Note that candidates are displayed in ballet order as per VEC Website.

MACDONALD, Michael

1. What is your approach to council divestment from fossil fuels?

Council should be leading the way in divestment through its own internal policies, such as using energy suppliers that offer renewable energy, replacing traditional lighting with LED’s, using solar power and tank water, and implementing procedures across all local assets that reduce the overall carbon footprint of the Council. Council then needs to take this leadership into the community and encourage the use of renewables in households and work with/ promote energy retailers who offer renewable energy. Council could even provide a number of grants to assist divestment from fossil fuels in our local area.

Council should also be a leading player in advocating to both State and Federal Governments to initiate a just transition from coal/ fossil fuel energy generation methods to renewables.

2. How will you ensure that Maroondah retains its green leafy character?

Overdevelopment is a huge concern for many residents including myself. The current Council, from my understanding, has cut down a significant number of trees in the local area and has allowed many developers to do the same. If elected I will initiate a complete review of Council’s town planning scheme and strengthen local planning laws with a view to protecting and improving our existing environment. We need to ensure that any development that occurs is sustainable. There are many current examples in Maroondah where this unfortunately has not been the case. I will also push for the Municipal Association of Victoria to lead a campaign to reform VCAT and state planning laws to prevent overdevelopment and promote sustainable development in our suburbs.

3. How will you commit to supporting local businesses as they compete with Eastland and Costco?

For my ward, Council needs to implement the Croydon Town Centre Structure Plan. This plan has was established over four years ago and has been left to gather dust by the current Council. This plan will improve the vibrancy and amenity of the area and will provide a footing for local business to grow and expand against significant competitors now appearing in Ringwood. The Council needs to lead the charge in supporting smaller business areas like Croydon, South Croydon, North Croydon, McAdam Sq, North Ringwood, Heathmont and Ringwood East, so that they have a more level playing field against competitors.

4. What is your policy on climate change?

Council needs to do everything in it’s power to mitigate the effects of climate change. As a significant organisation in our community, it needs to lead the way in addressing this international issue. Council also needs to assist local traders and residents with this transition along side full and genuine community consultation.

STEANE, Rob

1. What is your approach to council divestment from fossil fuels?

Council has continued to increase the use of solar energy where possible, reducing the need to purchase electricity from coal powered gereration. Council’s carbon footprint continues to meet the targets we set, HOWEVER with the introduction of Aquanation, Council’s biggest building and largest consumer of electricity more needs to be done.

2. How will you ensure that Maroondah retains its green leafy character?

I am not one to restrict residents’ want to remove/replace trees in their own properties within reason. Having said that, I have only had dealings with one resident over the last 8 years where they have wanted to reduce the total number of trees on a property. My experience is most residents want to remove old diseased, inappropriately located or inappropriate types of trees, only to then replace them. From a council point of view, I support Council’s removal of tress only if they are replaced.

In relation to developments, I am opposed to developers who want to squeeze “dog boxes” onto blocks, which just about always means a net reduction of trees on a block

3. How will you commit to supporting local businesses as they compete with Eastland and Costco?

Personally I spend most of my income locally. I am one of those small local businesses myself. From my Council position I know that Council uses local businesses (wherever possible). I know Council does not have an account at Costco and there are no businesses in Eastland that Council uses (to my knowledge). Council’s business development unit continues to support local businesses.

4. What is your policy on climate change?

Climate Change is real. I support Council’s direction of reducing our carbon footprint – the installation of energy efficient lighting, reducing the extent of green house gases; and the use of smaller more energy efficient vehicles (where possible)

DAMANTE, Tasa

In my household, we have made a conscious decision to source 100 percent of our energy from completely renewable sources. Our family is concerned about the impact of climate change. With three children, we want them to inherit a planet that isn’t choking on pollution.

I would like all levels of government to work towards a zero carbon footprint, but I don’t want to see the death of certain industries at the expense of livelihoods either. I think we need a robust and comprehensive transition plan that supports emissions intensive industries to either invest in more efficient and alternative means and modes of production, or financially compensate for their emissions. And if an industry is set to close, then we need to be able to support those workers and their families to re-skill and find work in other industries. Maroondah is home to a significant number of manufacturing businesses, and those businesses support local jobs and families.

I read with interest Infrastructure Victoria’s draft 30 year strategy, which talks about greater density living in more established suburbs to avoid urban sprawl and opening of green-wedges to urban development. This would mean that municipalities like Maroondah would be a prime location for higher density living. I will watch very closely the state government’s response to that recommendation. It would invariably have an effect on our leafy-green neighbourhood character. I would like to see greater transparency and community consultation when it comes to planning matters. Right now, in some cases, planning matters may be left to unelected bureaucrats if an objection is not recorded. I do not agree with delegated decision-making on such matters of public importance, and would like to return more control to elected and accountable councillors.

As a small home-based business owner in Croydon, I know that the rate of home-based businesses has grown in Maroondah to around 4,000. This is on top of the number of local businesses that account 35,000 local jobs. There is also a multitude of mumpreneurs, like me, in our Maroondah, and is one of the fast growing sectors and demographics in our economy. I have a ‘shop local’ policy, and I want council to reduce the red-tape burden on family and home-based small business to make them more competitive in the face of massive retail and supermarket chains. By keeping compliance costs and paperwork down, we can lift local small business, allowing them to focus on their core business.

I would be more than happy to join the work of Transition Town Maroondah, and support you in your campaigns and activities. I love the coffee grounds initiative. My father-in-law has a Italian coffee shop, and we use his coffee grounds on our Italian and Greek vegie garden. My husband is Italian and I’m Greek, so your permaculture swap initiative is something we already do with our family and neighbours. Some types of environmental standards are already ingrained in certain cultures, and we do without thinking twice.

PATCH, Anne

Response not received.

GRAHAM, Marijke

As a Geography teacher – I have committed my professional life to teaching young people about caring for our environment. You won’t see another candidate in this ward take a stronger stand on the issues of maintaining our established leafy-green environment, sustainability and local action on climate change. Local Government should be leading the charge in all areas of action against Climate Change and moving away from a reliance upon fossil fuels and other 20th century ways of thinking that are killing our planet. The other levels of government seem to be making slow progress in many areas on these issues but with local changes we can demonstrate to the State and Federal Governments that we want and need change to avoid the catastrophic long-term outcomes of Climate Change. I could honestly talk for hours with you on the topic of Climate Change. Environmental conservation and issues have been a passion area of mine (literally) since I was a Primary School student with my friends and I starting our own fundraising club to “Save the Whales”. I now have 2 young children of my own and it is for them and their children that I stand for council to help enhance our community and protect our environment.

If elected I’d really like to help lobby the State Government for improved public transport within Maroondah. As your members know, transport is a key contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and if we are to truly meet the aims of Melbourne 2030 and reduce urban sprawl and loss of open green space by increased urban density around activity centers like Croydon and Ringwood we need the greener transport options and infrastructure to keep up. Car use at it’s current rate in Victoria is unsustainable. I wrote my Honours Thesis on transport at the local government level during my Honours year in my Arts Degree – School of Geography and Environmental Science at Monash University.

I have been in close contact with the Croydon Chamber of Commerce and Industry and will be working closely with them (even if not elected) to help strengthen local businesses and help them to work cooperatively with each other and give back to the local community. I certainly love supporting local businesses as a shopper/user of services (e.g. I had by campaign flyers printed locally in Croydon). I am standing in Wyreena because I live in Croydon North and I’d like to see Croydon given more attention by Council now that Eastland etc. is completed. Arndale shops, Croydon Central and Croydon Main Street have so much potential and although there are plans so much still needs to be done to attract more shoppers and tourists to what really is the Gateway to the Yarra Valley. Croydon really is a unique village atmosphere – we don’t see this anywhere else in Maroondah on this scale – and should be promoted as such by Councillors and Council.

I’m neither pro nor anti-development and I don’t think that it’s helpful that many people are defining the debate in such terms. We need a balance between new developments and maintaining the heritage we all love in this beautiful municipality. Our population is growing and we need to supply housing for everyone. However, we also don’t want to see more urban sprawl or loss of open space. It’s a highly complex matter and I really think it can only be properly discussed on a case-by-case basis. I think that there have been some really unfortunate losses of some lovely heritage properties and that some developments have been inappropriate for the area. Greed is an unfortunate element of modern society. However, we are bound by documents such as Melbourne 2030 and Croydon and Ringwood are deemed Activity Centres for a reason.

I adore the feel of Maroondah. For example: I love the heritage buildings in Main Street Croydon, the original houses around Croydon and the amount of open space we have – I really believe these sorts features contribute to our overall wellbeing as residents. I for one don’t want to live in a brand-new estate, peering into my neighbour’s bathroom with no natural environment or open space. I grew up in Heathmont, my husband in Bayswater, and we’re now raising our children in Croydon North and the heritage and established neighbourhoods are the main reasons we’re here. I don’t believe we can, nor need to, preserve all properties especially if they are beyond repair and completely neglected. Unfortunately that does not describe the majority of the properties that we’re seeing knocked down.

I think we need to preserve as much of the heritage of Maroondah as we can otherwise it will become soul-less. I truly believe the best way to do this is to keep the rate-payers informed and get more of us connected and engaged with Council. It is only through a strong community voice that we can strike that balance between new and old. I’m also advocating for a better understanding of the role that Council plays in the community (including around development/planning) and transparency.

FITZGERALD, Liam

Response not received.

WILLMOTT, Les

My first priority however is to reduce councils own emissions as outlined in the Maroondah Carbon Neutral Strategy and by working with the Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action currently (EAGA) is looking with other groups to establish a solar farm that council would be a part owner of.

By having strong planning controls and undertaking vegetation revues and councillors with strong planning knowledge this can be achieved.

Firstly local shopping centres must be easily accessible to everybody. also they need to have good promotion. a good example of this is main street croydon, they employ a part time promotion co ordinater through a special rate charge which council collect, each shop pays around $10 per week this has been successful for the last 25 years, council has tried to get other centres to implement the same program, but without success.

A response to climate change adaptation is being developed and councils approach to climate change mitigation is outlined in the carbon neutral strategy and action plan 2014/15 -2020/21.

van den AKKER, Dean

Response not received.