https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5762980/ward-3-byelection-meet-the-four-candidates-vying-for-a-spot-on-wollongong-council/?cs=298 - Illawarra Greens

Meet the candidates in the Wollongong by-election

The Greens candidate in the Wollongong by-election is Jamie Dixon.

 

Jamie Dixon

  • PARTY: Greens NSW
  • AGE: 46
  • LIVES: Koonawarra
  • OCCUPATION: Alpaca Shearer

ABOUT JAMIE

For 15 years I have worked as an alpaca shearer, with contracts across 4 states of Australia, and in 8 other countries.

This has provided me with fantastic opportunities to experience both the diversity, and the commonalities, of many people and cultures, from all walks of life.

This kind of work requires extensive forethought and planning, as well as dedication, commitment, and adaptability - all qualities I plan to bring to my role as councillor.

I am now studying psychology online through Charles Sturt University in preparation for a career change, and am already experiencing the benefits that this brings in understanding my community, as well as communicating its needs publicly.

WHY ARE YOU STANDING FOR ELECTION?

I joined the Greens especially because of the Greens guiding principle of equity and social justice.

These are the two greatest building blocks of any fair society, but they are sorely lacking in all levels of government today.

I feel incredibly lucky that the opportunities I have had in life are now giving me the chance to ensure that all the communities of southern Wollongong can find safety and security in their home and work.

PITCH TO VOTERS

The people of Southern Wollongong are bearing the brunt of Federal and State government's obsession with feeding the economy at any cost.

Overdevelopment, and privatisation of essential services, including power, transport, and health, leave us all feeling forgotten.

The focus has to be brought back to the needs of the community.

Local government is the primary provider of community infrastructure, and Wollongong City Council must acknowledge that other levels of government guide the economy, but only local government can nurture and support our neighbourhoods.

BIG ISSUES

  • Get what’s best for Wollongong – Wollongong Council must convince the state government to act in our best interests. Our city council must advocate change at state level so that overdevelopment can be reined in, community housing needs met, andhousing made affordable for those who most need it.
  • Spend wisely – Some investments lead to long-term savings. We can spend wisely on the collection of food waste (FOGO) and on more efficient street lighting. After the initial outlay, the savings will enable other community services to be improved, so that,for example, we can have better bus shelters, and set up traps to prevent waste entering the ocean.
  • Care for our lake and our beaches – We need to make sure that we are doing the best for the health and beauty of Lake Illawarra and our beaches. They provide fun and well-being to residents, and have the potential for providing a powerful and sustainabletourist economy.

WEBSITE/SOCIAL MEDIA

Read about all the candidates in The Illawarra Mercury, 19 November 2018.

Ward 3 byelection: meet the four candidates vying for a spot on Wollongong council

WARD 3 BYELECTION CANDIDATES (clockwise from top left): Ami Beck (Independent), Jamie Dixon (Greens), John Mullan (Independent) and Ann Martin (Labor).
WARD 3 BYELECTION CANDIDATES (clockwise from top left): Ami Beck (Independent), Jamie Dixon (Greens), John Mullan (Independent) and Ann Martin (Labor).

The Mercury has asked each of the candidates in Saturday’s byelection about their priorities and why the city’s southern residents should vote for them. Their responses are published below, in ballot paper order. 

Ami Beck

  • PARTY: Independent
  • AGE: 27
  • LIVES: Bulli (building in Kembla Grange)
  • OCCUPATION: Full-time Mum, part-time student

ABOUT AMI

I'm a full-time mum, part-time student and a passionate advocate for my community. 

I first found my campaign feet when the government made an announcement that they were proposing a prison be built in West Dapto. Not only would this decision affect the lives of so many in the community, this proposed site was directly across the road from where my husband and I are building our forever family home. 

Since then, I have achieved a lot. Creating relationships with political parties and people in the community, I have helped move Council to vote unanimously against the prison proposal and, with the help of the community, tabled a petition of almost 15,000 signatures from people who feel the same way about the proposed prison. 

I have some strong ideas to bring to the table as a Councillor and hope to see these reach their full potential.  I have already shown that I am able to listen to and fight for my community and I would like to continue doing that as a Ward 3 Councillor. I also feel that running as an Independent will allow me to vote for what is best for my community and not be bound by party policies.

WHY ARE YOU STANDING FOR ELECTION?

I have always had a passion for my community and being involved. When the prison at West Dapto was proposed and threatened those in the area, I knew I had to make a stand for something I am so passionate about. Since then I have built meaningful relationships, fought for the people in my local area and showed that I am willing to stand up for what's right.

Even though the No Dapto Jail campaign was my focus, it showed me what a community can do when they work together. So, I have widened my concerns to all of Ward 3 and I look forward to continuing working with the community and standing with them as we build something great, together.

PITCH TO VOTERS

There are many promises I could make that I may not be able to keep. The one thing I can always promise is that I will listen to the community and make sure their voice is heard. Problems will come up and we will be able to deal with those together as a community as it happens.

I have already proven that I will listen and stand up for what the community wants as well as having proven results to get things done.

As an Independent candidate, I can say with confidence that the community needs will always be my priority without having any party policies to worry about in decision making processes. 

BIG ISSUES

  • Education – Overcrowding of schools is at an all-time high. For example, Dapto Public School has approximately 700 students when it was only built to house 400. Children are being squeezed into demountables which are hot and stuffy in the summer and freezing cold in the winter. With a child about to start Primary school, I understand just how important this issue is to young families and the desire to see your child get the best education and attention they deserve. We need more schools and better infrastructure. I will be making sure that I do everything in my power to see that the schools in the area are improved and that more schools are built.
  • West Dapto Masterplan – The masterplan of West Dapto shows how amazing this area will be in the near future. With 8,500 jobs planned to be created. 20,000 new houses to be built, 8 village and town centres, schools, shopping centres, and 2,600 hectares of natural green space.
  • Affordable Housing – Wollongong is in desperate need for more affordable housing. More and more young families are moving to the area and are planning to call Wollongong home, forever. Residential blocks of land and House and Land packages need to be more affordable for young families to be able to buy into and build in these new estates. 

WEBSITE / SOCIAL MEDIA

Ann Martin

  • PARTY: Labor
  • AGE: 58
  • LIVES: Port Kembla
  • OCCUPATION:  Town planner, artist, small business owner

ABOUT ANN

I am a long-term local, living in Port Kembla with my family. I served as a Wollongong City Councillor representing Ward-3 from 2011-2017.

As a town planner and former worker in economic and cultural development I understand the machinery and challenges of local government.

The orderly roll-out of the West Dapto land release, with up to 20,000 new dwellings, is a key task for Council over the next decade. My professional experience as a town planner means I know the importance of getting decisions in this area right – mistakes made now will be costly or impossible to correct later.

My involvement in many local community, artistic and cultural organisations, such as Our Community Project Inc, means I understand issues important for southern suburbs residents.

As a small business entrepreneur – co-owner of the Servo Food Truck Bar – I recognise the need to create more jobs in our city, especially for young people.

When I was a Councillor I championed more resources being spent in the southern suburbs and the revitalisation of Port Kembla as a commercial and potential tourist hub.  I also led Council’s efforts to promote the night economy and live music as vital elements of a vibrant culture in our city.

PITCH TO VOTERS

Experience counts.

As a former Wollongong City Councillor I understand the sometimes arcane workings of local government, the State Government agencies that interact with Council and the policies and plans for our city.

I will not vote for any rates rise above the CPI rate cap. Council’s finances are in good order and there is no need to put more pressure on costs of living.

I’m passionate about the southern suburbs that comprise Ward-3, we need more footpaths and better maintenance of our local parks and community and cultural assets.

The proposed Warrawong Community Centre and Library has my enthusiastic support, I will work to ensure the community has a say in its design and that it is built as quickly as possible.

Council must build a new regional aquatic, fitness and health centre to cater for the growing southern suburbs.  Land in West Dapto should be identified for an annex of the botanic garden.

Lake Illawarra must be protected.  I will work to ensure water quality is improved, the entrance is maintained and Kully Bay is not ruined by overdevelopment.

If elected I will guarantee adequate resources are allocated for the timely completion of the Fowlers Road bridge.

BIG ISSUES

  • No rates rise above CPI
  • Build the Warrawong Community Centre and Library
  • Complete the Fowlers Road bridge for flood-free access to West Dapto and reduce traffic congestion

WEBSITE / SOCIAL MEDIA

Jamie Dixon

  • PARTY: Greens NSW
  • AGE: 46
  • LIVES: Koonawarra
  • OCCUPATION: Alpaca Shearer

ABOUT JAMIE

For 15 years I have worked as an alpaca shearer, with contracts across 4 states of Australia, and in 8 other countries.

This has provided me with fantastic opportunities to experience both the diversity, and the commonalities, of many people and cultures, from all walks of life.

This kind of work requires extensive forethought and planning, as well as dedication, commitment, and adaptability - all qualities I plan to bring to my role as councillor.

I am now studying psychology online through Charles Sturt University in preparation for a career change, and am already experiencing the benefits that this brings in understanding my community, as well as communicating its needs publicly.

WHY ARE YOU STANDING FOR ELECTION?

I joined the Greens especially because of the Greens guiding principle of equity and social justice.

These are the two greatest building blocks of any fair society, but they are sorely lacking in all levels of government today.

I feel incredibly lucky that the opportunities I have had in life are now giving me the chance to ensure that all the communities of southern Wollongong can find safety and security in their home and work.

PITCH TO VOTERS

The people of Southern Wollongong are bearing the brunt of Federal and State government's obsession with feeding the economy at any cost.

Overdevelopment, and privatisation of essential services, including power, transport, and health, leave us all feeling forgotten.

The focus has to be brought back to the needs of the community.

Local government is the primary provider of community infrastructure, and Wollongong City Council must acknowledge that other levels of government guide the economy, but only local government can nurture and support our neighbourhoods.

BIG ISSUES

  • Get what’s best for Wollongong – Wollongong Council must convince the state government to act in our best interests. Our city council must advocate change at state level so that overdevelopment can be reined in, community housing needs met, andhousing made affordable for those who most need it.
  • Spend wisely – Some investments lead to long-term savings. We can spend wisely on the collection of food waste (FOGO) and on more efficient street lighting. After the initial outlay, the savings will enable other community services to be improved, so that,for example, we can have better bus shelters, and set up traps to prevent waste entering the ocean.
  • Care for our lake and our beaches – We need to make sure that we are doing the best for the health and beauty of Lake Illawarra and our beaches. They provide fun and well-being to residents, and have the potential for providing a powerful and sustainabletourist economy.

WEBSITE/SOCIAL MEDIA

JOHN MULLAN

  • PARTY: Independent
  • AGE: 59
  • LIVES: Wollongong
  • OCCUPATION: Pharmacist

ABOUT JOHN

Born 1958 in England. Arrived at Berkeley hostel 1964. I am the eleventh in a family of thirteen children. After leaving the hostel I lived in a Lake Heights housing commission home for 15 years. Played all junior soccer for Berkeley. Attended Berkeley primary school, Edmund Rice College & Port Kembla High. Tertiary studies, B.Pharm, at University of Sydney and LLB at University of Wollongong (UOW).

I have a gorgeous, intelligent wife who is an academic at UOW and four wonderful adult children who have all finished their studies there. I have worked as a community pharmacist since 1981 throughout the Illawarra. I still am a partner in a pharmacy in Dapto, and have owned others in Wollongong and Thirroul.  

WHY ARE YOU STANDING FOR ELECTION?

I am in my sixtieth year.

It is time to perform some civic duties as recompense for the opportunities and lifestyle Wollongong has afforded me. I love Wollongong. If elected I will represent my ward at council honestly and diligently.

I will advocate for our region’s access to state and federal funding. I will represent rail commuters who stand because there are not enough carriages, long awaited freight rail (Maldon-Dombarton), road infrastructure including a bridge across Bong Bong Road rail crossing, off ramps south and north of Dapto, the Unanderra railway station upgrade.

Party politics has no place in local government. I will represent the community not a party.  

PITCH TO VOTERS

If like me, you are sick of being ignored then give me your vote. I will do my best to be an independent responsible and representative councillor. I will encourage all councillors to join with me in demanding this region's fair share of state and federal funding for basic infrastructure.

BIG ISSUES

  • Ensure that a bridge is constructed across the railway crossing at Bong Bong Road or other suitable access
  • Develop the Warrawong Community Centre

WEBSITE / SOCIAL MEDIA