As the community-backed independent candidate for Goldstein, I’ve had the privilege of meeting and speaking with many residents who have shared their concerns with me.
These concerns have ranged from large, structural issues that affect all of Australia, to hyper-local issues, that affect Goldstein residents specifically. Many of these hyper-local issues concern amenity and access to services that are integral to quality of life.
If elected, I undertake to represent the residents of Goldstein’s local interests with rigour and vigour. Where there is an absence of coordination between Local Government Areas, I will act as the conduit to encourage that coordination. Where there are specific issues, requiring Federal funding, I will be the advocate for the residents of Goldstein.
Some of the local issues which have emerged in my discussions with members of our community include:
Protect our local environment and amenity
- Goldstein is famous for its magnificent beaches, as well as its beautiful parks and private gardens. These play host to a diverse array of wildlife – some of which is threatened.
- While there are excellent initiatives underway, such as Bayside Council’s plans to develop the Elsternwick Park Nature Reserve, as a unique local wetland and urban forest area (which I wholeheartedly endorse), there is a lack of coordination between Councils and stakeholders throughout Victoria when it comes to the management of complex, cross-LGA environmental issues, including wildlife preservation, coastal erosion, and the effects of more frequent and severe storms.
- A cross-LGA, coordinated approach is also needed to address the issue of plastic pollution on our beaches and in our parks.
- While many issues related to local marine environment policy are a State responsibility, Commonwealth Acts provide important overarching requirements, including the Threatened Species Act and the Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act. Critically, these two acts need strengthening to provide increased protections. As with so many other sectors, the various bodies overseeing marine protection would also greatly benefit from strategic direction and coordination between various responsible agencies.
- These areas would also benefit from increased marine and coastal environmental grants programs for both climate change mitigation and resilience to climate change.
- I would advocate for Federal assistance for Bayside Council as they address coastal erosion, which is a problem for the entirety of the Bayside coastline, and is particularly acute at Dendy Beach.
- I would also be a strong supporter of other Bayside Council initiatives concerning environmental protection and amenity, including their advanced waste processing plans that will provide alternatives to landfill, reductions in packaging and waste minimisation, support for the rollout of additional electric vehicle charging stations, the restoration and reopening of the piers at Sandringham, Beaumaris, and Half Moon Bay, and improvements to water quality and bay health.
- I would advocate for increased investment in water quality entering Port Phillip Bay through supporting updated state government and local council plans to better remediate storm water drains, create wetlands, and purify water entering Port Phillip Bay through rivers and creeks, and providing financial support for pollution remediation projects.
- I would encourage Federal funding for a long-term demonstration project at the Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary and the other two Bay marine sanctuaries (Point Cook and Jawbone Marine Sanctuary) to establish best ways to control the overabundance of native sea urchins devastating areas of Port Phillip Bay, to help re-establish the natural biodiversity of the sanctuaries.
- Palaeontologists consider Beaumaris as a significant site due to the diversity and abundance of fossils found there. These fossils are from an age that experts consider underrepresented in Australia’s geological heritage. I would therefore advocate for the protection of ancient fossils at Beaumaris and the appropriate use of the site for educational purposes.
- Both Bayside City Council and Glen Eira City Council have made climate emergency declarations and have adopted comprehensive climate emergency action plans. Bayside Council has set a target to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions by 75% by 2030, and achieve net zero emissions by 2035 or earlier, while Glen Eira Council has set a target of net zero emissions by 2030. I would support the endeavours of Goldstein’s local councils in setting strong emissions reduction targets and have expressed my support for strong national targets in my Climate policy.
- I would be a strong supporter of Bayside Council’s recycled water pipeline – the Dingley, Sandringham, and Cheltenham Recycled Water Scheme, which provide recycled, Class A water for use in Bayside’s parks and gardens.
- Exploring the viability of community energy projects is part of my climate policy, noting the opportunities in community battery and other potential energy initiatives.
- Amenity is another issue that would benefit from cross-LGA and cross-departmental coordination. Advocating for Goldstein residents’ interests, I would encourage such coordination to address conflicting demands and expectations of the public and of planning authorities.
Adequately resource our electorate’s thriving sporting sector
- While our physical environment is precious and warrants protection, sporting infrastructure – both physical and social – is also critical to the way of life for so many Goldstein residents.
- I would strongly advocate for Federal grants to help fund and maintain critical physical infrastructure, such as sports grounds and lifesaving clubs
- I would advocate for girls sport facilities and fair girls’ access to existing facilities, women’s change rooms and other critical infrastructure including all gender toilet facilities to support gender equality in sport.
- I would also advocate for Federal grants for critical projects that would provide the residents of Goldstein with necessary amenities. One key example is the redevelopment of the iconic Carnegie Memorial Swimming Pool, which is used by many Goldstein residents. Glen Eira City Council is asking for $10 million of the $52 million dollar cost of this redevelopment, to be contributed by the Federal Government. If elected, I would be a strong advocate for projects such as these.
- Similarly, I would advocate for Federal contributions to projects such as hydrotherapy pools. Bayside Council closed its hydrotherapy pool in 2002, and local residents have campaigned for a replacement ever since. This is because hydrotherapy pools offer a crucial means for the elderly and people with disabilities to exercise safely, improving not just their physical, but also their mental health. Fortunately, Bayside Council acknowledges the many advantages of such a project, however, additional Federal funding will be necessary, to bring this project to fruition.
Advocate against problematic projects, and ensure that a National Integrity Commission addresses the manifestations of pork barrelling in our electorate
- The commuter car parks in Goldstein are particularly egregious examples of Morrison Government pork barrelling, with scant regard for the actual needs of communities. Indeed, local councils have been threatened by Federal MPs with withdrawal of future funding for objecting to these projects.
- The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report on this scheme was scathing. The Guardian reports that, ‘Not one of the 47 commuter car park sites promised by the Coalition at the 2019 election was selected by the infrastructure department, with projects worth $660m handpicked by the government on advice of its MPs and candidates.’
- The ANAO report declared that this particular programme was ‘not effective’ and ‘not demonstrably merit-based’.
- Taxpayer money must never be used for partisan political interests. Integrity is one of the key pillars of my campaign, and if elected, I will focus on the use of taxpayer money being spent for the public good, not politicians’ re-election.
Advocate with Councils for Federal assistance for priority Local Government Area projects
- Projects that support Councils’ climate and sustainability targets, such as Glen Eira’s target of zero net Council emissions by 2025, and a community-wide net zero target by 2030. Initiatives, such as solar tubes at GESAC and smart technology in our street lighting, among many others, are commendable and deserve support from the Federal representative.
- Projects that develop additional open space for Goldstein residents. The City of Glen Eira has identified this as a key priority, due to the undersupply of open space in that LGA.
- Projects that develop integrated transport and connectivity, ensuring safe, accessible, and sustainable transport options for the residents of Goldstein. Improvements to pedestrian access, the public interface of Caulfield Train Station, and cycling infrastructure, are integral to improving amenity and for which I will strongly advocate. Bayside Council’s Suburban Rail Loop Initiative, that seeks to leverage the many advantages of improved public transportation while minimising impacts on local amenity.
- Bayside Council’s initiatives regarding increased social and affordable housing and action on homelessness
- Bayside Council’s advocacy for permanent Federal funding for kindergartens, as well as their commitment to assisting residents navigate the aged care sector
Advocate with Councils and State Government for culturally appropriate services for Goldstein residents
- Aged care is a particularly fraught issue at this election. Despite Government profligacy with taxpayer money, there is consensus that standards in aged care have declined precipitously
- My detailed aged care policy addresses many of these issues, including the need for culturally appropriate aged care services. For example, Goldstein has a significant Chinese-Australian community. 3.8% of Goldstein’s residents have Chinese heritage; however, there are no Chinese-specific residential aged care services in the vicinity of the electorate. Indeed, despite Victoria’s population of 370,644 people with Chinese ancestry, there are only three culturally specific facilities catering to them, with a total of only 198 beds, in the suburbs of Parkville, Ascot Vale, and Donvale – nowhere near where Goldstein’s residents and their families live.
- If elected, I will advocate for every sector of the community, and will fight for those entering residential aged care, to ensure their specific cultural, linguistic, dietary and spiritual preferences and needs are adequately catered for.
Advocate for local accessibility and improved disability services for the electorate of Goldstein
- While Goldstein is blessed with abundant beaches and open spaces, we must ensure that these are accessible for all Goldstein residents.
- I would therefore advocate for improvements to existing infrastructure, such as accessible playgrounds like the one recently redeveloped in Thomas St, Hampton, , to ensure that all children can benefit from what the electorate has to offer.
- I would also advocate for building new accessible facilities where they do not currently exist, such as toilets with lifts and changerooms to enable a full life in Goldstein for all of our residents and their carers.
Advocate for small business in Goldstein
- Small businesses are the lifeblood of the Australian economy. They are key providers of employment and play a vital role in the social fabric of our communities.
- Small businesses have faced enormous challenges as a result of the pandemic; from skills and labour shortages to rising prices of goods and services.
- Many also feel burdened by unnecessarily complex bureaucracy, whether that is in dealings with the ATO, managing worker visas, or the labyrinthine nature of insolvency law.
- If elected, I would ensure that Goldstein’s small businesses had a voice in Canberra and I would fight to ensure that their businesses are able to thrive and contribute to the vibrant economy of this electorate.