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Macedon Ranges Council south ward candidates’ statements

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Rob Guthrie

My name is Rob Guthrie and I am standing as a candidate for the south ward. I live in Gisborne and am married with four adult children.

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As a resident for more than 28 years, I am concerned about the direction of the current council. I believe we need open, accountable local government focusing on the issues important to our community.

I was a south ward councillor from 2003 until 2012 and fought against inappropriate development.

The council is promoting excessive and unprecedented growth, which will dramatically change and destroy characteristics residents and visitors most value about the town and its surrounds.

Most of us made a lifestyle choice to live in this area because of the natural assets and beauty.

There will be development, but it must be at a level that respects the community’s wishes, the environment, and physical constraints.

We should live in harmony with the environment, not destroy it. We must respect the unique character of Gisborne, not replicate suburban Melbourne.

Planning should respond to what the Gisborne community wants, not developers or the State Government, and if re-elected that is what I am committed to achieving.

I am also committed to improved youth, family and aged support, improved library funding and service and the recognition and protection of neighbourhood character.

I will advocate for local employment opportunities and expanding local transport networks allowing independence for everyone.

I am an independent candidate not a political party member.

Authorised by Rob Guthrie, 43 Swinburne Avenue, Gisborne

J.S. Amenta

I have owned property in the Macedon Ranges Shire for almost 15 years and am a former leading hand and union representative for the pottery union at a bathroom product manufacturer.

I am currently the president of Route 66 Custom Car Club, which I have been for more than 10 years.

As a vehicle body maker by trade and multiple apprentice of the year recipient, I appreciate the need for the growth of skilled labourers to support growth of small businesses.

Throughout my campaign back in 2016, I was pushing to stamp out corruption and promote transparency, especially with council closed meetings.

This very idea was taken on board with meetings now being streamed live where they had not been prior.

If I am elected as councillor I will continue to ensure that community opinions are addressed appropriately and support an equal playing field when contracting work using ratepayers hard earned funds.

I will be looking to challenge current policies not serving the community while holding the State Government accountable to its promises made to local council to support the shire.
I will continue protecting the environment.

Over approximately 18 months, on behalf of Route 66 Car Club I engaged with various government departments in successful removal of the unlawful dumping of toxic asbestos along the freeway in Gisborne South.

As I have previously run a plant nursery for several years, I also feel the need to preserve the environment of rural living, iconic landscapes, and heritage that this great shire is known for.

Dominic Bonanno

I live in Gisborne South on 10 acres with my wife and our three children.

Our extended family consists of two ponies, two dogs, a cat, three sheep (my lawn mowers!), chickens, ducks, and bees.

We moved to Gisborne South 15 years ago for the many reasons I believe people love the Macedon Ranges: a great place to bring up your kids within a semi-rural setting with supportive communities.

I am a volunteer at our local Gisborne SES unit (five years), Gisborne Pony Club and the Gisborne Giants Football Netball Club.

I am passionate about our communities, environment, and our people.

I will promote the protection and enhancement of the natural, social, and economic environment, whilst encouraging policies that promote healthy and active lifestyles.

I want to see the completion of the Macedon Ranges Regional Sports Precinct and with over 20 years’ experience in the technology sector, know we can utilise technology more.

For example, I would like to see hydrogen fuel-cell buses and smart bins for our communities.

This would have many benefits to our communities, including reducing waste and our carbon footprint.

Better mobile and internet service for the Macedon Ranges whilst minimising any environmental impact is also a priority.

Fiscal responsibility, focusing on technology and the three Rs – roads, rates, rubbish – and less wastage are important.

Ensuring transparency and consultation with the community on the Gisborne Futures plan to ensure protection of our semi-rural ‘feel’ is another goal.

I believe we live in the best region in Victoria, Australia… the world, and if elected, I promise to keep it that way.

Anne Moore

Moving from Sydney suburbia I’ve now lived in Gisborne for more than 25 years.

My three children are now young adults, having enjoyed the freedoms of a rural upbringing attending local schools.

I’ve been extremely active within Gisborne and the greater Macedon ranges shire on planning and environmental issues for the past 20 years. I have been a wildlife rescues volunteer for seven years.

I am passionate about the preservation and protection of the region, not wanting it turning into an outer extension of Melbourne – something everybody has moved here to get away from.

I would like to see a more robust health and wellbeing response to the elderly of the Macedon Ranges via a possible reinstatement of centres for seniors.

There are men’s sheds but there is nothing out there for those who are not inclined to participate, same for those who are not capable of doing older sporting/social activities like lawn bowls, croquet, or bocce.

Environment protections, planning protections, open space and a higher investment in sports other than AFL are important, as there is only a two per cent participation rate across the shire. Soccer is the fastest growing sport in Australia and there are not enough pitches to support participants in the MRS.

I have a diverse knowledge gained in planning, a partial degree in environment and planning, and from having represented residents at VCAT as an advocate. I have made extensive submissions on planning scheme amendments and presented to a state planning panel.

I’m passionate about proper and orderly strategic planning and our environment. I believe I will represent south ward with truth and integrity.

Authorised by Anne Moore 8 Olivia Court, Gisborne

Adrian Gauci

I have been living in the Macedon Ranges with my wife Amanda for more than 20 years and enjoy contributing to community groups and living in our rural village.

My wife Amanda is from Macedon and we decided to live in Gisborne because of the unique town character and the surrounding communities of Macedon, Mount Macedon and Bullengarook.

I am passionate about the Macedon Ranges because this is our home.

I have a Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental Science, so I know the issues concerning climate change, pollution, managing waste, etc. and the consequences of getting this wrong.

It is important to have at least one person in council who understands these issues and is not easily influenced by others with insincere agendas.

My professional experience of 25-plus years has provided experience in business, asset management and process governance.

As a digital operations subject matter expert, I can bring much value to the Macedon Ranges Shire Council.

More importantly, I know how to make a positive contribution in a large political organization such as the council.

The issues that are most important to me are: to promote a positive culture of inclusion and accountability rather than one of blame; Gisborne Futures – we must get this right for our community; improving the quality of support services; and ensuring that the annual budget better reflects the need of our community.

This is our town, our home, our future.

Authorised by A.Gauci, PO Box 911, Gisborne

Graham Hackett

My name is Graham Hackett and I am an Independent candidate for south ward, where I have lived, for more than 35 years.

I am raising two sons, aged 11 and 13, in the area.

I am and have been a member of numerous community groups, committees, and clubs, including Rotary, RSL, life member of Macedon Ranges Obedience Dog Club, and present committee member Gisborne Little Athletics Club, just to name a few.

I was an elected councillor, serving a term as mayor and two as deputy (2012-2016).

I will work hard, consulting with the community to achieve the best outcomes, advocating for climate change, the reduction of our carbon footprint, affordable alternate energy projects, sustainable recycling programmes, etc. while protecting our environment and preserving the unique aspect and character of the Macedon Ranges.

My understanding of the current strategies and plans, enables the next phase of the Gisborne Futures Project to be carefully managed, encouraging and ensuring all facets of the community have their say, with their ideas and concerns incorporated and carefully considered.

With consultation and your support, I have the energy, the time, and the knowledge to implement and drive new projects and current policies.

These initiatives will be encouraged by your support and endorsement at the Ballot Box.

‘My Community Matters’.


Christine Walker

I am Christine Walker an Independent candidate running for council in the south ward of the Macedon Ranges.

Our family has lived in Macedon Ranges since 2012.

My husband’s family lived in Gisborne for a number of years, which drew us back to the area.

I am focused on future planning for the Macedon Ranges.

In my ward, Gisborne Futures is a big topic, and the consultation process must be open and accessible to all.

I want the best outcome and to protect your investment in the area.

We have an exceptional natural environment and beautiful villages and townships in the Macedon Ranges.

The involvement with residents in designing our future is critical.

The area has an active cultural life in food, wine, the arts and entertainment and this adds to our lives in the area in so many ways and can be further encouraged.

Local government is the most important level of government because it impacts how we live on a daily basis, and what our life is like where we live.

The decisions that are made, and how council operates matters for residents.

Your vote for Christine Walker is for a balanced view and puts you in safe hands.

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