THE majority of candidates running for Bendigo council this year accept mainstream climate change science, according to a survey.
Twenty-seven of the council's 32 candidates responded to the survey, which was organised by three Bendigo-based community organisations.
Questions related to renewable energy, climate change, sustainable local jobs, green infrastructure, innovation, community engagement, transport, and planning for water and food security.
Representatives from the Bendigo Sustainability Group, Bike Bendigo and the Commoners Co-Op arrived at the scores based on each candidate's survey responses, as well as publicly available information candidates submitted to the Victorian Electoral Commission.
Four of the candidates involved in the survey failed to convince the representatives they accepted mainstream climate change science.
Story continues below Whipstick ward scoresheet
They included Whipstick ward candidate Jan Pagliaro, Eppalock ward candidate Gregory Penna, and Lockwood ward candidates Narelle Jayne Byrne and Vaughan Williams.
Lockwood ward's Nathan Rogers, Whipstick ward's Sharon Flaherty, and three candidates in Eppalock ward appeared not to have responded to the survey.
Responses were not recorded for Eppalock ward candidates George Flack, Gregory Arthur Jacobs, and Helen Leach.
The Bendigo Sustainability Group wanted the community to know which council candidates accepted mainstream climate change science and would support the city in becoming environmentally and economically sustainable.
Group spokesperson Colin Lambie believed the City of Greater Bendigo should be leading the way in a number of areas, including becoming net zero carbon and sourcing lower cost, renewable energy.
"The city should also be leading the way on waste and recycling and finding ways to deal with illegal dumping," Mr Lambie said.
Story continues below Lockwood ward scoresheet
Bike Bendigo identified developing Bendigo into the bike riding capital of regional Australia among its goals.
"We want bike riding for everyday transport to be a viable alternative for locals and tourists alike aged from eight to 80," Bike Bendigo's Chris Corr said.
Commoners Co-Op's Elsie L'Huillier believed modern local government had to move beyond rates, roads and rubbish to address the big challenges communities faces, such as climate, economic, health and social stressors.
"This year's bushfires and the recent COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the importance of local planning and control," Ms L'Huillier said.
"We are looking for business not-as-usual."
Story continues below Eppalock ward scoresheet
Only one of the seven Eppalock ward candidates involved in the survey was favourably assessed for "Bendigo city centre and urban area revitalisation prioritisation" - the current mayor, Margaret O'Rourke.
The question required candidates to rank eight priorities for revitalising the city centre.
Three of the options were not considered positive. They included: providing more car parks; reopening the road through Hargreaves Mall; and encouraging large retail outlets.
Other options included: improving public transport; developing more pedestrian and bike-only precincts; encouraging residential developments; increasing council rates for empty retail outlets; and creating a seven-day-a-week community market space in the Bendigo CBD.
All of the participating Lockwood ward candidates scored favourably on "Bendigo city centre and urban area revitalisation prioritisation", except Vaughan Williams.
All but three of the participating Whipstick ward candidates scored favourably on the same question, with the exception of Pauline Murtagh, Andrew James Quin, and Thomas Prince.
Scorecards and candidate responses are available from the Bike Bendigo website.
The groups involved in the survey have also arranged a series of candidate forums, the first of which was held on Thursday.
A recording of the Lockwood ward forum is available on the Bendigo Sustainability Group Facebook page.
The other two forums are:
- Whipstick ward: October 11, 7.30pm
- Eppalock ward: October 15, 7.30pm
To register, visit facebook.com/BendigoSustainabilityGroup/