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

Jess Whittaker for Lord Mayor

Jess Whittaker skate parks are fun and essential for a fresh city

I’m excited and proud to announce that I’ll be the Greens candidate for Lord Mayor and the candidate in Ward 1 at the Wollongong City Council elections this September.

This is where I’ve lived all my life. I grew up in Bulli. And I live in Port Kembla now with my husband and two children.

I decided to stand for Lord Mayor as I reckon our city can be better: we can become a leading city where we work on and produce the technology for Green renewables, where our city is cooler and safer with more street trees, and where we can get about on bikes or walk on safe, shady and easily accessible footpaths and cycleways.

We also need to do more so we can have people in all professions–such as teachers, police officers, paramedics, health care workers–live close to where they work. We need to tackle affordable housing head on. We need to commit to creating housing in our villages so people can connect and get to know their neighbours, where housing is not only affordable but also sustainable. We need to tackle this at the local government level as this will help us shift State policies. Wouldn’t it be great if our children could also afford to live in the city which provides fantastic beaches, national parks, reserves and all the other good stuff we have enjoyed.

We are at a point now where we can embrace change and see great industries in renewables, and the skilled workforce that comes with this, join us in this fabulous city. We need to embrace change now for a fresh, greener city. Wollongong has always been a crucial port for industry. Now we can become a vital city for renewable energy and the transition to a cleaner environment.

The actions of our local government have a significant impact on our lives and I want to see  our city grow. We can do more to build connected villages that are rich in culture and celebrate diversity. We must continue to build more footpaths, cycleways and shared paths, improve our bike network and make our pedestrian crossings safe for everyone. Imagine if every child could walk or cycle safely to their local school?

We need to invest in protecting and restoring our incredible beaches, waterways and forests as these are the reasons we all feel so connected to this beautiful Dharawal Land. 

The Greens have a plan for an even better Wollongong and I look forward to talking with you over the next seven months about these plans and your ideas so that come September we can make a change for a fresh, green city. 

A little bit about Jess

Hi, I’m Jess. I’m running because the decisions our council makes shape the future of our great city. Together, we can make our communities more connected and accessible to everyone and grow a vibrant arts and culture scene which will benefit the community and the great small businesses that are the backbone of our villages. 

Jess Whittaker for Lord Mayor better cycling in the city

I grew up in Bulli and have spent most of my life in the northern suburbs. And I love this city and the diversity we have. In the next seven months I look forward to talking to many local citizens and listening to your ideas on how we can make Wollongong an even better place to live and work. Wollongong can be a great place to have fun, a place to enjoy the relaxed beach lifestyle and also a place to work and where we change the nation. Most of all it’s a great place that I call home.

I work as a paramedic, so I know how important it is to have kindness and community at the core of everything we do. Connected communities are strong communities. The Greens are built on a foundation of grassroots democracy–we want to create a better world for our children with peace and non violence, ecological sustainability, and social justice. I will listen to the community and you can be assured that I will make decisions based on these principles. 

I want our children to have safe, accessible routes to school, not be fenced in by congested unsafe roads. 

I’d love to see small changes, such as keeping our libraries open seven days a week  and public toilets open all year round.

Wouldn’t it be great if affordable housing was an integral part of development in Wollongong and the other transport hubs in the city–Thirroul, Corrimal, North Wollongong, Coniston and Port Kembla. 

And wouldn’t it be great if we have a decent skate park in Port Kembla, as well as Thirroul. It’s disappointing there hasn't been a single skatepark built in the city in the last 10 years. Our young people are missing out on spaces they love. 

We have a plan that will revitalize our villages with investment in arts and culture.

Most of all we need a greener city - an urban rainforest of local native species that cools the streets and provides habitat and shade. 

I believe a fresh, greener Wollongong is possible if we are brave enough.

If you want to get in touch, follow Jess on Facebook or send her an email.