My vision for Banyule is for our city to be the best place in Victoria to live, work, invest and raise a family.
This means delivering, smart coordinated policies with particular focus on:
- Appropriate development: In approving development applications Council must be vigilant in protecting the neighbourhood character that makes Banyule unique. I will continue to ‘call in’ major development applications in the Grimshaw Ward that I believe may adversely impact on the amenity of local residents. I am committed to ensuring our planning department continues to have the resources to successfully defend appeals to Council planning decisions at VCAT.
- Tackling traffic and parking challenges: As the population in Melbourne grows Banyule is bearing the brunt of growing traffic and parking challenges. Council has an important local role to play.
Council is advocating for public transport improvements that will take the pressure off our local roads. In particular, Council is working with the State Government to duplicate the Hurstbridge railway line between Greensborough and Eltham. This will improve the frequency and reliability of services and reduce the congestion created by residents from these areas driving to Watsonia station to catch the train from there.
Council is working with the State Government to deliver the North East Link. We will advocate strongly on behalf of our community to ensure the construction impacts are minimised.
Council will continue to advance practical initiatives to reduce car use and encourage public transport. We will deliver a complete bike path between Plenty Road and Watsonia Station along the easement of the electricity transmission lines to encourage residents to ride to the station and the local shopping strip rather than drive.
- Sound financial management: Council must minimise increases in rates to ease the burden on residents. I will continue to ensure average Council rate increases are at CPI level or lower. I will also ensure Council continues to freeze fees and charges for many valued community services.
- Maintaining and upgrading our local community assets and amenities: I am committed to the complete transformation of the Redmond Court wetland in Bundoora; a brand new pavillion at Binnak Park delivered in partnership with the State Government; upgrades for the Bundoora and Watsonia Scout groups and a micro-grid at Telfer Reserve to service the sporting clubs and community groups at this precinct.
Preserving our relatively low rates while building and improving our local infrastructure is a challenging task for Council. It requires Councillors to be prudent and practical in the initiatives they support. That is why I will continue to work with my fellow Councillors to progress those initiatives that benefit the whole of Banyule and not just particular areas.