Council election pledges emerge By Luke Voogt A new soccer stadium, protecting aged care services from privatisation and vouchers to help the hospitality industry rebound have emerged among this week’s council election pledges. Current Windermere and Brownbill ward councillors Kylie Grzybek and Eddy Kontelj promised to advocate for funding for a regional soccer stadium in Geelong’s north. “This will be the biggest step forward for Geelong soccer in generations, and it will firmly place Geelong on the Australian soccer map,” Cr Grzybek said. The councillors met with former Socceroos Steve Horvat and Josip Skoko at Leisuretime Sports Precinct, Norlane, on Tuesday to promote the concept. Presidents of various local soccer clubs also attended to support plans for the stadium, to which council has already allocated $50,000 for a business plan.
make sure these services stay in council hands
- Andy Richards “We will encourage council to include all Geelong clubs and stakeholders in the setting of the requirements of the new stadium,” Cr Kontelj said. “This stadium will be used for all things from A-League games, attracting major tournaments to Geelong, Miniroos galas, elite training and coaching facilities, and everything in-between.” Kardinia ward candidate Andrew Alexander campaigned for council to issue vouchers to Geelong households to spend on local hospitality, music or arts small businesses. “These small businesses have been significantly affected by COVID-19 restrictions,” Mr Alexander said. “The key to getting them reopening is to
encourage spending. “These venues give our city its culture, but they are also a key driver for employment, investment and tourism in our local economy.” Mr Alexander pledged to lobby for state and federal funding for the initiative. He also took aim at “uncompetitive commercial rates”, saying small businesses were “frustrated” at “council impediments that make doing business in Geelong unnecessarily challenging.” “The value that the council delivers back to them does not stack up,” he said. While Mr Alexander acknowledged council’s COVID-19 support packages, he said this did “nothing” to address the long-term issue of rates. Fellow Kardinia ward candidate Andy Richards pledged to increase funding for council’s aged care services including in-home care, property maintenance, meal deliveries and respite care. “[Council aged services] are under threat
of being contracted out and privatised, with a resulting decrease in service levels,” Mr Richards said. “If elected, I’ll support an increase in Geelong council’s aged care funding, along with an extension of the services offered, and sufficient council oversight so that services do not slip. “I’ll also make sure these services stay in council hands, and standards are improved. “Local residents would be aware that no-one has done it tougher during the COVID-19 lockdown periods than elderly residents. “Given the evidence coming out of the Aged Care Royal Commission, it’s essential that council does everything it can to keep elderly residents in their own home for as long as possible.” Mr Richards encouraged Geelong Regional Library to call to check-up on the city’s elderly residents, saying libraries in many other Victorian municipalities have done so during COVID-19.
Meet the Windermere ward candidates With postal voting for Geelong council elections opening this week, the Independent asked Windermere ward candidates why residents should vote for them. Kylie Grzybek As a current councillor for Windermere ward, I will continue to represent the community’s views at all times. I promise to continue to work hard for a fair share for the north and a safer community. I promise to continue to listen to the community, as I did with the Lara goat farm decision and many planning application decisions. I’m really proud to be part of a community that cares for each other and its environment. I have been part of a council that has delivered and budgeted for many projects in the northern suburbs including a $1 million athletics track at Goldsworthy Reserve, Corio.
A satellite image of Windermere ward. (Google Maps)
16 GEELONG INDEPENDENT Friday, 9 October, 2020
Three years ago, I was elected to be your councillor. I promised to be a strong authentic voice and fight for a fair share for the northern suburbs, Lara and the rural north. I’m passionate about the north, my community, where I was born, educated and continue to live. I have worked tirelessly to represent my community and I’m proud of many achievements including Barwon Health North, moving the Spirit of Tasmania from Melbourne to Geelong and multimillion-dollar investments in community and sporting infrastructure. I seek re-election to continue the fight for jobs, appropriate development, our environment and my community.
I’m a proud resident of Corio, a medical doctor at Geelong hospital and involved with many community networks, including Geelong Chamber of Commerce. I will strive to make Windermere ward a beautiful, liveable and resourceful area for all residents by: enhancing post-pandemic support for all residents; initiating more local projects to create more jobs; introducing new and more frequent bus routes; expanding and improving railway station carparks in Lara, Corio and Little River; creating new community hubs and leisure centres to help unify the area; and encouraging sustainable development to reduce our carbon footprint. I listen to the community and care about your voice.
I’m running for council to be a voice for all those who are demanding that council put climate first. Declaring a climate emergency and creating an environmental strategy is a good first step, but council has to commit to actually doing something about climate change. I want Geelong to be a world leader in recycling, utilising the Morrison federal government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund, which will drive a billion-dollar transformation of Australia’s waste here, creating jobs and securing our economy for the future. I will foster community gardening, and better, more accessible and cheaper public transport, and build a stronger Geelong.
I live in Norlane with my partner and two-year-old daughter. Areas like Norlane are underserviced and ignored. Local councillors claim they do a lot, but little seems to change. Why can’t our council demand more funding from state and federal governments? I want to see a council that listens to the community and provides services and jobs. We need public housing, mental health services, free childcare and an expansion of community health services. There is too much reliance on the private sector to provide. As a union organiser and member of Socialist Alliance I will put community need first.