Weston Creek Community Council
your local voice
Postal Address: PO Box 3701 Weston Creek 2611
Phone: 6288 8975
Fax: 6288 9179
26th September 2001
Meet the Candidates
Jeff Carl, Chairperson WCCC welcomed the committee, members of the public and candidates for the electorate of Molonglo to the meeting.
David Clinch, Gary Caitcheon, Marion Kossatz, Bob Sutherland, Pat McGinn.
Jeff Carl in opening the meeting apologised for the delay in the commencement time, this being a result of the need to locate a significant number of extra chairs on two occasions for the large number of attendees – in the vicinity of 120.
Mr Carl advised the meeting that this ‘Meet the Candidates’ meeting was a growing tradition of the WCCC through our 10 years. We had held such a meeting before each ACT Election, this being our 3rd since the WCCC was founded in July 1991.
The format of the meeting was explained to the candidates and the residents. Candidates would have 2.5 minutes to address the meeting; a signal would be given at 2 minutes and again at 2.5 minutes. Mrs Rosemary Drabsch, a resident of Weston would be the independent timekeeper. Residents would have the opportunity to ask questions of any or all candidates when all candidates had completed their addresses. Candidates drew a number at random as they arrived at the meeting in order to determine the order of speaking.
Mr Carl invited the candidates to speak according to the random ballot.
Ian Ruecroft – Gungahlin Equality Party – in his address he advised that his was a community organisation which had developed into a party. In his presentation he outlined issues of concern to the party and indicated that the party represented all of Canberra.
Alan Parker – Kaine Independent Group – in his address he indicated that a survey of Weston Creek had been undertaken and this had been focused especially on Cooleman Court and has helped to target issues of concern.
Hilary Back – Independent – in her address the issues touched on were; the geographical spread of the electorate, education through to year 12; early intervention in families needing assistance; rate reductions; health – especially Canberra Hospital; and developers in the planning process.
Nancy Louise McCullough – Canberra First Party – she advised that she did not wish to address the other candidates but the residents and positioned herself nearer the residents. Important issues needed planning, design and evaluation. Also the principles of Territory Plan need to be adhered to.
Katy Gallagher – Australian Labor Party – In her address she advised that she went to Duffy Primary and Stirling College as well as spending 10 years in the community sector. Her concerns for Weston Creek were the forest spraying; land release in Holder; Rivett shops and the open space in Waramanga. She also raised the importance of the public education system and the need to balance work and family. Diversity was needed in the ACT Legislative Assembly in this 'Melbourne Cup' field.
Ted Quinlan – Australian Labor Party – advised he was currently Deputy Leader of the Opposition and had lived in Weston Creek since 1971 in 5 houses in 4 suburbs. He had a strong career background and was once the Deputy CEO of ACTEW and well as being involved in community work. He appealed to voters to consider who was to manage the ACT’s $3bn budget; and although it will be a 'Melbourne Cup' field to consider candidates on experience and competence.
Simon Corbell – Australian Labor Party – He advised the meeting that he went to Chapman Primary and Stirling College. Issues of concern to him are open spaces; urban infill; the complete analysis of planning and the mechanisms to determine planning decisions; an independent planning authority. There was need especially in areas such as Weston Creek for adaptable and flexible housing options.
John O’Keefe – Australian Labor Party – He stated that he lives in Woden and is aware of the issues in Weston Creek area such as aerial spraying. The Weston Campus with a permanent enrolment below 200 is a concern especially as there is no commitment to maintain the school beyond next year.
Lucinda Spier – Canberra First Party – She advised the meeting that she came to Canberra in 1974 after cyclone Tracey. She has postgraduate training and was a founder of the Canberra Rates Association. She has experience in both the public service and in the private sector selling houses. Issues of concern are accountability to the community through spending taxpayers' dollars; community issues and community land going to developers.
Mike Nolan – The ACT Greens – He advised that this district was within the boundaries of Ngunnawal Land. His experience in ACT Parkes and Conservation and with environmental issues gives him a good understanding. The bus zone system needs to be abolished and a better system utilised. The environment needs attention and healing.
Philip Hickox – Nurses Good Government Party - He advised the meeting that he was a clinical care nurse and access to good health care was fundamental to a healthy community.
Joel Pasternak – Canberra First Party – He advised the meeting he had 25 years in Canberra. There was a need to better look after the self-funded retirees. There was a need to know how to best spend the ACT’s money. Traffic and rates needed attention – it was not fair. Street lights needed attention and the need for a jail? – It was not fair. The empty schools needed attention.
Kerrie Tucker – The ACT Greens – In managing the community, the physical and the social/economic constraints need to be considered. All issues are general to the Greens as they affect all Canberra. The Social Policy Committee in the Assembly has been a way of gaining the views of all the community. There is a need for accountability in the Assembly and the Greens lead the Assembly in planning issues.
Jon Reynolds – Gungahlin Equality Party – a single issue party we are not. We were formed as a result of community concerns. The planning process as well as infill in mature areas such as Weston Creek are of concern. We have a website.
Claire James – Canberra First Party – issues of concern are the prison at Symonston and children’s education.
Eric Bray – Australian Democrats – He advised the meeting that his background was as an Arts Conservator. The Democrats were the third party with a voice; issues of concern are green spaces; bike paths; public transport; arts; health and education is seen as an investment not a cost.
Robyn Staniforth – Nurses Good Government Party - She advised the meeting that her background was in midwifery. Issues of concern were the public education system; health services to the elderly; social justice and a healthy community.
Duncan Spender – Liberal Democratic Party – He advised the meeting that they were a small government party and would return taxpayer dollars to the community. This included privatising ACTEW and returning $150M to the community. ACTTAB would also be sold as politicians were being distracted by trying to run businesses. The aim would be to cut spending, abolish the Chief Minister's Department and concentrate on Health, Police and Schools. There would be an end to supporting Floriade and motor car races. Voluntary euthanasia would also be reconsidered.
Jacqui Burke – Liberal Party – she advised the meeting that she had been in business for 13 ˝ years and issues of concern were employment, education and training – our youth was our future. Although she lived in Wanniassa she was an active member of the Weston Creek community. In addition she said that there needed to be a balance in the Assembly.
Marion Rielly – Australian Labor Party – She advised she lived in Weston Creek. In Weston Creek there was the opportunity to participate in a discrete community. However it was also easy to lose schools, health care centres and access to buses. There was a need to recognise the change in the population in Weston Creek and issues of concern were planning, urban infill, Stirling College's’ falling enrolment as well as health care and schools.
Gary Humphries – Liberal Party – He advised the meeting that this year marks his 10th anniversary in Weston Creek. The Government since 1995 was looking for a further term in office and would continue to deal with important issues. The ACT operating loss was now a positive . The way in which we govern ourselves, our style of democracy can be a deficit and have remoteness; reform is needed as we have a population of only 300,000. Services basic to the community were needed. A full-scale Westminster parliament is not what is needed.
Greg Cornwell – Liberal Party – As the Speaker of the Assembly he does not have the answers for all the Health, Education and Transport issues but will work for Canberra.
Helen Cross – Liberal Party – She advised the meeting that she worked in Asia and was in IT. She currently runs a marketing company and was president of the Philip Traders Assn. Her aim was to represent small business.
Brett Graham – Liberal Democratic Party – He advised the meeting that it was difficult for a small party to gain much publicity. The party was committed to an individual’s freedom and the small role for government. The focus is on health and education.
Deb Foskey – The ACT Greens – Her focus was in the areas of social justice and the environment. She had been involved with the Greens since the early 1990’s and lived in Yarralumla and would look after the needs of all Canberrans.
Mr Carl called an intermission in the meeting to allow networking before the Q&A commenced.
Questions and Answers
Mr Carl invited questions from residents, and in doing so asked them to state their name as a courtesy. In addition he asked that peoples' views be respected and only one person at a time to speak.
Jeff Carl thanked the candidates for their participation and the residents for supporting the WCCC and attending this ‘Meet the Candidates’ meeting. The WCCC continues its regular monthly meetings on the 4th Wednesday of the month.
Meeting closed 10.00pm
Next meeting Wed 24th October 2001