EMBARGO UNTIL MONDAY 19 APRIL
[ MEDIA LAUNCH : 10am Monday 19 April 2021
in front of the Wollongong City Council Administration Building , 41 Burelli St, Wollongong]
The Greens have announced that public transport campaigner Bronwyn Batten and paramedic and environmental activist Jess Whittaker will join existing Councillors Mithra Cox and Cath Blackey to contest the 2021 Wollongong City Council elections.
Mithra Cox will lead the Greens team as Lord Mayoral candidate, as well as seeking re-election in Ward 1. Cath Blakey will again be the lead candidate in Ward 2. Priority candidates will also include Jess Whittaker as the lead candidate in Ward 3, and Bronwyn Batten as the number 2 candidate in Ward 1.
Cr Cox said:
“I am so proud of what we have been able to achieve in the past 3 and a half years - rolling out a new urban greening strategy, building new footpaths, funding affordable housing, supporting arts and culture and making our city more inclusive for everyone.
“Local Government is where we can actually implement local solutions to some of the big problems in our world - from climate change to social justice. There are local solutions to climate change, and we can implement them here in Wollongong.
“But we still have a lot of work to do to make Wollongong a truly bike friendly city, a vibrant and sustainable city, and a place where everyone feels welcome.”
Cath Blakey is the Greens lead candidate in Ward 2. She was able to successfully introduce the FOGO (food organics garden organics) rollout in the last term of council.
Cr Blakey said:
“Inappropriate development remains a key issue for our community, and we need to commit to human scale development that protects Wollongong’s unique beauty and enhances quality of life.”
Jess Whittaker, the Greens lead candidate in Ward 3, is a paramedic working out of Dapto and is well known as an advocate for environmental issues in the southern part of Wollongong. She was awarded the Rotary Emergency Services Community Award in 2020.
Ms Whittaker said:
“I decided to run for the Greens because our current team has a strong record of achievement on Council. I have worked hard in my area as a community volunteer and advocate for the environment, but would be able to do so much more with the opportunity to serve on Council as a representative for Ward 3.”
Bronwyn Batten, is the Greens second candidate in Ward 1. She works in public policy, is an active volunteer in the community, and founded the “Illawarra Rail Fail” group.
Dr Batten said:
"Climate change remains a key challenge for us. With so many people suffering economically, making the transition to clean energy is a big nation building project that can help create new jobs.
“We need to tackle the climate emergency, and we can do so in ways that harness economic opportunities within Wollongong. “
Greens NSW Senator Mehreen Faruqi says:
“I’m so excited to give my full and enthusiastic support to the Illawarra Greens’ outstanding team of candidates for this year’s local government election. The Greens have a track record of real wins for the environment and the community on Wollongong Council. I look forward to campaigning with Greens candidates for local solutions to tackle the climate crisis and inequality.”
A look back at some Greens achievements on Wollongong Council
Some of our proudest achievements include:
Setting emissions reduction targets of net zero by 2030 for Council operations, and net zero for our entire community by 2050;
A ten year cycling infrastructure plan that will see Wollongong achieve “Bike Friendly City” status;
$4.6 million in funding given to the Illawarra Housing trust for new affordable homes for single women and women with children;
Doubling the budget for building new footpaths;
Rolling out a food waste collection (FOGO) for commercial grade compost for all households with an existing green bin service;
A fully funded Urban Greening program that has already seen over 5,000 new trees planted in parks and suburban streets;
Flying the rainbow flag over the Council chambers;
Lifting the ban on novelty races at school swimming carnivals;
Updating the street naming policy to ensure gender and cultural balance (fun fact: we already have 15 different variations on George Street!);
Developing new technical guidelines to build rain gardens to catch storm water;
Establishing verge garden guidelines, with grants for planting out nature strips with Wollongong Botanic Garden nursery plants;
Funding for the storm water quality improvement device at port Kembla beach;
A full list of our successful initiatives on Wollongong Council as available at: https://www.illawarragreens.org.au/our_successes
Images for media use available here:
Contact information: Mithra Cox 0425 351 844 or campaign coordinator Jamie Dixon 0403 402 114