A Letter to Candidates for the Upcoming State Election

The email below was sent to candidates standing for the forthcoming State Election in lower house seats that include parts of the City of Monash. Replies will be posted as comments below as they are received: https://monashandyou.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/a-letter-to-candidates-for-the-upcoming-state-election/#comments

Burwood
Name Party email address
WATT, Graham
(sitting member)
Liberal graham.watt@parliament.vic.gov.au
RYAN, Gavin Australian Labor Party gavin.ryan@vic.alp.org.au
STUART, Beck Australian Greens Beck.Stuart@vic.greens.org.au
CAMPBELL, Peter peter@greenlivingpedia.org
Clarinda
Name Party email address
LIM, Hong
(sitting member)
Australian Labor Party Hong.Lim@vic.alp.org.au
BEVINAKOPPA, Gandhi Liberal gandhi.bevinakoppa@vic.liberal.org.au
TALBOT, James Australian Greens james.talbot-kamoen@vic.greens.org.au
VASSILIOU, Melanie Rise Up Australia melanievassiliou@riseupaustraliaparty.com
MARINIS, James jamesmarinis@hotmail.com
Forest Hill
Name Party email address
ANGUS, Neil
(sitting member)
Liberal neil.angus@parliament.vic.gov.au
RICHARDS, Pauline Australian Labor Party pauline.richards@vic.alp.org.au
ATKINSON, Brewis Australian Greens Brewis.Atkinson@vic.greens.org.au
ROGERS, Kane Animal Justice Party ajpmemberships@gmail.com
MADDISON, Lynne Australian Christians acviccampaign@australianchristians.com.au
ROSS, Wendy Family First admin@familyfirstvictoria.org.au
Mount Waverley
Name Party email address
GIDLEY, Michael
(sitting member)
Liberal michael@michaelgidley.com.au
RAJ KHANGURE, Perky Australian Greens perkyraj.khangure@vic.greens.org.au
YANG, Jennifer Australian Labor Party jennifer.yang@vic.alp.org.au
ZHENG, Stephen
replied
Australian Christians stephenz@australianchristians.com.au
Mulgrave
Name Party email address
ANDREWS, Daniel
(sitting member)
Australian Labor Party daniel.andrews@parliament.vic.gov.au
DAVIES, Robert
(Monash councillor)
Liberal Robert.Davies@vic.liberal.org.au
FERGEUS, Josh replied Australian Greens josh.fergeus@vic.greens.org.au
FENN, Norman Family First admin@familyfirstvictoria.org.au
WOOD, Maree Rise Up Australia mmwo@optusnet.com.au
Oakleigh
Name Party email address
Ann Barker
(retiring this election)
Australian Labor Party
ZOGRAPHOS, Theo
(Monash councillor)
replied
Liberal Theo.Zographos@vic.liberal.org.au
DIMOPOULOS, Stephen
(Monash councillor)
Australian Labor Party teve.dimopoulos@vic.alp.org.au
MERRIEL, Steven Australian Greens Steven.Merriel@vic.greens.org.au
KIOUPELIS, Parashos indeparkioup@gmail.com
SCOTTO, Anna annascottooakleigh2014@outlook.com

Dear Candidate

You have nominated for a State District which includes part of the City of Monash. Empowering Monash and You is a citizens group which seeks to inform and empower residents of Monash in relation to matters which affect the way we are governed. We are inviting all candidates to comment on matters of specific interest to residents of the City of Monash. Your answers will be published, unedited, on our website at https://monashandyou.wordpress.com/ below a copy of this invitation.

1. Monash is presently experiencing a growth in population and consequent boost in residential property development. There is concern within the community about the impact this will have on the residential amenity of our city and about who will profit from this development. If elected, what actions will you take to address these concerns and ensure that the City of Monash remains the desirable place to live which attracted so many current residents to the city?

2. The City of Monash has recognised that livability has many aspects. One of these is sustainable transport which must be affordable, must access origins and destinations conveniently, must be safe and must be available at the times people need to travel. If elected, what steps will you take to ensure residents of the City of Monash have access to safe, affordable and effectively appropriate alternatives to travel by private motor car?

3. Our city includes cultural and religious diversity in the population. If elected, how will you ensure the rights of all residents, new immigrant or fourth or more generation resident, are treated with equal respect?

4. The Monash City Council has discussed bans on smoking in outdoor eating areas (including outdoor tables at cafes and restaurants). Without support from the State Government, individual councils are concerned that such measures may disadvantage traders near municipal boundaries as clientele opt to frequent businesses across the road. Some residents support and some oppose the bans. If elected, what action will you take in relation to smoking in outdoor dining areas?

5. EM&U is interested in promoting and protecting quality of care for our aging population. Please comment on the role you see a State Government playing in delivery of Aged Care and the actions you will take to support that.

6. The State Government is currently conducting a review of local government electoral processes. One contentious proposal in the review requires prospective councillors to declare their political party membership. Will you support or oppose that requirement if elected?

7. Finally, please feel free to comment directly in relation to what it is that you, personally, have to offer which makes you an appropriate candidate worthy of the vote of a resident of the City of Monash.

Thank you for your time. We look forward to publishing your responses as early as possible in the lead up to the election.

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3 thoughts on “A Letter to Candidates for the Upcoming State Election”

  1. Response from Josh Fergeus, Mulgrave District candidate.
    Received, 11.19 am, Thursday November 20, 2014
    _____________________________________________

    1. Monash is presently experiencing a growth in population and consequent boost in residential property development. There is concern within the community about the impact this will have on the residential amenity of our city and about who will profit from this development. If elected, what actions will you take to address these concerns and ensure that the City of Monash remains the desirable place to live which attracted so many current residents to the city?

    The Greens are the only parliamentary party to declare that we will not accept donations from developers. As a result you can be assured that decisions made by Green MPs will never be swayed by vested interests and will focus solely on the best outcomes for the community. We have been advocating for Government to take action on the MIRVAC power line issue at Waverley Park Estate, and will continue to stand up for the rights of residents.

    2. The City of Monash has recognised that livability has many aspects. One of these is sustainable transport which must be affordable, must access origins and destinations conveniently, must be safe and must be available at the times people need to travel. If elected, what steps will you take to ensure residents of the City of Monash have access to safe, affordable and effectively appropriate alternatives to travel by private motor car?

    The Greens have always supported the development of a Rowville Rail line. This train line would be a massive boon to the City of Monash, delivering efficient, affordable public transport to Monash University, Waverley Park Estate, Mulgrave and right across the Southern section of the municipality.

    To relieve the peak hour crush and get people home from work more quickly, we will extend ‘peak hour’ train frequencies after 9 am and 4-8 pm. The Greens will also invest $300-$400 million in next four years to plan for and fast-track new signalling on all our rail lines.

    The Greens will install 40 new secure bike parking cagesat Melbourne railway stations, including Clayton station. We will extend the Route 3 tram to Chadstone via East Malvern station, and the Route 75 from Vermont South to Knox City.

    The Greens have been consistently strong advocates for better public transport in Victoria. Our MPs and local councilors regularly use Melbourne’s public transport system, experiencing first-hand the benefits and frustrations shared by many Victorians. We believe that the investment being pumped into the East-West tollway could be far better spent, at a fraction of the cost, on a huge variety of public transport projects around Melbourne and regional Victoria.

    3. Our city includes cultural and religious diversity in the population. If elected, how will you ensure the rights of all residents, new immigrant or fourth or more generation resident, are treated with equal respect?

    Victoria’s multicultural plurality is an important aspect of the State’s identity, and Victoria’s multiculturalism should be fully reflected in the State’s social and political institutions. The Greens have been consistent advocates for the rights of migrants and refugees at all levels of government and will continue to pursue policies which embrace our diversity and promote equality.

    4. The Monash City Council has discussed bans on smoking in outdoor eating areas (including outdoor tables at cafes and restaurants). Without support from the State Government, individual councils are concerned that such measures may disadvantage traders near municipal boundaries as clientele opt to frequent businesses across the road. Some residents support and some oppose the bans. If elected, what action will you take in relation to smoking in outdoor dining areas?

    I support the ban on smoking in outdoor eating areas in the City of Monash and across the electorate of Mulgrave.

    5. EM&U is interested in promoting and protecting quality of care for our aging population. Please comment on the role you see a State Government playing in delivery of Aged Care and the actions you will take to support that.

    The Greens are bringing a range of aged care initiatives to this election.

    All Victorians should be able to benefit from proper access to palliative care services when needed. The Greens will increase investment in palliative care to improve people’s quality of life, right to the end.

    The Greens will:
    –invest $6.4 million per year in palliative care consultancy services;
    –invest $9.5 million per year in more palliative care services; and
    call for an independent review of implementation of the Victorian advanced care planning strategy.

    The Greens also support dying with dignity in Victoria. You can read the full policy here: http://greens.org.au/initiatives/vic/dying-dignity.

    6. The State Government is currently conducting a review of local government electoral processes. One contentious proposal in the review requires prospective councillors to declare their political party membership. Will you support or oppose that requirement if elected?

    I support that requirement. Greens candidates at local government elections are required to declare their party affiliation and we publicly endorse all Green candidates.

    7. Finally, please feel free to comment directly in relation to what it is that you, personally, have to offer which makes you an appropriate candidate worthy of the vote of a resident of the City of Monash.

    Born in Monash, I’ve lived in the municipality most of my life. However, I don’t make the mistake of assuming this makes me qualified to act as your representative on Spring Street. I am well qualified, holding degrees in Arts, Teaching, and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Professionally I have worked in the social services sector for nine years, working with children, young people, families, carers, unions, all levels of government, the media, and people with a terminal illness. I am presently working as Chief Executive of a sector peak body, providing advocacy and support for the most vulnerable Victorians and advising government and community service organisations on policy and program development which will better meet their needs.

    As a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne, I am a firm believer in evidence-based policy. We have an excellent research sector in Australia, and it’s time our politicians utilised the vast amount of knowledge and wisdom available to them. By voting for the Greens in Mulgrave you are voting for representatives who will listen to you to understand the outcomes you want, and will fight for the implementation of evidence-based policy to deliver these outcomes on your behalf.

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  2. Response from Theo Zographos, Oakleigh District candidate.
    Received, 10.09am, Tuesday November 18, 2014
    (as a word document with responses embedded, reposted without editing – responses are in bold text)
    ___________________________________________________
    Dear Candidate
    You have nominated for a State District which includes part of the City of Monash. Empowering Monash and You is a citizens group which seeks to inform and empower residents of Monash in relation to matters which affect the way we are governed. We are inviting all candidates to comment on matters of specific interest to residents of the City of Monash. Your answers will be published, unedited, on our website at https://monashandyou.wordpress.com/ below a copy if this invitation.
    1. Monash is presently experiencing a growth in population and consequent boost in residential property development. There is concern within the community about the impact this will have on the residential amenity of our city and about who will profit from this development. If elected, what actions will you take to address these concerns and ensure that the City of Monash remains the desirable place to live which attracted so many current residents to the city?
    Under Labor, many high rise developments were approved, unfortunately setting precedents for future developments. It is true that the City of Monash is a great city and this should always be protected. I have a record of fighting for the Monash character to be preserved. This can’t be said of other candidates standing in Oakleigh. I will always voice the concerns of the community to the Government and in the Parliament.
    It is also important that councils work with applicants to provide the best possible outcome for the amenity and communities surrounding proposed developments before any application is approved. It is also incumbent on Council and Councillors to make the right decisions for the community and listen to residents and ratepayers’ concerns before making decisions.

    2. The City of Monash has recognised that livability has many aspects. One of these is sustainable transport which must be affordable, must access origins and destinations conveniently, must be safe and must be available at the times people need to travel. If elected, what steps will you take to ensure residents of the City of Monash have access to safe, affordable and effectively appropriate alternatives to travel by private motor car?
    The Napthine Government is making the biggest ever investment to Public Transport in Monash. Safety is a priority and that is why there are now Protective Services Officers on train stations. By removing zone two ticket pricing as well will make public transport more affordable. Also, under the Napthine Government there are now services every ten minutes during peak hours in the Dandenong rail corridor which is a vast improvement to only four years ago. There are also more bus services and bus timetables which are sscheduled in the timetables to run in tandem with train services, which wasn’t the case before we came to government. All these factors work to encourage people to use the public transport system more often.
    3. Our city includes cultural and religious diversity in the population. If elected, how will you ensure the rights of all residents, new immigrant or fourth or more generation resident, are treated with equal respect?
    I believe this is a basic common responsibility of any Australian, regardless of civic position in society. I have been raised to respect everyone, and as a son of immigrants, I have always understood that this is something that should be encouraged at all times. We live in an inclusive society and that is what makes Victoria so great.
    4. The Monash City Council has discussed bans on smoking in outdoor eating areas (including outdoor tables at cafes and restaurants). Without support from the State Government, individual councils are concerned that such measures may disadvantage traders near municipal boundaries as clientele opt to frequent businesses across the road. Some residents support and some oppose the bans. If elected, what action will you take in relation to smoking in outdoor dining areas?
    I will never support a ban on smoking in only one municipal area or shopping district. That would be detrimental to local small businesses. I think that the Napthine Government is taking the responsible approach and working with stakeholders to consult as much as possible before laws come into effect in 2018.
    5. EM&U is interested in promoting and protecting quality of care for our aging population. Please comment on the role you see a State Government playing in delivery of Aged Care and the actions you will take to support that.
    As a carer myself for an aged person previously, I understand that these matters are very important. The Napthine Government shares this commitment. Caring for our older members of the community will be something I will passionately work hard for if I am the Member for Oakleigh.
    6. The State Government is currently conducting a review of local government electoral processes. One contentious proposal in the review requires prospective councillors to declare their political party membership. Will you support or oppose that requirement if elected?
    No Australia is not a dictatorship and no one should be forced to declare their private political opinions or allegiances. However, my advice to candidates is to voluntarily be open and transparent.
    7. Finally, please feel free to comment directly in relation to what it is that you, personally, have to offer which makes you an appropriate candidate worthy of the vote of a resident of the City of Monash.

    I am a family oriented parent and husband who simply wants to get things done for our community. I love Oakleigh and am a hard worker. I am known for my honesty and loyalty to the community. Even though I am not a Member of Parliament yet, I have been able to secure many improvements and new services for our community. I know that I will be able to do so much more if given the enormous honour of serving Oakleigh in Victoria’s Parliament.

    Thank you for your time. We look forward to publishing your responses as early as possible in the lead up to the election.

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  3. Response from Stephen Zheng, Mount Waverley District candidate.
    Received, 5.32pm, Saturday November 15, 2014
    _____________________________________________________
    Hi Murray,

    My answers:

    1) I will encourage development along main roads and near public transport such as in the form of town house and unit developments as well as low to mid rise apartments. If certain streets have a precedent of multi unit developments that are not in main roads I will be happy to support continued development as there is already many a precedent there. I however strongly encourage greater emphasis on the VPO so that there is a greater emphasis on green zones in the quieter residential areas. I also am not a fan of multi unit developments in any form in quieter neighbourhood streets.

    2) I believe in more sustainable forms of transport and will look to propose greater bike baths on main roads for the safety of cyclists and encourage greater bus routes. I’m even keen on introducing car pooling incentives for motorists.

    3) I came to Australia 10 years ago from China and have loved being in Monash ever since I arrived. I believe all citizens should be respected for their cultures and will fight for their voices in a civil society. I also will encourage more cultural festival events and food festivals in the area to really let the citizens soak up and appreciate every culture in the area whether they be Indigenous, Anglo-Saxon, European, East Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern, African or Latin American. Whilst I believe it is foolish to be proud of your culture or ethnicity as you don’t choose it when you are born, I believe it is important to engage with it as it forms part of your identity.

    4) I am personally not a smoker and have met many people who have suffered from lung cancer due to smoking. However I do have many friends and acquaintances who do smoke and It would be extremely frustrating for them to not go out of the house just because the habit won’t be tolerated. Therefore a common sense approach should be for the people of Monash to have a referendum on the issue. This would truly be democracy.

    5) Aged Australians have helped build this great country which we now enjoy. I believe we need to protect our vulnerable aged population and do whatever we can to provide free or low cost care to our Aged persons.

    6) I support letting everyone know which party you belong too. Too often major party candidates have the money to put in fake candidates in to support them getting into council and promote local agendas that come from the major party head quarters. Once these candidates win they also use Council as a basis to get into state and federal elections which shows that they are selfish in their motivations in Council and are only doing it to build up their political career. This is undemocratic and doesn’t give a chance to independents from standing in council. Despite being in a minor party, I would like to see more independent candidates support in Council Elections.

    7) I’ve lived in Monash for a number of years and have met many great people here. If elected, I will fight the people of this great city to have their voices heard and to protect their way of life no matter what their background. As an Australian and Christian I fight for Australian Values. As a person of ethnic origin, I understand the challenges in helping new migrants settle in Australia. I believe I have the best of both worlds in understanding all people in the great country we call Australia.

    Blessings in Christ,

    Brother Stephen Zheng
    MT WAVERLEY CANDIDATE VICTORIA STATE ELECTION 2014
    AUSTRALIAN CHRISTIANS

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