LAKE MACQUARIE CITY COUNCIL
PROSPECTIVE COUNCILLORS FORUM
YOU CAN NOW VIEW THE PROSPECTIVE COUNCILLORS FORUM ON LINE BY CLICKING VIEW COUNCILORS FORUM.
PROSPECTIVE COUNCILLORS ATTENDING THE FORUM HAVE BEEN ASKED TO SUPPLY A BIO TO BE USED IN THE FORUM INTRODUCTIONS. THEY WILL BE ADDED TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE AS THEY ARE RECEIVED.
West Ward residents will be asked to cast their vote for Mayor and four West Ward councillors on Saturday December 4th.
The Toronto Action Group (TAG) has combined with other Westlakes community and Sustainability Neighbourhood Groups from Toronto, Five Bays and Rathmines, to host a Candidates’ Forum to get to know the councillor and mayoral candidates.
Due to prospective Councillor availability, all the candidates will be attending on-line. Only the event coordinators will be present at the venue however the audience will be able to view the discussions online and get responses to the questions they have submitted to the candidates - reformatted as appropriate to avoid duplication.
What are the issues they'll be championing? What is their community background and how will they represent the community?
The past few years have highlighted how much and how little some councillors do for the local community. Do we want invisible placeholders or active champions?
This forum is the beginning of our 3-year relationship with our new local government representatives and our opportunity to get to know them and what they stand for.
Do you have a question you’d like to ask the candidates or an issue you’d like to hear their thoughts on?
• Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
• Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/TorontoActionGroup
• Drop a note in to the CPPA letterbox (197 Skye Point Rd)
• Post it to PO Box 329, Toronto.
The TAG team will be collecting and collating questions to pose to the candidates on the night.
The postponed Council elections of last year will now be held on Saturday December 4th this year. Westlakes residents will be asked to cast their vote for Mayor and four West Ward Councillors.
The Toronto Action Group has combined with other Westlakes community/sustainability groups to host a West Ward and Mayoral Candidates’ Forum online.
We won’t know until November 4th who the candidates will be. But we already know the issues that affect us. Some are very local (e.g. kerbs and footpaths) whilst others affect most of Westlakes (e.g. traffic, parking, lake access and loss of trees).
Council has made progress on environmental, social and economic health. The Toronto Foreshore Masterplan, the Walking and Cycling Strategy and the draft Lake Activation Strategy hold out hope of further improvements.
Nevertheless, there have been some huge frustrations. Not least were the wasted two years arguing over the proposed multi-storey apartment block on Toronto’s foreshore that the community was not asked about and never wanted. Increased building density is being poorly planned with more and more traffic clogging roads and chasing less parking space.
Behind all of this is an often fractured and strained relationship with the present Council and Councillors. Some ward Councillors have been reluctant to consult with their community. Wendy Harrison (retiring) has done so but with little support from her fellow Councillors.
It’s not just politics. The new organisational structure and attitude of senior Council staff have made community engagement much more difficult. Under the new structure, staff work in project teams across departments, many of which have been renamed and reinvented. Some staff appear to be happy with this arrangement, others not.
For residents it is now hard to find out who is responsible for what. Council has become opaque. For example, the Toronto Foreshore Masterplan was managed not by Planning or Parks but by Property & Business Development, while Rathmines Park masterplan was managed by Asset Management.
Residents are ‘consulted’ on a plethora of strategies and plans through the ‘shape.lakemac’ website. Their representations and submissions are ‘summarised’ in engagement reports, but it is usually hard to spot any changes made. Staff recommendations are put to Councillors, a few questions are asked, not necessarily answered, then the report is endorsed.
Is this ‘good governance’? Is the community being treated with respect? Are Councillors being treated with respect? Should ward Councillors actually support their communities on things that matter? Or should we just put up with the status quo?
Candid questions for the Candidates
The Candidates Forum will be an opportunity for community members to find out a little bit more about the people who want to represent us, their interests and their reasons for being our local representatives.
Do you have a question you’d like to ask them or an issue you’d like to hear their thoughts on?
The TAG team will be collecting and collating questions to pose to the candidates.
Send an email to email@example.com with your question, or use the TAG facebook group to pose a thought-provoker or post it to PO Box 329, Toronto.
PROSPECTIVE WEST WARD COUNCILLOR / MAYORAL BIO'S.
Ingrid Schraner - Greens candidate
I grew up in Switzerland, studied economics and worked in community development all over the world, for the United Nations Development Programme and for others. After two decades as an Australian academic in economics and finance, I settled on the Western shores of Lake Macquarie five years ago.
I love the Lake and the country around it and want to contribute my experience to the work of our Council, to make sure together we create a local economy that provides good, long-term jobs and sustains communities where people take care of each other and of the environment.
Together with others I founded the Lake Macquarie & Central Coast Coal-ash Community Alliance in 2019, and now I work for the Hunter Community Environment Centre investigating how the coal ash stored around our Lake can be used in environmentally safe and economically viable ways.
I have experienced how local government can play an important role in fostering economic development that puts people before profits, in supporting businesses and the general public in taking action on climate change, in fostering the use of renewable energies, and in building stronger communities.
I think it’s time to get a strong Greens team elected to Lake Macquarie City Council, who can reliably and consistently work towards a future for all of us – please vote 1 The Greens!
Kay Fraser - Mayoral candidate (Labor)
As a resident of Lake Macquarie for more than 40 years and popularly elected as Mayor of Lake Macquarie City in September 2016, Kay understands that our City offers an incredible lifestyle, with world-class infrastructure, engaged and connected communities, a strong and diversified local economy, and superb natural beauty.
Having had the privilege of representing the residents of East Ward for the past 12 years, Kay remains committed to making Lake Macquarie a great place to live, work and visit and she’s delighted to be building on the successes of previous councils.
Kay is passionate about social justice and ensuring that everybody has access to necessary services, a cause close to her heart that she also pursued throughout her working life, prior to the Mayoral election. She believes that the people of Lake Macquarie City should have a quality of life that meets their needs, increased opportunities for education, employment and a lifestyle that promotes a strong connection to the community and the environment.
At a business level, Cr Fraser has a keen interest in working closely with the more than 12,000 businesses in Lake Macquarie and helping grow new-generation jobs as Lake Macquarie continues to transition away from traditional industries.
David Belcher - Labor Candidate
Cr Belcher and has worked widely in disability support and advocacy and understands the need to build inclusive communities where all members are valued and have an opportunity to contribute.
His passion for disability advocacy and community inclusion stems from his personal experience of living with lumbosacral agenesis and being a wheelchair user. This first-hand knowledge gives Cr Belcher unique insight and skills in identifying the needs of those within our community.
Cr Belcher’s focus is to build universally accessible infrastructure and ensure the City of Lake Macquarie is a friendly, vibrant and disability-confident city.
Connected Communities Portfolio
Lake Macquarie Ageing and Disability Advisory Panel
Lake Macquarie Youth Advisory Committee (ex officio)
Environmental Sustainability Grants Committee
Lake Macquarie Sports Council
Lake Macquarie Traffic Facilities and Road Safety Committee
Rosmairi Dawson - Independent & Mayoral Candidate
As an independent electoral candidate for Mayor and the West Ward of Lake Macquarie City Council, who has never been a member of any political party, I will work with my fellow Councilors in conciliation and through discussion. to bring forward and deliver vital infrastructure and planning for our city with particular concentration on the South and West of Lake Macquarie.
I will never make a promise to deliver anything individually, as being a member of a 13-person Council, a majority vote is required. I will work with fellow Councilors to deliver as many projects as I can during this term to enhance our cities economic development, accessibility, environmental sustainability and local community projects and events.
Jason Pauling - Liberal & Mayoral Candidate
I am a 50 year old free-thinking conservative committed to principles of democracy, ongoing improvement and life-long learning.
I have served on LMCC for 9 years now (4 years as East Ward Councillor and 5 years as West Ward Councillor).
I have worked in the private sector for all of my life starting at the BHP Steelworks in 1990 and currently I work in the Healthcare industry (see linkedin.com/in/cr-jason-pauling-71288116 if you want more info).
For the sake of clarity I would like to be re-elected.
Luke Cubis - Lake Mac Independents (Party) & Mayoral Candidate.
Cr Cubis has tendered his apologies and will not be participating in the Forum
Cr Cubis is CEO of the everyday tasks outsourcing platform Employs.com.au, Director of online technology company itsFOUND and Executive Director of Donate Your Day, an innovative Australian registry where people can donate to a charity rather than receive gifts on special occasions such as birthdays.
The first-term councillor also has an extensive educational background with a Bachelor of Teaching/Bachelor of Arts double degree and a Master of Education.
With his technological expertise, Cr Cubis envisions a City that is a global leader across all sectors, including innovation, business, investment, technology and governance.
He also has a keen interest in grassroots local government matters and is passionate about representing the residents and ratepayers of Lake Macquarie.
Diverse Economy Portfolio