Candidate Responses – Grimshaw Ward

  • Raj Bhatia – NO RESPONSE
  • Stephan Wade
  • Rick Garotti
  • Toafa McLean – NO RESPONSE

Stephen Wade
Mob: 0423 302 221
grimshawward@gmail.com

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

Target the wastage of ratepayers money through budget blowouts.

Support the freeze of rates for 2 years.

Q.2 What is your position on Climate Change?

I’m not an activist but I do acknowledge we need to make changes in our lifestyles to reclaim back our precious environment.

Anything the Council can do to encourage this from their ratepayers should also be actioned by them to lead by example.

I would certainly be proposing that existing and future street lighting be replaced by smart energy efficient lighting.

Propose that the Council provide subsidies in conjunction with the State/Federal Governments for ratepayers who proceed with “Green” focused installations of power sources (eg. Solar Panels), water retention (eg. Storage Tanks), and other measures that reduce our carbon footprint. I certainly encourage our ratepayers to come forward with suggestions they have regardless of what others may think. It might be something from left field, but then progress has always come from people who think outside the square.

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 the measures that have been proposed in these reports. Council needs to now actively seek solutions to achieve these targets and where possible exceed expectations. With the support of ratepayers and other interested groups/parties I believe this to be achievable.

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 NEL is a necessity but it should still be constructed with the intention of minimising the impact on our ratepayers, businesses and environment. I will support the necessary measures to ensure this happens.

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

[No submission]

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

[No submission]


Rick Garotti
BH: (03) 9432 3019
Mob: 0409 014 965
rick.garotti@gmail.com

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

1. Continuing to drive our transition to a clean, sustainable and prosperous future.  As noted later in this questionnaire, I moved the resolution for Banyule City Council to become carbon neutral by 2028. I also moved the resolution for the City of Banyule to become carbon neutral by 2040.   

2. Continue to minimise rates and charges – keeping rates and charges at CPI level or lower – just like we have over the last four years. Sound financial management and stewardship of community funds is driving principle in my approach on Council.

3. Continue to support local residents, businesses and the community to get through COVID-19 and move strongly into the recovery phase. Times are challenging and the Council needs to step-up to help the community get through.

4. Continue to “call in” major development applications that may adversely impact on the amenity of local residents. I will ensure the Council planning department has the resources to successfully defend appeals to Council planning decisions at VCAT.

5. Continue to deliver local projects that improve the liveability of our local area. Commitments include: transforming the Redmond court wetland; completing the new pavilion at Binnak Park; completing the bike path under the electricity transmission lines from Plenty Road to Watsonia Station; delivering the Watsonia town square in consultation with the community; and advocating for the State Government to improve accessibility and facilities at the Watsonia train station.

Q.2 What is your position on Climate Change?

Climate Change is a fundamental challenge facing communities around the world. All levels of government, including Council, have a key role to play in dealing with Climate Change and transitioning to a sustainable future. A proactive approach to dealing with Climate Change also offers the communities to embrace new business and economic opportunities, in particular new jobs. This is why I played such a pivotal role in having the Banyule City Council declare a Climate Change emergency and taking big steps to create a sustainable future as set-out in your next question.

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?

As Deputy Mayor I moved the resolution for Banyule City Council to become carbon neutral by 2028. I also moved the resolution for the City of Banyule to become carbon neutral by 2040. I am absolutely committed to Council’s work in creating a sustainable future for our local community and will continue my strong advocacy in this area if re-elected.

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 North East Link is a major State Government commitment. I see Council’s role in the process to be a fierce and resolute advocate for local residents and businesses to: 

1. Ensure the best possible design outcomes for Banyule; 

2. Secure complimentary projects that promote the liveability of our city; and 

3. Minimise the adverse impacts during the actual build of the project. 

In terms of design, I have been a key advocate of the “long tunnel” option to minimise cut-and-cover construction during the building phase of the project which would be highly disruptive. The “long tunnel” option would also reduce the loss of significant trees and public open space along the NEL corridor. 

In terms of complimentary projects, I am advocating strongly for a complete upgrade of the Watsonia station, in particular the provision appropriate access for our older and disabled residents. I am also advocating for a bus transport interchange at Greensborough which would transform bus usage in the north eastern suburbs. 

Finally,  in terms of the construction impacts, I am working actively with the Watsonia Traders on their needs and priorities. I was instrumental in securing $40,000 per annum for the local Traders to assist with their own communication and advocacy work on the North East Link. 

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

As noted earlier, I moved the resolution for the City of Banyule to become carbon neutral by 2040. As part of this resolution, we adopted a comprehensive package to support and empower our local community, including our local sustainability and environment groups, to help drive the community transition to our sustainable future. A good example of the package is Council’s program to roll-out free solar panels to sporting groups and community organisations. This program will enable all eligible clubs and groups to receive free solar panels – saving them money on their electricity bills and benefiting our environment. I am absolutely committed to expanding these practical, local initiatives if re-elected to the Council. 

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

I look forward to working the community to continue to drive our transition to our sustainable future if re-elected.