Ballarat Council Candidates responses

Ballarat City location mapWhat Do City of Ballarat Council Candidates Plan to do About Climate Change?

BREAZE sent out the following survey questions to each of the City of Ballarat Councillor Election candidate’s email addresses registered on the Victorian Electoral Commission’s website:

  1. What are your top 3 priorities for Council over the next 4 years?
  2. Why?
  3. How have you personally and publicly responded to the challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
  4. How might the City of Ballarat address the issues raised by global warming and climate change?
  5. How could you influence these decisions?

The responses appear as received in email responses and therefore have not been edited for meaning, spelling or grammatical content.
The responses appear in alphabetical order of candidate’s surnames for each ward.
Candidates who have not responded are identified with the following response “The candidate has not responded to the questions”

Candidate Ward Questions and Responses
     
Vicki Coltman North The candidate has not responded to the questions
Jeni Eastwood    What are your top 3 priorities for Council over the next 4 years (and why)?
  North 1. Strategies and vision for young people and future generations. WHY? Young people are concerned about climate change, they worry about getting jobs and they want diverse recreational activities not just sporting opportunities. How will I pursue this priority - by addressing global warming issues at a Council level, pushing Council to advocate strongly for our community with State and Federal governments, and engaging and consulting with young people about their concerns, needs and aspirations.
2. Genuine consultation with the community. WHY? Currently Council has a number of methods of communicating with the community but apart from a few online surveys most of the communication is one way only. Good old fashioned face to face engagement with the community is needed. Good consultation requires taking the community views into consideration when making decisions, so that the community feel that they have the ability to influence decision making. How will I pursue this priority - by pushing council to adopt a regular program of consultative meetings with various community groups, regular 'township' meetings and consultative processes for major initiatives.
3. Economic development that promotes sustainability. WHY? Ballarat needs more manufacturing industries. We can pave the way for more local jobs by encouraging industries that are linked to environmental sustainability, such as new technologies for renewable energy, water conservation and improving biodiversity. How will I pursue this priority - by pushing Council to advocate strongly with the State Government for regional industry incentives that are linked to sustainability technologies.
How have you personally and publicly responded to the challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
Personally I have been an advocate for renewables and water conservation for many years.  I installed my first photovoltaic system, water tank and solar hot water service in 2004 for my passive energy house. I organised a solar power system for my local school at that time as well.  When I moved to Ballarat and purchased a house the first improvements were solar power, solar HWS and a water tank.
I have participated in many tree planting activities with Landcare and Leigh Catchment Group, and our own garden is primarily built around plant species indigenous to the Ballarat area. I have also been a site coordinator for Clean up Australia.
As a member of the Queensland teachers' union a number of years ago I advocated for solar power systems for schools and other Education Department properties. At my current school I have supported students with their initiatives to improve recycling, planting trees and raising awareness about endangered species. As a teacher of humanities I have created curriculum activities for students that enhance their engagement and knowledge about global warming, climate change and renewables.
How might the City of Ballarat address the issues raised by global warming and climate change?
The City of Ballarat has the opportunity to lead the region in addressing issues raised by global warming and climate change. Firstly Council can address these issues by employing an environment sustainability officer to lead and plan policies and strategies to improve our city's sustainability. Secondly Council can lead by example, such as installing solar power on Council owned properties, using hybrid powered vehicles, and implementing a water conservation strategy for Council properties and activities. Leading by example is a powerful mechanism for encouraging business and industry to adopt similar initiatives.
How could you influence these decisions?
The ability to influence decisions starts with developing relationships with other decision makers so that colleagues learn to trust, acknowledge and support initiatives and proposals that are brought to the table. Community support through genuine consultation is an important influence as well. The use of facts, statistics and examples in any debate about initiatives are also persuasive. So my recipe for influencing decisions is based on building relationships, building community support and providing evidence and examples.
Pauline Fay North The candidate has not responded to the questions
Amy Johnson North The candidate has not responded to the questions
Angus McAlpine North What are your top 3 priorities for Council over the next 4 years?
    My top three priorities for council over the next 4 years are, one, to use the position of council to influence state and federal governments, and private business owners, to invest in renewable and sustainable form of employment for the Ballarat region. As a tradesman working locally in heavy manufacturing, I strongly believe that if all forms of government fail to join the move towards renewable energy, such as more wind and solar farms, self-sustainable buildings and ethical manufacturing, unemployment will continue to rise sharply in the region. Having worked on green star buildings in Melbourne as a plumber working in commercial construction, I believe the decision is a no-brainer, that is simply not being made due to too many connections to "old" ways of development being present in council.
    Secondly, I would like public transport shortfalls to be addressed in Ballarat, with the city being chronically over-reliant on cars for transport. Also, more investment needs to be made into re-centralising the city, once public transport and bicycle routes are increased, so that those who do live in the city centre, see the viability of walking or bike riding in to town for all their needs.
    Thirdly, I believe expansion of the city needs to be seriously curtailed, and we need to begin planning more medium-density housing, to prevent more and more unsustainable suburban sprawl, that will outgrow our public and non-car transport services more and more no matter how much council tries to address them.
    Why?
    Having lived in Europe for several years, I began to see how much I believe Australian cities, such as Ballarat, are growing in area at an unsustainable rate. Our thirst for land space and huge houses is unparalleled, and cannot continue. For a city of its size, Ballarat is massively spread out, and this has lead to significant areas of isolation, with insufficient services and amenities to keep the population connected to the city. The social and environmental effects of this continuing sprawl are being felt all over Ballarat, and need to be addressed now.
    My second major motivation and a huge reason for joint the Greens, is that renewable energy means jobs, something we are struggling for in Ballarat! Wind farms won't construct themselves, solar panels don't manufacture themselves, and they will all need highly skilled maintenance workers to look after them. Another no-brainer.
    How have you personally and publicly responded to the challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
    I live what I preach, deliberately living within walking distance of the train station for access to public transport, and close to the city centre. Along with three other young blokes, have been instrumental in forming and maintaing the Young Greens in Ballarat, hosting fortnightly meetings to discuss worldly issues with an emphasis on Green-minded solutions. In our household, we have significantly reduced our meat in-take, due to being educated on the threat to the environment of over-farming of cattle. Also, we support independent local grocers who don't hold farmers to ransom over unrealistic quality control in regards to fruit and vegetable picking.
    How might the City of Ballarat address the issues raised by global warming and climate change?
    The city of Ballarat can lead by example, by committing to making all its buildings self-sustainable and also aiming for green-star retrofitting. Also, in its dealings with private enterprises, it can create a set of parameters of sustainability and commitment to renewable energy that business must meet to secure council funding. The city council must act in all its might to encourage making Ballarat as foot and cycle-friendly as possible, and already all three council candidates have begun proposing ideas for bicycle maintenance stations in strategic locations in the city, with free access to water, tyre pumps, wheel changing tools and other essential cycle-maintenance items. Separate cycle/pedestrian paths can be made that takes cyclists off the road, and if unavoidable, foot-high concrete mounds to separate bicycle users on road from cars drifting in to their lane. The City Of Ballarat must act now to petition for better coverage, and later-running services with its bus-network, and maybe looking at recycling the tram rails for a light rail system.
Angus McAlpine   How could you influence these decisions?
    If elected to council, I am committed to making Ballarat accountable to all of these actions, and that will in turn influence my decision-making.
Daniel Moloney North The candidate has not responded to the questions
John Philips North What are your top 3 priorities for council over the next 4 years?
  •             Roads
  •             Innovation in service delivery
  •             Strategic planning
  Why?
  The connectivity and efficiency of our city is directly affected by the quality and proper planning of roads. This also includes the development of appropriate bicycle friendly and walking options.
  Council is under pressure to do more with less. Innovation is by far the best alternative to make our resources of all kinds go further. "We have always done it that way" is no longer a justifiable position.
  The development of appropriate strategies provide a blueprint for the future development of the City and give an opportunity for community consultation in developing a vision for the future of Ballarat. This is a fluid process which needs to be revisited regularly as our City grows and technologies change.
  How have you personally and publicly responded to the challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
   One Tree Per Child - during my time as Mayor I became aware of this initiative and within a week I had gained the support of all Councillors and officers to make the City of Ballarat the first Council outside of Sydney to officially become a partner in this project. This will see some 6,000 trees planted by Ballarat school children.
  I have supported a 40% increase in the tree canopy across the City of Ballarat with the aim to reduce the impact of climate change and keep the City cooler by 4 degrees.
  The Green Waste Collection service has been a positive initiative to prevent land fill and utitlise garden waste as an asset rather than rubbish.
  Waste to Energy facility in BWEZ is another vital project I am committed to, technology will play a key role as our City continues to grow.
  How might the City of Ballarat address the issues raised by global warming and climate change?
   By continuing to support the initiatives listed above and adding to sustainable options such as LED street lighting and the planned Innovation Hub. It is important to remain open minded and seek to be fully informed on all options.
  How could you influence these decisions?
John Philips  As a farmer and CFA volunteer the effects of climate change are keenly felt in my business and volunteer activities. I am also a qualified plumber which provides me with a unique and thorough understanding of all things water related. Along with my experience as a Councillor and former Mayor I believe I can effectively use these skills to ensure a full and open discussion is held into all alternatives.
Rob Smith North What are your top 3 priorities for council over the next 4 years?
  Implementing a breakfast and shower service for the estimated 75 homeless and/or displaced people living on our streets in the Lower Hall of Civic Hall (opposing the planned demolition of the Lower Hall without question), triple the expenditure to the Home and Community Care (HACC) program for COB clients receiving personal care and Meals on Wheels so waiting lists can be reduced and best practice care methods can be adopted by Council staff. Moving to implement a curfew on the works-site @ the proposed Ballarat Saleyards location in Miners Rest (Obviously I will work my hardest to stifle the relocation and keep at @ Latrobe Street but that is looking like a very distant possibility due to planning permits etc) - ensuring Environmental (and noise pollution) issues are addressed via a 7PM-7AM curfew and ensuring flood mitigation plans are effectual to avoid run-off into Burrumbeet Creek during heavy rainfall.
  Why?
  We must ensure homeless and displaced people are given a hand to move from Step 1 to Step 2 and so forth to ensure they get some semblance of a chance at regaining independence and contributing to the regional economy down the track. We also must foster elderly welfare as they've paid their dues (and rates) throughout their lives and it is incumbent on local government to protect and nurture them into their twilight years. And for my third point, the relocation of the Saleyards to Miners Rest is plagued with Environmental concerns, issues relating to its proximity to the Miners Rest Primary School (less than 1km away) and issues relating to increased pollution (fumes, noise and livestock waste) with increased traffic congestion with the trucks driving in and out of the township.
  How have you personally and publically responded to the challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
  I have been an outspoken campaigner for lowering regional emissions via opposing the Saleyards relocation (which has ballooned by 60% in size since it was first voted on in Council Chambers) and would be a catastrophic contribution to greenhouse emissions. I also have written many Letters to the Editor in The Courier about the need for more cycling lanes, awareness campaigns of walking to work/school/CBD and ensuring more public transport is accessible to elderly people in particular with my proposal of four free suburb-specific buses for the elderly in Sebastopol, Alfredton, North Ballarat and Wendouree that follow a loop around the major shopping and pharmacy precincts allowing residents to enjoy a bus with like-minded peers, conduct their shopping, pick up their prescriptions and return home safely without the need to ask a family member to drive them individually.
  How might the City of Ballarat address the issues raised by global warming and climate change?
  The City of Ballarat needs to take strong affirmative action on Climate Change via taking a regional stance and espousing the benefits of said stance nation-wide via online Social Media campaigns. COB has consistently fallen behind the Social Media trend and needs to utilise this form of 'convergent media' to ensure the rest of the nation sees a small Western Victorian City as a pioneer in A) reducing greenhouse emissions and B) ensuring those reductions in emissions are publicised to the rest of the country. The Ballarat West Waste to Energy program is a great move in the right direction, but I do believe COB could take the helm of the Solar-panel market locally and offer incentives for people to move from traditional power to solar.
  How could you influence these decisions?
  I would influence these decisions by being an iron-strong voice among Councillors, working collaboratively with peers (I already have a very strong working relationship with several North Ward and South Ward candidates, many of whom are likely to be elected) and ensuring no decisions are made behind closed doors when it comes to clean renewables - the public must be the employer and Councillors the employee when it comes to fostering and implementing decisions relating to a cleaner, greener Ballarat.
Rob Smith  
Rob Smith  
Grant Tillett     What are your top 3 priorities for council over the next 4 years?
Grant Tillett North Ward My absolute top priorities are get to proper control of Governance (management) and have a forensic audit of the Finances and get an understanding of the spending of the money.
Why?
 Simply put over the years I have seen many occasions where Governance has not be applied to issues within Council, rules have been broken with gay abandon and the Local Government Act has been treated like a toy - there is a body of opinion about that believes every Council meeting since last January has been conducted outside the rules required by the LGA.
How have you personally and publically responded to the challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
 What can an individual do to reduce GH Gas? well I use new light globes, I no longer burn leaves and rubbish our truck has a Euro 5 engine.   Not much more an individual can do.
How might the City of Ballarat address the issues raised by global warming and climate change?
  Well how can Council reduce GH Gas.  If the organization was operating under control such that someone was responsible for the proper managment of the place then lots could be done but if as it is now no-one is in efective control the good, one might do, would be negated, by the bad another did.
 Council uses BioDeiesl, changes light globes and turns the power off - all good things - maybe save a little water here and there.
How could you influence these decisions?
 Well that is a good question - depends on who gets elected, including me, but as a Councillor I would expect to be able to influence things - a bit - well that is my hope - I have been about the place for a long time and I do beleive I know where just some of the bodies are buried.  I will use that kowledge for good I hope.
 
Will Bennett Central What are your top 3 priorities for council over the next 4 years?
    1.       Being a voice for the youth of the city who face many struggles in unemployment, mental health etc.
    2.       Taking steps to transition Ballarat to a zero emissions city
    3.       Tacking the growing debt but while ensuring basic services and amenities are maintained eg road maintenance
    Why?
    1.       Currently I feel a sense of disillusionment and disenfranchisement from the young people of Ballart who don’t really even know the influence of council. If we want to retain a young working population and not continue to loose so many to Melbourne then someone who understands the issues and concerns of the next generations is important
    2.       Unfortunately the federal government has failed to show any leadership on this issue, and while Ballarat may not have a large amount of emissions, if the city can show some leadership in this area others will surely follow and combined we can help make a difference.
    3.       In a similar reasoning as to why the burden of climate change should not be left to the next generation, burdens of debt should also not be left. The longer debt hangs around the harder it is to get on top of, especially since Ballarat already has some of the highest rates of any municipality. I will not support and initiatives that don’t pass the pub test economically, for example the extravagant overseas trips we’ve seen.
    How have you personally and publically responded to the challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
    While I don’t own any property or even a car (which means I ride everywhere) I try to do as many things as I can to reduce my footprint. I’m constantly on mum and dad’s back about solar panel and its looks like we may be getting a system installed shortly. I only eat meat a few days a week and source much of my food from our veggie garden.
Will Bennett Central Additionally, our family farm just outside of Ballarat is under a planning stage from Origin energy’s Stockyard Hill windfarm and dad has been very supportive in encouraging the company to proceed with the project with as many towers on our farm as possible, which as I’m told would be the largest wind farm in the southern hemisphere when completed (that’s if the federal government doesn’t continue to vacillate and dither with poor renewable energy support )
    How might the City of Ballarat address the issues raised by global warming and climate change?
    ·         Encourage more cycling around the city with separated bike paths and cycling corridors (possible along the railway tracks to create super cycles paths)
    ·         Actively encourage more sustainable eating such as with the introduction of the sidewalk veggie gardens (although the $150 fee is questionable)
    ·         Partnerships with community organisations and clubs through the CEFC, North Melbourne and the City of Melbourne is a good example of this (http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/join-in-the-solar-chorus-says-council-as-north-melbourne-gets-on-the-ball-20160807-gqmtz2.html)  or perhaps reducing rates for residents who install solar panel systems on their own homes 
    ·         Making sure new planning permits have as high as possible energy rating
    ·         Making the green bins optional
    How could you influence these decisions?
    My background as a civil engineering student has equipped me well to deal with evidence based facts, as part of my bachelor of science I studied subjects on renewable energy lectured by David Karoly who is on the government climate advisor board. Therefore, I feel I have a good understanding of the scientific processes behind climate change and the technologies we can use to tackle it and this would stand me in good stead and give credibility to my opinions as councillor.
Will Bennett   I also like to think of myself as a very co-operative person who can negotiate in good faith with anyone no matter what their political colours, and also I feel like I know when to compromise at the risk of loosing arguments entirely.
     
Belinda Coates Central What are your top 3 priorities for Council over the next 4 years (and why)?
  - An environmentally sustainable city
  Climate change adaptation and mitigation need to be top priority for cities across the world. We face enormous environmental, social and health challenges as a result of a changing climate and we need to get a lot smarter about how live and meet these challenges. Cities around the world are leading the way by becoming greener, more liveable and better connected. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a necessary step in mitigating and responding to climate change but it also has a range of health, social, economic and other environmental benefits. More renewable energy and renewable energy targets, emission reduction targets, retrofitting buildings, improved building standards, protected and enhanced biodiversity are all imperative.
  - Meaningful participation and jobs for the future
  People need to have opportunities for meaningful participation in their community in order to feel valued and connected. We are living in a rapidly changing world and need to be forward thinking about the jobs of the future. Working for a meaningful purpose is becoming more important than ever as society begins to shift towards social responsibility being an integral aspect of employment, business, manufacturing and the way that we work and live. Rapidly changing technology and the digital age present us with challenges and opportunities and we need to make sure that people are not being left behind so that we can narrow the social divide.
  - A more compassionate and caring community
  Because people are our most valuable asset and we need to get a lot better at caring for each other. A caring community is a resilient, happy and healthy community. We can only respond to the pressing environmental, health and social challenges of our time by making sure that people are included, valued and cared for across the lifespan.
  How have you personally and publically responded to the challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
  On a personal level I 'walk the talk' by leading a low emissions lifestyle. I live centrally in town with my partner and we don't own a car in order to reduce transport emissions footprint. Our home is retrofitted with good insulation, solar panels and solar hot water. We grow a proportion of our own fruit and vegetables to reduce our 'food miles' and otherwise try to buy local and organic where possible. Home composting is also a good way to reduce our amount of waste going to landfill. I'm mindful of purchases and consumption in order to minimise waste. I prefer to buy pre-loved and second hand items where possible. I've also divested my banking and superannuation away from anything connected with fossil fuels.
  I've publicly been a strong advocate for local action on climate change for many years. Since being elected in 2012 as the first Greens Councillor for Ballarat Council I've worked hard to advocate for higher priority for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Some examples include
  - pushing for the establishment of an advisory group to Council on environmental issues, leading to an MoU with Regional Sustainability Alliance Ballarat (RSAB).
  - advocacy for Sustainable Transport Strategy and Urban Forestry Strategy (both adopted).
Belinda Coates - board member of Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance (CVGA)
  - increased Council funding for solar panels, LED lighting and other energy efficiencies.
  Over the past 10 years I have also stood as a Greens candidate for state and federal elections and strong action on climate change has always been a key platform.
  How might City of Ballarat address the issues raised by global warming and climate change?
  Strong commitment to a Climate Change Adaptation plan and to lead our region by putting this into action.
  Set a zero emissions target to mitigate climate change and work with all of the community to transition to zero emissions over the next decade, in line with modelling by 'Beyond Zero Emissions'.
  Implement the 40% tree canopy coverage target of Urban Forestry Strategy.
  Undertake actions in the Sustainable Transport Strategy to prioritise walking, cycling and public transport.
  Ramp up actions in the Waste Management Strategy to reduce waste to landfill.
  Implement Triple Bottom Line Procurement.
  Planning Scheme Amendment to incentivise and enforce sustainable building practices.
  Work with the community, business and other sectors to bring them along. Key sectors that City of Ballarat could focus on with significant potential for reducing emissions with other social and environmental benefits include:
  - Local food
  - Clean technology, alternative energy and green building products
  - Waste to energy, materials management and recycling
  - Green building, design and construction
  - Sustainability services and education
  - Green infrastructure, transportation and planning
   How could I influence these decisions?
  - Continuing to advocate to increase understanding of the importance across Council and across the community, business and other sectors.
  - Continuing to put forward projects, initiatives and policy changes to influence.
  - Working with groups like CVGA and RSAB and fostering collaborative efforts.
  - Working with community groups like BREAZE, BEN and others with interests in these areas to assist them to have input into key policy, strategy and budget decisions of Council.
Belinda Coates - Getting re-elected and building on the groundwork that had been laid over the past 4 years.
   
Glen Crompton Central The candidate has not responded to the questions
Ron Egeberg Central The candidate has not responded to the questions
Gary Fitzgerald Central The candidate has not responded to the questions
Mark Harris    What are your top 3 priorities for Council over the next 4 years (and why)?
    Priorities , Firstly, boring but essential, is getting debt in check, essential if the Council is to be able to sustain any novel program of environmental change or anything else for that matter.
Secondly ,as you know, whole of cycle water management from local Government side in terms of valuing storm water and flood mitigation have been important to me over last few years and I'd like to progress that.
Thirdly getting a better targeted arts and culture settings to support our core institutions like the Gallery and South Street and Her Maj.
How have you personally and publically responded to the challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
Personally I guess like most people we compost and grow some veggies and I have a pretty efficient 10 year old diesel car. I ride to work in any case on a push bike.
I'm conscious of embodied transport in food we eat and like my children steer away from the worst animal proteins in real carbon costs.
Publicly I've been chair of Ballarat Water Futures and tried to advance an agenda to better fit population to environment in terms of water but also local energy production as an inevitable outcome of the disruption we must have with new technology and understanding of the cost of global warming.
How might the City of Ballarat address the issues raised by global warming and climate change?
The City has to respond in two ways , firstly just getting smarter in response to inevitable increase in climate variability , inclusive of heat wave mitigation and care of the vulnerable ,who I see first hand in my work as an Emergency doctors, in ways such as increasing urban shade and greening.
Secondly as initiating programs to furthered shrink out carbon foot print such as alternative energy production ,that seems to have stalled, and manage the city's waste better. I guess we need to be as active in coping with Climate change as mitigating further damage.
How could you influence these decisions?
Council can maximise its own functions to the new norm of climate change but it can also be a better advocate in the City and outside to other Councils and entities. I'd like nothing better than to take good local initiatives proudly to a state and national audience.
However I won't get the chance if folk don't vote like hell for an outsider like me!!
Samantha McIntosh Central The candidate has not responded to the questions
Dave Armstrong South The candidate has not responded to the questions
Koby Bunny South The candidate has not responded to the questions
Dianne Colbert South The candidate has not responded to the questions
Tony Goodfellow South What are your top 3 priorities for Council over the next 4 years (and why)?
  1.       Creating a green city.
   A Green City which at its core is action on climate change both mitigation and adaption. Cities need to be aligned with global climate action and this includes through mechanisms like the Compact of Mayors a "pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, track progress and prepare for the impacts of climate change." A transition to zero emissions will require targets, transparent reporting and the imbedding of the triple bottom line into all decisions. The United Nations Environmental Program defines a green economy as “one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive”
   A green Ballarat is a city that embraces diversity, innovation and is a welcoming city while adopting the triple bottom line – social, environmental and financial. There would be benefits to health, social, economic and other environmental benefits. A transition to a green economy would also create jobs.
  2.       Creating an equitable job rich city.
   Ballarat needs to get better at embracing jobs of future such as innovation and technology that comes from taking real action on climate change. Jobs can be created by building on the local identity and grabbing opportunities for an innovative city. Shifting to a locally networks of power production and storage, building design and technology manufacture and construction for a zero carbon transition would create more jobs locally. Housing is an important area and there are policy levers to make sure housing is affordable and that renters can have solar.
  3.        Sustainable transport.
   Sustainable transport and active transport play an important role in a modern future looking city. Cycling and walking plays a role for health, action on climate change and effectively moving people in a modern city. Ballarat is the heart attack capital of Victoria and this can be reversed in part by designing the environment people move through to encourage health. I did my Honours thesis looking at cycling and learnt that it is possible to create a cycle friendly city but that it requires leadership.
     Ballarat needs to do a lot more to make it a cycle friendly city and to change the current woeful levels of commuters. As a sometime cyclist I recognize that Ballarat needs to be made safer for riders. Ballarat needs a multi-mode city including walking, riding and public transport as important elements in moving people. Cycling, PT and walking needs to be safe and convenient. To achieve this PT and active transport, both cycling and walking, infrastructure needs to be a higher priority and central to planning.
   How have you personally and publicly responded to the challenges
   of reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
   I have personally responded to climate change by moving my money to a bank that doesn’t invest in fossil fuels, moving my money in my super in a fund that doesn’t invest in thermal coal, to sourcing my energy from renewable energy – which I’m proud to say comes from the Mount Mercer wind farm, to living centrally, to investing in insulation and lights that are more efficient, I donate money and time to various causes that respond to climate change, I walk to work and sometimes ride. I am experimenting with a climatarian diet – which is a diet based around a lower climate change impact.
   I have been involved with responding to climate change through activism. Divestment: I’ve lobbied Superfunds to divest from fossil fuels through lobbying of board members from the 350.org Union Outreach Team. I’ve lobbied local organizations and business to divest, namely the Catholic Development Fund and the Ballarat City Council. I have helped advise the Market Forces campaign that has been lobbying Vision Super to divest from fossil fuels. I participated in Yes2Renewables Friends of the Earth campaign to establish a Victorian Renewable Energy Target and the campaign to counter the propaganda emanating from anti-wind farm movement including the ex Senator John Madigan. I helped with the campaign to stop Bjorn Lomborg establishing a center at an Australian university – Ballarat was a potential location. I have been publically vocal about high profile past residents or Ballarat based organization’s stance on climate change including Cardinal George Pell, Senator John Madigan, Connor Court Publishing.
   I have participated in 350.org’s Pollution Free politics campaign by spearheading a Ballarat action that saw media coverage relating to Ballarat based politicians lack of commitment to keep fossil fuel money out of politics.
   I have also been active in the Ballarat Climate Action group and helped with submissions in support of Lal Lal wind farm, scrutiny of political candidates position on climate change in federal election, letter writing and future direction of the group.
   I am a member of the Greens which is the only Party that takes climate change seriously and is not compromised by fossil fuel donations. I volunteer for the Greens as a State Council representative.
   I’m a member of the UN Association of Australasia, the Australian Sociological Association Thematic Group on Environment and Society, Yes2Renewables, Ballarat Climate Action.
    How might the City of Ballarat address the issues raised by  global warming and climate change?
   Make sure climate change adaption and mitigation is a core aim of the City of Ballarat, with appropriate plans and resources to reach the aims. Have a target of zero emissions as quick as possible for City of Ballarat and also the community more broadly. Have transparency and reporting for meeting the goal of zero emissions. Make sure actions in the Sustainable Transport Strategy to create a ‘10 minute city’ which prioritizes walking, cycling and public transport are taken and also make sure the Ballarat Cycling Action Plan is adopted and the projects and priorities are acted on. Make sure tendering and procurement has is in line with the goals of having zero emissions and triple bottom line. Biodiversity needs to be enhanced.
   The City of Ballarat has symbolic power and needs to be proactive in taking on the issue of climate change to show the community that it is a problem and there are solutions.
   As with other cities such as Vancouver, taking action on climate change can see policy and growth around the following sectors:
   - Local food
   - Clean technology, alternative energy and green building products
   - Waste to energy, materials management and recycling
   - Green building, design and construction
   - Sustainability services and education
   - Green infrastructure, transportation and planning
    How could you influence these decisions?
   Implementing these decisions rests on getting a seat at the table and getting elected.
Tony Goodfellow   These decisions can be influenced by getting a seat and then making sure climate change is central in the City of Ballarat Council Plan. I’m committed to working with groups that advocate climate change action, community engagement, education, policy development like BEN, BREAZE, CVGA, RSAB and Ballarat Climate Action to find best solutions. Also groups that can be effective in behaviour and culture change of organization such as Committee for Ballarat. I plan to use the position on council to raise awareness of issues around climate change and actions that the council can follow.
   
   
Merle Hathaway  South What are your top 3 priorities for Council over the next 4 years?
  1.       Biodiversity Strategy for Ballarat
  o   Establish baseline now – what do we currently have?
  o   Ensure all departments of Council adhere to principles.
  o   Less tree and vegetation removal through spraying, sealing, paving.
  o   Closer attention to siting of new developments – maintain green belts.
  o   Better information to community re importance of biodiversity.
  2.       Sustainability – lessening our carbon footprint
  o   Retrofit Council buildings.
  o   Regulations for new developments – including cycle paths, orientation of roofs, water, grey water etc.
  o   Consider grants to individuals and organisations for best practice.
  3.       Develop better public transport options
   
  Along with bicycle & walking paths, infrastructure & promotion.
   Why?
   
  The future is looking bleak, with climate change and loss of species occurring even more rapidly than predicted.
  We have no option but to take all possible action. Everyone needs to participate – from individuals to governments.
  Having lived in Horsham for 14 years, I now see and fear Ballarat moving towards that difficult climate.
  Positive action on climate change has many positive side-effect for mental and physical health, and economic benefits for individuals and cities.
   How have you personally and publicly responded to the challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
   
  Publicly – I have attempted to dissuade spraying in Buninyong at The Gong – partially successful.
  I regularly advocate on social media on a number of issues, including Western Highway destruction of habitat.
  Less use of car – I walk and use buses when possible
  Solar panels & low electricity consumption.
  Attend BREAZE information sessions on solar batteries, heating alternatives etc.
  Water tank, & investigations into grey water system
  Small car and will replace only when essential
  Recycled house – old Buninyong Brewery has been restored mainly using recycled and natural material – all floors, some windows, some roofing.
  Rarely put out bins – recycle, avoid wrapping & plastic bags
  Heating – investigated best systems, as much as possible use of own timber – pruned, dead trees etc. Efficient mains gas heater.
  Vegetable garden – close to self-sufficient. Compost scraps.
  Little use of weedicide – only for blackberries, otherwise I hand-pull or leave “weeds”
Merle Hathaway Reduced consumption of meat – use only as a flavour
  I have not had children!
   How might the City of Ballarat address the issues raised by global warming and climate change?
  Ensure that any new buildings are built to high eco standards
  Reconsider its strategies for “weed” control
  Take tree removal far more seriously. Replant.
  Maintain “green belts” & particularly avoid Mt Clear type developments cutting into natural vegetation. These are areas of high fire risk, probably leading to more destruction of vegetation.
  Concentrate developments in areas of lesser significance to environment
  Take a leadership role in educating the community
  Better road planning to bypass townships such as Buninyong – enabling smaller roads with less impact on environment, less speed.
  Continue with waste-to-energy plans.
    How could you influence these decisions?
  Support the initiatives of groups such as Ballarat Environmental Network, BREAZE, RSA, Canadian Corridor etc. Encourage Council to listen to the expertise represented by these groups.
  Support initiatives and projects that contribute to environmental health and sustainability.
  Encourage City of Ballarat to be a leader in addressing issues of climate change and environmental degradation through positive programs of biodiversity, sustainability, lessening our carbon footprint, waste to energy.
Merle Hathaway  Seek to work with other Councillors who agree and try to persuade and educate those who do not.
   
Des Hudson   What are your top 3 priorities for Council over the next 4 years?
Des Hudson South  
1.       To continue to be financially responsible in a new rate capping environment, while still delivering key capital projects for our community.
2.       Following this years wet winter, and the volume of pot holes which emerged, to ensure we have sufficient funds to address ongoing road maintenance issues via our long term road hierarchy plan but also to emerging and dangerous roads as they arise.
3.       To plan for the further growth of our city by way of improving transport connections where possible, such as bike paths and advocating for state provided public transport options, and to ensure we focus on creating new opportunities to grow jobs right across our community.
Why?
Ballarat continues to grow at a rapid rate and we need to plan for the growth in a sustainable way.  We need to not only do that from our own perspective but also as a regional hub which other out lying communities use Ballarat on a daily basis.  Ballarat has the capability to be the Regional capital of Western Victoria and we need to lend our support to our neighboring local government areas just beyond our border. 
How have you personally and publicly responded to the challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
Late last year I signed an MOU with VTT (a research based institute in Finland) to look at ways we can collaborate for outcomes on better dealing with our waste at the local level..  This year I traveled to Finland and had further discussion and visited the town of Lahtig to observe the benefits of waste to energy practices.  Since returning from that delegation, the City of Ballarat is actively looking at strategies where we can implement waste to energy practices, especially in the Ballarat West Employment Zone.  This will build further on our newly introduced green waste collection that was implemented this year.   The construction of the new 50m pool facility has also implemented solar technologies to assist with reducing energy consumption with the heating of the pool.
How might the City of Ballarat address the issues raised by global warming and climate change?
The City of Ballarat can show further leadership by continuing to invest in waste to energy options as they arise.  Building a sound business case and looking for external / commercial partners to bring this idea to reality is something that could happen in the life of the next council.  We want to continue to address strategies that reduce waste to landfill and increase the recovery of recyclables to contribute to a circular economy. 
How could you influence these decisions?
Using my experience and learning from the international delegation to Finland, continue to be an advocate and voice for waste to energy options that will  not only lead to a more sustainable council but also better outcomes for our local community.  To continue to see council invest in solar technologies for our buildings, hall, recreational facilities etc to demonstrate true leadership to the community.  
Peter Innes  South What are your top 3 priorities for Council over the next 4 years?
  My top three priorities are:
  •The Ballarat Strategy:  This is a plan for Ballarat for the next 25 years.  It includes recognising and responding to a changing climate/adopting an urban forest approach/supporting the economic transition towards the jobs of tomorrow/managing change in our historic city and rural areas/local township plans and a more sustainable transport network.
  •BWEZ:   We must continue to work towards the next stages:  BWEZ is a high quality industrial estate for a range of manufacturing, agribusiness, construction, freight and logistics and research and development uses. This will be a major employer estate into the future.
Peter Innes •Events & Tourism: It is obvious to me that tourism and community events are vital for all of Ballarat.
  Why?
  Think I have answered this above.
  How have you personally and publicly responded to the challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
  Council has tried and is investigation ways that we can as individuals (I am recycling as much as I can).  In the Chamber I have supported all initiatives such as clean Ballarat program. This program includes solar panels on Council buildings and low energy street lights.  Council is committed to building an innovative Waste to Energy facility, urban forest I have already mentioned, the one tree per child and exceptional tree register are initiatives.
  How might the City of Ballarat address the issues raised by global warming and climate change?
  We as a Council need to continue with the programs that we have in place as well as search and research other ideas and concepts across the Country and around the World.  We also need to work with schools to see we can create further partnerships.
  How could you influence these decisions?
  Being a Councillor who cares about the Community, I am committed to do whatever I can within the Chamber.
     
Brian Pola   What are your top 3 priorities for Council over the next 4 years?
Brian Pola South  
My top three priorities:
 
shape the Budget so it is environmentally responsible.
Establish eco park in south west corner of Victoria Park where Council propose putting the showgrounds.
Thirdly, a more affirmative strategy for the urban forest canopy
Why?
Climate change is here.
How have you personally and publicly responded to the challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
I've proposed putting a methane converter at the existing saleyards. After all, it's environmentally realistic. I'm also active in Friends of the Yarrowee River.
How might the City of Ballarat address the issues raised by global warming and climate change?
As a Councillor, I would have a deep green philosophy and put it into practice.
How could you influence these decisions?
As above
 
Tim Powell South The candidate has not responded to the questions
Jim Rinaldi South The candidate has not responded to the questions
Nick Shady South The candidate has not responded to the questions
     
Ben Taylor South What are your top 3 priorities for Council over the next 4 years?
  •             Manage Debt
  •             Ballarat open for business
  •             Community engagement
  Why?
  Ballarat Council debts has gone from $9mil to $48 mil in 4 years with projections up to $72 mil in next 4 years. As rates have been capped we need to make sure we provide infrastructure to create economic benefit to Ballarat and lobby state and federal govts to get better value for money on major projects.
  I keep hearing that it is too hard to do business with Ballarat council, if it is a sign on a building or new business building to create ongoing jobs.  Companies are moving work to Geelong and Bendigo because it is to hard to get a clear direction on what is required and it takes to long to get a decision. We have to do better so that we have the jobs of the future.
  There should not be different rules when it comes to dealing with the community.  We have seen council go alone without talking to the community and with the civic hall they have ignored all the work that was done over 4 years and made a quick decision on a library connection when there is no strategy on this.  Council gets some things right when working with communities and Buninyong is a good example but Civic Hall and Harmony roundabout is an example of getting it so wrong.
  How have you personally and publicly responded to the challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
  When I was a councillor from 2008 - 2012 I worked hard to demonstrate the need to divert Green waste from landfill.   We can not keep thinking that burying our waste is the best form of managing it.  During the 2014 State Election I was able to present the case for a Green Waste collection and was able to secure $500,000 from State Government to get this project started. 
  As a father of 4 children I am always looking at ways to educate my kids on how we can try to do more personally to reduce waste and limit green house gases; this is by looking at any item we can recycle and reuse instead of throwing away, also by growing our own produce so that we can be more sustainable. 
  How might the City of Ballarat address the issues raised by global warming and climate change?
  A big expense to Ballarats budget is electricity use especially the street lighting.  The change over of the current expensive street lights to more efficient lights should be continued and completed as soon as possible.
  On image that stands out to me is the amount of roof space that is across the cbd of ballarat.  There should be an investigation as to how this space can be leased out for use of solar panels to power businesses.
  How could you influence these decisions?
  Been a previous Councillor I understand there are 9 people that make the decisions, but there is a strong case to do more on reducing Councils carbon footprint and strategies to look get a return on investment especially with replacement of street lights.
Ben Taylor