It’s back to the polls

It’s back to the polls

On Saturday, September 13, the ratepayers of Waverley are voting again, this time in the local government elections.

Most of the familiar faces will ask voters to give them another four years but Labor councillors Peter Moscatt and George Newhouse are both retiring.

Current mayor Ingrid Strewe praised the contributions of her Labor colleagues. 
‘They were both good mayors and I think they’ve done a good job. They’re a couple of characters who have been a lot of fun to work with and very committed to Waverley,’ she said.
‘We’ve done some huge things over the years, like the Bondi Junction mall and asset and infrastructure management.’

She said Labor was now facing a generational renewal with two young candidates, Luke Whitington and Rose Jackson, standing in September.
‘Our new team is ready to go and really committed. I’m absolutely delighted young people are interested in joining the party and are prepared to put their hands up for local government,’ Cr Strewe said.

Labor is hoping for a fifth councillor at this election.
‘We’ve been governing Waverley for the last 20 years and have provided great social and environmental policy, and better management. People don’t realise how much overdevelopment we’ve protected the area from ‘ the Liberals are regularly pushing for greater height limits and we constantly have to say ‘it’s too big’. People don’t realise how pro-development they are.’

Cr Strewe said Labor had worked really well with the Greens and that the relationship would continue. ‘It’s a fairly natural alliance,’ she said.

The Liberals are hoping for seven councillors in September, which would give them control of the council.
‘Labor has been in power for 20 years and there hasn’t been much improvement in that time,’ Councillor Sally Betts said. ‘Residents deserve a change. The streets of Bondi in particular are not cleaned, there’s dumped rubbish and graffiti and that’s exactly where we were 20 years ago. Our revenue has increased incredibly in that period, mainly due to parking fines but we still have untidy roads and verges and public amenity is getting worse.’
Cr Betts said all five Liberal councillors are contesting their seats.
‘We have some exciting new candidates as well. We have a cohesive team that is now being endorsed by the Liberal Party,’ she said. ‘If you look at the voting results over the last three terms, Labor is on the decline and the Liberal vote has consistently increased. At the 2004 election we polled number 1 in Lawson and Waverley and 1 and 2 in Hunter. We also won a by-election in Waverley last year. I think we’re in with a chance, especially with the appalling State Government we have.’

Cr Mora Main said the Greens would be delighted to get a fourth councillor up, but said that would be difficult although the Green vote has been growing consistently.
‘We’ve been happy to work with the progressive side of Labor and we’re pleased they’ve supported a lot of our initiatives like the Marine Discovery Centre, car share, an increase in bike facilities, heritage listing of the Bondi Pavilion and the establishment of a sustainability committee,’ she said. ‘The global issues are so important at this time. There are a lot of challenges ahead. We see it as both a responsibility and a privilege to have a role in the management of our local area.’

Key election dates 
Close of rolls, 6 pm Monday August 4; nominations open Monday August 4 and close noon Wednesday August 13; early voting from Monday 1 to Friday 12 September; postal vote applications close 5 pm Monday September 8; postal votes open Monday August 18 and close Monday September 15.

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