Candidate Responses – Bakewell Ward


  • Katie George
  • Mark Di Pasquale
  • Gary Sammartino – NO RESPONSE
  • Brian Grace

Katie George
Mob: 0499 802 780
katiegeorgeforbakewell@gmail.com

Q.1 If you are elected, what are your top priorities to address?

I am for a supported, healthy and connected community. I want to work in partnership with residents, businesses, organisations and community groups to foster neighbourhoods where we have everything we need within walking distance of our homes and improve engagement and consultation with the community in Council decisions. I want to protect and enhance our leafy environment and assist focusing Council on green initiatives such as community gardens, biodiversity conservation and work to increase my understanding, knowledge and involvement in sustainability initiatives.

Q.2 What is your position on Climate Change?

I’m still shocked that some people deny the science! We’re in the middle of a Climate Emergency and I am heartened by and support Banyule City Council’s declaration, and Emission Reduction Plans. I would like to see more education for people and children on the Climate Emergency and how we can practically change our lifestyles and make different choices to help reduce our impact.

The Climate Emergency will bring more bushfires and heatwaves. This will have direct impacts on our health – bushfire smoke  is toxic and heatwaves kill. This also impacts our food security. We need sustainability initiatives that will help to build our own self sufficiency, and protect and enhance our environment.

Q.3. Banyule City Council has recently endorsed a comprehensive Community Climate Action Plan and also the Corporate Emissions Reduction Plan.  How will you support BCC to become carbon neutral by 2028 and the Banyule municipality to become carbon neutral by 2040?

I would seek to continue the fantastic work that has been done and collaborate with organisations and community to drive implementation of the Community Climate Action Plan and Emissions Reduction Plan. I would be asking for regular updates from Council on how the implementation progresses, support collaboration on problem solving and troubleshooting any issues with uptake. I would help to engage the community in adopting measures by regularly communicating with residents, organisations and businesses on how they are going and learning what Council can do to support them to take climate action.

Q.4 With the construction of the North-East Link (NEL) set to carve several of Banyule’s suburbs in two, how will you support the affected residents and businesses, and what steps will you take to make sure our beautiful environment is protected?

I know too well the devastating impacts that are planned to destroy parts of Banyule. Bakewell Ward and the north of Hawdon Ward are to suffer the worst from construction of NEL. I am an active community representative and have been since March 2019. I lobbied hard during the Environment Effects Statement hearings for design changes and I argued at Council meetings for their community advocacy on behalf of Banyule residents.

I am a member of Friends of Banyule and have been working with Michelle Giovas (candidate for Sherbourne Ward) who has been involved with trying to save our Environment from the start in 2016 I think – probably earlier!

I am on the North East Link Community Liaison Group as a community representative and I advocate for solutions to issues. I am not sure how this would work if I am successfully elected, but I would seek to maintain this if possible. Council are involved in the Community Liaison Group and I would work with the Council to ensure that community concerns are properly communicated and raised, and advocate for solutions. 

More than 26,000 trees are set to go due to this project, and while NEL say they are replacing them 2 for 1, we all know that it will take decades, centuries even, to restore the lost canopy if it’s possible,  and there’snorequirementforit to be in the same area. I will be seeking to lobby the State and Federal Governments to fund revegetation of additional areas in Banyule to assist offsetting the destruction, irrespective of the Council election outcome.

Q.5 What practical steps will you take to support to community groups that are focused on taking positive action on climate change?  

I would meet with local community groups to understand the climate actions on the table, and see what Council can do to support them.

I would look at what barriers might exist and engage with Councillors to develop support on a way forward. 

I would seek opportunities to engage community discussions on positive actions and promote community involvement in the organisations’ initiatives.

As a high school student, we participated in a revegetation activity along Plenty River. It would be great to promote positive climate actions to groups that use Council facilities and involve them in implementing them.

Q.6 Do you have anything else you would like to add?

I’m excited to learn more and get involved with groups such as Sustainable Greensborough and Banyule Climate Action Network. As mentioned, I am a member of Friends of Banyule and were very focused on biodiversity and environmental protection, and heavily involved in trying to lobby State Government and build community support to minimise the harm of NEL. It would be great to chat further on any of the above with any of your members interested in contacting me. Feel free to email me at katiegeorgeforbakewell@gmail.com, call me on 0499 802 780 or find me on Facebook.


Mark Di Pasquale
Mob: 0432 066 911
mark_dipa@hotmail.com

Q.1 If you are elected, what are your top priorities to address?

To minimise the community and environmental impacts of the N/E Link build.

To continue to stop inappropriate planning and development in our suburbs that is under pressure from our population growth.

To implement a rebate up to $1000 for either new solar panels or a water tank (subject to an equal contribution by the rate payer).

To continue minimising unnecessary spending and setting responsible budgets so that everyone is represented and supported.

Q.2 What is your position on Climate Change?

It is clear that the pace of change has increased markedly over the last several years. We are a decisive time now where actions need to be implemented at all three levels of government to change the course. Local Council has made the commitment to be carbon neutral (without offsets) by 2028 and it is on track to achieve that.

It is time that more is done and the State and Federal Governments lead the way so that each resident can change their own actions (and the actions of the next generation) and that things out of our hands, like industry and agriculture are held to account on our behalf.

Q.3. Banyule City Council has recently endorsed a comprehensive Community Climate Action Plan and also the Corporate Emissions Reduction Plan.  How will you support BCC to become carbon neutral by 2028 and the Banyule municipality to become carbon neutral by 2040?

I would like to think I was instrumental in the planning and implementation of these plans. My commitment now is to manage and make public quarterly reports so that wins can be built on and deficiencies can be rectified quickly.

Q.4 With the construction of the North-East Link (NEL) set to carve several of Banyule’s suburbs in two, how will you support the affected residents and businesses, and what steps will you take to make sure our beautiful environment is protected?

I live near the project and have big concerns for its impacts. Seeing the preliminary plans it is clear most Banyule residents have no clue how ‘big’ this project is and how much it will affect us, for a long time.

It is hard to say what specifically needs to be done until the final tendering and design are given to us but environmentally things like the Banyule Creeks need to be preserved and as many trees and wildlife in the Army barracks and Borlase Reserve need to be protected and maintained.

The support for affected residents will be huge and right now we only have the information of affected residents and businesses in the path proper (like Borlase residents and Watsonia businesses etc). But, once the final design comes out we will see so many more residents will be affected and so many more businesses. They are all going to need strong and experienced representation for a long time to come.

It is clear many public meetings will need to be held between NELP, the awarded construction company, State Government (Colin Books and Anthony Carbines), Council AND all residents of concern (not just those directly affected).

Q.5 What practical steps will you take to support to community groups that are focused on taking positive action on climate change?  

Community groups make it easier for Council to know what the ‘grass roots’ residents need and want to achieve and do. I will facilitate regular meetings between our community groups and Council Officers so that the ideas and aspirations of our community groups can be written in policy.

The community may not like to hear this but sometimes Council Officers don’t want too much information from the community because then it ‘influences’ their work too much, but I ask the question: Who are they working for? The answer to this is “US!!!” so they should listen to the community from the individual to a group of residents and ‘take on board’ what has been said. To make sure this happens and to hold Council Officers to account is a skill of a good Councillor and I have this skill. It has been developed chairing and being the delegate of many Council advisory committees.

Q.6 Do you have anything else you would like to add?

It’s been an honour serving the community and watching the successes of community groups like Sustainable Greensborough have an impact in Council policy. Banyule is seen as an environmental leader and it is our community members that come up with the ideas for Council to implement. This is what has made the difference and I am committed to that continuing.


Gary Sammartino
Mob: 0492 340 058
gary4bakewell@gmail.com

NO RESPONSE


Brian Grace 
BH: (03) 9434 3014
Mob: 0472 726 220
brian.grace@bigpond.com

Q.1 If you are elected, what are your top priorities to address?

Review Council felling of trees and oppose over development within Banyule

Developers that do not abide by Council directions and fell trees

Support Zero rate rises

Discount rate for Banyule ratepayers who use Watermarc  

Q.2 What is your position on Climate Change?

Its happening, and we must leave a better environment for our kids

Q.3. Banyule City Council has recently endorsed a comprehensive Community Climate Action Plan and also the Corporate Emissions Reduction Plan.  How will you support BCC to become carbon neutral by 2028 and the Banyule municipality to become carbon neutral by 2040?

I support BCC in its goals for a better environment for ratepayers of Banyule to live in.

Q.4 With the construction of the North-East Link (NEL) set to carve several of Banyule’s suburbs in two, how will you support the affected residents and businesses, and what steps will you take to make sure our beautiful environment is protected?

The Banyule community is already is already divided in two with the current problems in Rosanna Rd and Greensborough Rd. Support and assist my community through the issues that come up during the build.  

Q.5 What practical steps will you take to support to community groups that are focused on taking positive action on climate change?  

I will support the groups taking positive steps on climate change.

Q.6 Do you have anything else you would like to add?

over development of units is a serious issue within Banyule the cost of loss of trees can not be replaced . I will take serious action with the BCC against developers who brake the rules.