THE field of candidates is set, and voters in Kardinia Ward should have received their ballot packs for the City of Greater Geelong elections in the mail.
Returning officer Colin Riley is encouraging people to vote as early as possible.
“With the whole election being conducted by post, it’s incredibly important voters complete and return their ballot material as soon as possible to make sure their vote counts,” he said.
This newspaper sent a questionnaire to all 11 candidates in the Kardinia Ward, and their responses (in ballot draw order) are published on this page and the next page.
Peter Oseckas (drawn first in the ballot) and Elliot C. Taylor (drawn sixth) did not respond.
Ballot papers must be in the mail or hand-delivered to the election office by 6pm on October 27 or they cannot be counted.
Answers have been edited for length. For the candidates’ full responses to the questionnaire, head to the Surf Coast Times’ Facebook page.
For the candidates’ own statements and their response to the VEC’s questionnaire, head to vec.vic.gov.au/GeelongElection/Candidates.
Occupation: Local area co-Ordinator (disability services).
How long have you lived in your ward? 20 years.
Community involvement? This year I led the fight to successfully save Highton Library. Member of Rotary and a local football and cricket club. Long-time active supporter of several local service clubs, charities and sporting clubs including Give Where You Live, Geelong Sustainability Group, Relay for Life, Lions, Christ Church and beyondblue.
Political allegiance? Yes, Liberal Party.
Preferences? #2 Pat Murnane, #3 Bruce Harwood, #4 Mary Walker. For a full list, see my ad in this week’s edition, Facbook (vote1ronnelson) or (ronnelson.com.au).
Campaign budget? Receiving financial support? My campaign is self-funded and I’m not receiving financial support from any group.
Most important issues in your ward? Free hard rubbish pick up and tip vouchers. Fixing potholes and local roads. Improving local sporting clubs and community facilities and amenities. Providing sensitive local planning. Keeping rates low and reducing council’s debt.
How long have you lived in your ward? 21 years as a young chap and 26 years as a not-so-young chap (47 in all!).
Community involvement? As a creative professional I have been mentoring and inspiring young people as a performing arts teacher (secondary) for over 30 years. My theatre company Blackibis Productions holds attendance records in Geelong and achieved Melbourne success. Have written and produced 11 historical plays for the National Trust in Geelong and spearheaded the Victorian Heritage Festival.
Political allegiance? I have never been a member of a political party. There is no place for party politics in local government and I remain fiercely independent.
Preferences? Mary Walker.
Campaign budget? Receiving financial support? My campaign is 100 per cent self-funded.
Most important issues in your ward? Prosperity and more opportunities for our children. Key to this is enhancing and preserving those aspects of Geelong region which are already attractive and improving those which are not.
Occupation: Manager – Victorian Government.
How long have you lived in your ward? My wife and I purchased our home in June, having moved from Melbourne.
Community involvement? I am yet to sign to organisations in Geelong, however in Melbourne I have been active in Rotary and as Councillor in Glen Eira for two terms, including a year as mayor. Other voluntary roles I have performed are Treasurer, Victoria Day Council, Consultant for the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation.
Political allegiance? I am a member of the Liberal Party, yet to transfer my membership to Geelong. I am standing as a complete independent.
Preferences? No preference direction has been decided.
Campaign budget? Receiving financial support? My campaign budget will be small and I have not sought and am not receiving any financial support.
Most important issues in your ward? Good city governance with a cohesive team of councillors and an effective council organisation which addresses citizens’ concerns.
Resides: Wandana Heights.
Occupation: Community advisor.
How long have you lived in your ward? I have in the ward for 40 years in Wandana Heights and Grovedale with my wife Marilyn.
Community involvement? Chair of Samaritan House Foundation, which raises funds for homeless citizens in Geelong, as well as being the Executive Board Support for both Geelong Connected Communities and Active Geelong Limited. Also on the Fundraising Advisory Committee for the Geelong Performing Arts Centre.
Political allegiance? I have no affiliations to any political party, nor do I have any political ambitions beyond the local council.
Preferences? As an independent candidate, I will not be directing voters to any other candidates.
Campaign budget? Receiving financial support? I am not receiving support from any group, and my campaign is fully self-funded.
Most important issues in your ward? Prioritising the upgrade of the Barwon Heads Road to Armstrong Creek. Building community hubs across the ward. Improving community safety through greater levels of communication and coordination between all stakeholders.
Resides: Waurn Ponds.
Occupation: Baptist minister (statewide role).
How long have you lived in your ward? Four years, after working and living in the northern suburbs for several years.
Community involvement? Started Urban Seed in Geelong, a registered charity undertaking various community development projects including meals and gardens. Involved with GROW (G21 Region Opportunities for Work), creating possibilities for businesses to engage people experiencing barriers to employment. Llove football and coach my son’s under 9 team.
Political allegiance? Joined Australian Labor Party at start of this year.
Campaign budget? Receiving financial support? About $1000, no financial support from any group.
Most important issues in your ward? Access to and amenity in Armstrong Creek is the key local government issue. This includes Barwon Heads Road upgrade with level crossing removal and I’ll lobby for the Torquay Highway level crossing removal.
Occupation: Company director.
How long have you lived in your ward? Born and educated in Geelong (Geelong College, Deakin Uni, Gordon TAFE). 28 years in Belmont.
Community involvement? Member, Geelong Environmental Council. Member, Geelong Cycling club. Member, Geelong Library Corporation. Secretary, Geelong Amateur Football & Netball Club; member since 1974. Blood/organ donor. Work with Geelong Disabled Persons Industries. Former City Of Greater Geelong councillor for more than 13 years.
Political allegiance? Nil, never had any allegiance or been a member of any political party.
Preferences? 2. Darren Hauenstein 3. Brent Lyons-Lee 4. Doug Mann 5. Ron Nelson
Campaign budget? Receiving financial support? About $10,000. No; self funded.
Most important issues in your ward? Barwon Heads Road upgrade. Grovedale Football & Netball Club visitors rooms upgrade. Highton Library retention. Queens Park Golf Club water program.
How long have you lived in your ward? Over 15 years.
Community involvement? I am a Deakin student, and I have been involved in student representation. As a local Greens member, I’ve also met and spoken with many members of my community about the issues they care about.
Political allegiance? Endorsed candidate of the Australian Greens.
Preferences? I am not directing preferences.
Campaign budget? Receiving financial support? As an endorsed candidate, I am receiving assistance from the Greens, and we have a modest budget to share over four wards. We rely on individual contributions from supporters.
Most important issues in your ward? We are experiencing a significant growth in population, which needs to be managed with better infrastructure and services. It’s important the council advocates for better public transport, and improves cycling and walking paths. Residents are concerned about ensuring we have fair and transparent planning while implementing sustainability and protecting our environment.
Occupation: IT manager.
How long have you lived in your ward? My whole life,
Community involvement? President of the South Barwon Cricket Club for the past 15 years, also an active member of the Geelong Cricket Association during this time, both playing and off field assisting with the grounds committee. Involved currently as the Grovedale Football Club reserve grade umpire.
Political allegiance? I am an independent and are not a member of a political party
Preferences? This is still being discussed at the time of submission.
Campaign budget? Receiving financial support? Campaign budget has been made up of a few donations through a GoFundMe page plus self-funding.
Most important issues in your ward? Barwon Heads Road needs duplication due to the growth from Armstrong Creek. VicRoads have committed $3 million for a planning study which is under way. Sport and recreation facilities; are they at a suitable level? (including the new infrastructure in Armstrong Creek)
How long have you lived in your ward? 20 years.
Community involvement? Mainly in the areas of entertainment and running festivals. I have received the Regional Victorian of the Year award for services to the community.
Political allegiance? I am an independent nominee and have no party allegiance.
Preferences? Doug Mann.
Campaign budget? Receiving financial support? I am not receiving any support and I am funding my own campaign.
Most important issues in your ward? I am very concerned about the safety of our citizens. We have had some trouble with drug addicts in our suburb, burglaries and car thefts. People (especially the elderly) in the area are becoming afraid to go out at night. My campaign will focus on more police presence, better street lighting, etc.