Illawarra Greens. Social justice, environmental sustainability, peace and non-violence and grassroots democracy.

Greens announce new candidate for Wollongong lord mayor

"It's time for a fresh approach to how our city council operates," Ms Whittaker said.

Ms Whittaker said in the midst of a housing crisis it was time for Council to take on a more active role in addressing housing affordability, such as collecting windfall profits where upzoning occurs and including social and affordable housing as part of planning agreements.

"At the moment, it's basically crumbs," she said. "Considering the large profits that developers are making, it's quite shocking that wasn't able to be 10 or 20 per cent."

Ms Whittaker said increasing supply, without stipulating that units be set aside as social or affordable housing, would do little to address soaring rents and house prices. "Having people near transport hubs is something the Greens support, because it reduces cars on the road, we just have to make sure that there's trains on the train lines."

"I want to be able to see people not being trapped in their homes and able to get about the community freely without being fearful of cars," she said. "Safe routes to school, access for the disabled, we'll really focusing on getting all those upgrades happening around the city, building on the work that the last council has done."

Ms Whittaker was the lead Greens candidate for Ward 3 in 2021. 2024 is shaping up to be a very different contest. "We weren't allowed to door-knock, we couldn't have how to vote cards, we would have candidate forums where no one would turn up because everyone was terrified for COVID." "I feel like that was a bit of a training ground and I'm more confident now and I have an idea of how you win a campaign which is to get out and talk to as many people as you can.

"Listen to people and then things they are telling you, put those ideas forward and fight for them."


Story by Connor Pearce in the Illawarra Mercury, 15 February 2024.