and history of striving for the truth. I’m a passionate councillor who believes residents views are important and actionable.

A sustainable future depends on positive forward planning. Rapid growth demands suburbs and rural areas have safe roads, drains, footpaths and effective public transport. I believe we need to refocus and prioritise towards local community based infrastructure before major CBD based projects.

Council must improve relationships with local industry to expand our local economy and job opportunities.

Rate increases need to be realistic. Independent council reviews are essential to provide councillors and the community with realistic and tranparent recommendations to ensure council accountability.

Have I done enough? No, I need your support to do more and be your voice in council.

James Williams

I have lived and farmed at Drummartin in the Whipstick Ward most of my life. I am a former Shire of Huntly councillor, and am currently a board member of the NCCMA.  

My wife and I have recently moved to Bendigo to live. I bring years of experience, working in and developing policy around the environment we live in.

 My vision for the City of Greater Bendigo is to share the growth and wellbeing of the region throughout to the benefit of all. 

Rates restraint and responsible fiscal policy need to be a part of good governance. 

An external review of council and its expenditure is a reasonable expectation and the debate around a rates cap is positive. 

I support an integrated growth strategy providing infrastructure for our small country towns, including a train running full time between Bendigo and Echuca.  

This will create opportunities for tourism, better access to colleges, training and health. This concept can also be used to develop a public transport system supporting and growing Raywood, Sebastian and Eaglehawk to Bendigo’s West.

 Epsom and Huntly’s flooding and drainage problems necessitate funds are committed to fix these problems.   

As with the backlog of drainage and roads infrastructure across the municipality they will be high priorities. 

A ring road is essential to allow traffic to safely negotiate the city.

 The Hargreaves Mall has struggled to attract people in recent times. Many houses in the CBD have been converted to commercial businesses meaning families once living in central Bendigo have moved away. 

Building apartments where appropriate and above the many shops will revitalise and reintroduce people to the area.

 If elected, I am committed to giving my utmost to my role as councillor of the Whipstick Ward. 

Jennifer Mitchell-Sharp

At the time of going to press no copy was supplied.

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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