Election numbers on way up

Sharon Kemp | Bendigo Weekly | 19-Aug-2016

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CANDIDATES in this year’s council elections are likely to number well over 30 for the City of Greater Bendigo’s three wards. 

Two months out from the October 22 elections, as constituents turn their minds to voting issues, 26 candidates have already said they will run for the nine councillor positions, with more candidates expected to emerge in coming weeks..

Jan Pagliaro will nominate for a seat in the Lockwood ward and believes continuing discontent over the demolition of the Kangaroo Flat Leisure Centre will influence voting in the ward.

Ms Pagliaro has worked in aged care and in the disability sector and said if elected, her focus would be to protect people in both these groups.

Bendigo, she said, had strategic importance and could be a model for other municipalities to follow.

“However, for this to take place there must be a change of councillors,” Ms Pagliaro said.

“A group of new councillors who are willing to set aside their own agendas, including their political party ideologies.

“A group that will work together with respect, embracing each other’s differences, to effect a proactive, progressive march into the future.

“If elected, I will always ask: how will this decision effect the most vulnerable?

“I will strongly advocate for the most disadvantaged in our
community.”

Local builder and businessman Geoff Stephens will nominate in the Eppalock ward.

Mr Stephens said he believed sincere community consultation, transparency of council processes and accountable, informed decision making were essential to be truly representative.

He said he was “committed to the proactive advancement of the City of Greater Bendigo” and he chose not get bogged down in
negatives.

“The past is done,” Mr Stephens said. “We work in the present to positively effect the future.”

He is advocating for a “radical shake up” of council.

“We need a diverse mix of councillors with knowledge, vision and practical skills who are prepared to maintain integrity and the respectful relationships necessary for a cohesive council to strategically take this great municipality into the future,” Mr Stephens said.

He said he had a sound knowledge of planning processes and guidelines and experience in contract and project management, and expenditure control.

“I believe that significant cost savings can be made through diligent management of contracts which will assist financing our visions and long term strategies,” Mr Stephens said.

“I an intent on examining the business case and contract review policies of council for potential
improvement.”

On Wednesday, arts industry professional and advocate Matt Emond declared his intention to also run in the Lockwood ward currently represented by councillors Rod Fyffe, Barry Lyons and Elise Chapman.

Mr Emond disclosed he was a member of the Labor Party but would run as an independent.

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