Wollongong council election 2017: Ward 2 (Central suburbs)

The Mercury has asked the lead candidate of each group to tell us why they’ve decided to run for election, and outline two core issues for their group.

Their answers are below, listed in the order on the ballot.

Answers have not been edited.

Wollongong Ward 2 (Central suburbs)

GROUP A – LIBERAL

Wollongong and Shellharbour Liberal candidates

Wollongong and Shellharbour Liberal candidates

  • John Dorahy, Figtree, 63
  • Michelle Blicavs, Farmborough Heights, 46
  • Ranjith Raj Cordeaux Heights, 25
  • Asim Iqbal, Tarrawanna, 39

Why is your group standing for election?

The Liberal team have the experience and leadership from backgrounds in business, finance, tourism, culture and engagement to pro-actively work with the community, local business and residents to ensure we have a vibrant and strong regional city to bring increased opportunity to Wollongong. This team will progress innovation.

What are the two core issues your group would like to address within your local area if elected?

The Liberals have a Jobs Action Plan for Wollongong and the Illawarra which will ensure business is boosted and jobs are created through better strategic planning, better utilisation of land across the city and provide a service to investors that competes with other cities around the State. We want to build jobs locally and cut the commute.

Deliver real solutions to flooding across the city, particularly in the Wollongong South Precinct

Increase safety within the community through greater CCTV coverage across various major Town Centres 

GROUP B – GREENS

Greens Ward 2

Greens Ward 2

  • Cath Blakey, Wollongong, 37
  • Theresa Huxtable, Mangerton, 61
  • Martin Cubby, Corrimal, 38
  • Leon Fuller, Mount Keira, age not provided

Why is your group standing for election?

The Greens want our city managed for the public good, so that everyone can have the opportunity to work and contribute locally. I will work to ensure public scrutiny and community input to local government decision making. Our urban development should enhance the beauty of the escarpment and the ocean, not detract from it.

What are the two core issues your group would like to address within your local area if elected? 

The two core issues for me are encouraging walking and cycling, and making Wollongong a sustainable city. These issues are linked, because promoting an active lifestyle reduces the number of cars on the road.. In Ward 2, providing safe east-west routes for pedestrians and cyclists is a simple and practical thing that Council can do to improve the liveability and sustainability of our City and the health of its residents. The University of Wollongong has won international awards for its sustainable house. Now it’s time to get the technology – especially solar power -- in use on more Council buildings.  This will reduce running costs of our caravan parks, libraries, community centres and depots.

GROUP C – Independent

  • Andrew Anthony, Figtree, 39 (MAYORAL CANDIDATE)
  • Damien Ferri, Mount Saint Thomas
  • John Anthony , Unanderra, 37
  • Carmela Harrison, Farmborough Heights, 36

Why is your group standing for election?

We are a team of community minded independents who all live in Ward 2 and share a passion for Wollongong. We want a council that is open and accountable to the community and free from party politics and the vested interests of political donors.

What are the two core issues your group would like to address within your local area if elected?

We desire a council that encourages community participation in its decision making process. We seek to strengthen the role of the Council’s neighbourhood forums and committees and have a council that takes the needs and concerns of residents seriously.

We support well designed development that adheres to Council’s planning regulations and is sensitive to the culture, heritage and atmosphere of the surrounding precinct. We value green space and seek protection of our natural environment, particularly along the escarpment and foreshores.

GROUP D – LABOR

  • David Brown, North Wollongong,54 (MAYORAL CANDIDATE)
  • Tania Brown, Wollongong, 51
  • Alex Costello, Fairy Meadow, ago not provided
  • Daniel White, Figtree, 39

Why is your group standing for election?

We want to see more money invested in our forgotten suburbs to ensure that Wollongong remains a vibrant and liveable city. We are passionate about creating the best possible future for Wollongong and helping our city be an even better place to live, work and raise a family.

What are the two core issues your group would like to address within your local area if elected?

We will direct more Council funding to the forgotten suburbs where it is needed and concentrate on core service delivery. Our team has already promised $3.8m to double the footpath/shareway commitment in next year’s budget and will upgrade the lighting at three more suburban sportsfields.

Our team supports local jobs, investment and diversification of Wollongong’s economy.  We will promote the city’s night economy, small bars, live music and cultural events.  We will maximise the city’s advantages from links to southwest Sydney and the new airport. We will deliver a world-class visitor experience at the Mount Keira Summit Park.

GROUP E – Independent 

  • Vicki Curran, Figtree, 50 (MAYORAL CANDIDATE)
  • Amanda Kelly, Figtree, 39 
  • Kylie Sweeney de Havilland, Fairy Meadow, age not provided
  • John Mant, Wollongong, 80

Why is your group standing for election?

We are standing for Election because our Council needs strong experienced Councillors exactly like us who are Independent and represent the interests of all residents not a Political Party and their big donator friends. Our team has and will continue to ask the difficult questions that lead to good governance, accountability and best outcomes for residents and our city. 

What are the two core issues your group would like to address within your local area if elected?

Reinvigorate our City and Suburbs with Good Urban Planning, Design and Place Making.  We want to open up Council to Community to encourage and empower residents to set the course of Council and feel a genuine ability to work alongside council to create a healthy connected City and suburbs lined with pleasant avenues of trees not runways of concrete. We are committed to ensuring our public parks like Stuart Park remain in public hands and protected for future generations to enjoy. 

Flooding is a big problem in parts of Ward 2. Old stormwater pipes, over development and inadequate flood mitigation works are the cause. We are committed to fix this problem with innovative and new stormwater mitigation infrastructure in priority areas and set new Stormwater Developer Contribution Guidelines for future development to prevent frequent flood inundation impacting our residents and reduce the unaffordable insurance costs that residents have been laboured with in recent years.