NOT sure who to vote for Melba Ward? We put the tough questions to all candidates to help you make up your mind - read on for their answers.
All candidates have been sent the same questionnaire. We will post their answers as we receive them - check back here regularly for updates.
Candidates have been given until October 6 to submit their responses. The Weekly has chosen not to edit the responses in any way, except for legal reasons, meaning what you see is exactly what you get.
Candidates were advised to write N/A for questions they wished not to answer. The Weekly has indicated where no contact details were provided or where candidates declined to take part.
Incumbent councillor Terry Avery is recontesting his seat against two other candidates. It takes in Lilydale and Mooroolbark. Residents will be keen to see their representative continue pushing for better public transport links, the rejuvenation of Lilydale as a regional hub, and higher education in the wake of Swinburne’s closure.
At the 2008 election:
Registered voters: 12,868
Voter turnout: 10,199 (79.26 per cent of total enrolment)
Formal votes: 9985
Informal votes: 214
Candidates (in ballot order)
Name: Alister Osborn
Suburb of residence: Bayswater
Occupation: Finance Broker
Ward nominated for: Melba
How long have you lived in Yarra Ranges? I have owned and operated my business in the shire for many years.
Have you run for council/ been a councillor before, or any other level of government? If so, please list details (where, when, length of time, etc). No
Are you/have you been a member of a political party? If yes, which party? If no, with which party do you most identify? I am a member of the Liberal Party. I believe in supporting business, quality employment and cutting back regulation for everyone.
Are you or have you ever been a member of a political interest or lobby group? N/A
If you are elected, will you commit to remaining a councillor for the whole term? I take the role of a councillor seriously and commit myself to four years’ service for the people of the Yarra Ranges.
What is your campaign budget? Who is funding your campaign? Self-funded
Who will you direct your preferences to? N/A
Describe your involvement in the local community.
- President Lilydale Chamber of Commerce & Industry
- Vice President Yarra Ranges Business & Tourism
-Member Rivers & Ranges Community Leadership Program Steering Committee
- Member of Committee for the Yarra Valley Educational Precinct
What do you think being a councillor involves? As a councillor, I will work to develop conversations with the community so there needs and aspirations can be worked into Council policy.
What do you think are the most important issues for your ward? Melba Ward needs to reinvigorate. We need to build some community spirit encourage employment and bring groups together for the benefit of everyone. We can duplicate some of the ideas used in Mt Evelyn developed in their township group.
What do you think are the most important issues facing Yarra Ranges? We need a conversation about Rates. Rates have increased by 40% in the life of the current Council. Ratepayers are feeling the burden. How can we bring balance back to Yarra Ranges between the need to provide jobs and futures for the people while also caring for the beauty of the region?
Where do you stand on the logging currently taking place in Toolangi? Should it be stopped or does it have a rightful place to continue? Logging is a lawful sustainable industry that supports many families in the Shire. It is illegal to invade a workplace and stop people going about their jobs. This is a direct attack on families in the Yarra Ranges. Yarra Ranges should remove itself from the Ethical Paper Pledge which is designed to shut Victorian businesses.
Is enough being done to try secure higher education in the shire once Swinburne’s Lilydale campus closes? There is a great amount of work being done behind the scenes by State Government, Yarra Ranges Council and community members to ensure a post-secondary educational facility continues. Swinburne made the decision to exit from Lilydale. We now have an opportunity to create an outcome the will greatly benefit the Yarra Ranges.
Should the urban growth boundary be extended further in the Yarra Ranges? What sort of development would you allow? I am not aware of such a proposal but I would oppose any such move. The Yarra Ranges is the most picturesque location in Victoria. We should only allow sensible development that does not spoil the amenity of the area.
Yarra Ranges Council is looking at a $15 million bill to top up the local government super fund. Is a rate rise justified to pay this unexpected fee? Councils should come into line with the Commonwealth and State Governments, as well as private industry, and stop topping up super funds. MAV is lobbing government to amend the rules and I support their efforts.
Catherine Butler: No contact details provided
Suburb of residence: Mooroolbark
How long have you lived in Yarra Ranges? 46 years.
Have you run for council/ been a councillor before, or any other level of government? If so, please list details (where, when, length of time, etc). Melba Ward Councillor twice, 2005 and 2008.
Are you/have you been a member of a political party? If yes, which party? If no, with which party do you most identify? Not a member of a political party and I am independent and don’t identify with any.
Are you or have you ever been a member of a political interest or lobby group? No.
If you are elected, will you commit to remaining a councillor for the whole term? Yes and beyond.
What is your campaign budget? Who is funding your campaign? No set budget and I am funding my own campaign.
Who will you direct your preferences to? I have preferences Cathy Butler as No 2.
Describe your involvement in the local community. Since 2005 I have been involved in everything from Community Safety Committee, Road Safety Committee, president of Mooroolbark Traders, director at Mooroolbark Bendigo Bank to name a few.
What do you think being a councillor involves? Representing your community by talking and listening to them and providing feedback to community and council. Making sure their voice is heard and for the betterment of residents' lives.
What do you think are the most important issues for your ward? Upgrading and replacing aging infrastructure. Improved road and public transport network
What do you think are the most important issues facing Yarra Ranges? As above.
Where do you stand on the logging currently taking place in Toolangi? Should it be stopped or does it have a rightful place to continue? This is not a council-related matter, however from a personal perspective I do not have an issue with timber harvesting per se, but I have concerns and I believe so too does our community, with clear felling in our water catchment areas and the potential impact on Melbourne’s drinking water.
Is enough being done to try secure higher education in the shire once Swinburne’s Lilydale campus closes? Being directly involved in this issue I am say categorically a 110 percent effort is made by all councillors and council to ensure this remains an educational facility
Should the urban growth boundary be extended further in the Yarra Ranges? What sort of development would you allow? This not something council can readily change and requires the state government to alter the green wedge. However, from a personal perspective I believe it should be looked at on a case by case basis as I know there are anomalies out there that require attention.
Yarra Ranges Council is looking at a $15 million bill to top up the local government super fund. Is a rate rise justified to pay this unexpected fee? At present the rate rise has nothing to do with this issue. With so few income streams council has little choice and will have to borrow money due to the requirement imposed by state government that local government has sufficient funding for superannuation. However, council is advocating to state government to change this so it can provide superannuation in the same manner as they do.