I live in Riddells Creek with my husband and two young children.
I am running for council to protect the good life we have here and to give back to the hard-working residents who have built our towns.
With our population growing, the next four years will be crucial in determining the direction our community heads.
We need a local who is committed to putting residents first and protecting everything that makes our local area so great.
Throughout my personal life and my work as a business development manager for Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, I’ve spent years fighting for the rights and safety of everyday people.
I know how to ask the tough questions and stand up for what’s right.
I will fight for: funding for the health and community services residents rely on; continued delivery of outstanding maternal health and childhood services for our families initiatives to help local businesses doing it tough and drive local employment; a community-centred approach to development that accommodates our growing population but protects our country town heritage; properly maintained roads, new footpaths and street lighting to keep us all safe; a fair go for the clubs, community groups and sporting facilities that keep our region connected; the protection of our beautiful natural environment for future generations to enjoy; genuine community consultation through local forums and feedback opportunities
Now’s the time to invest in our local area. This is our home. Together we can improve and protect everything about the shire we love.
Persuaded it was time Lancefield had a resident councillor, I stood for election four years ago, and voters responded positively.
I am seeking re-election for a second term.
An Independent candidate not belonging to a political party, I have tried to bring a fair-minded, commonsense approach to the council table, respecting fellow councillors and officers, giving priority to the east ward, and being interested in shire-wide activities.
A lifelong Lancefield resident living on the family farm with my wife Lyn, I spent over 50 years as a journalist/editor for district newspapers, attending hundreds of council meetings.
Adult son Justin, a motor mechanic, is changing occupations and studying for a Masters Degree.
My community credentials include being a former Riddell District Football League secretary, former president of Gisborne District Cricket Association, past president of Lancefield Bowling Club, and former Lancefield Park committeeman.
Sport involvement teaches participants a lot about life, and I’ve always seen it as a part of the education process for young people.
I am keen to continue to work towards maintaining and improving Macedon Ranges as a splendid locality to live, work and play.
The recovery phase from the COVID-19 pandemic is all important for council to prioritise.
There needs to be the right balance between built form and protecting our natural landscapes and environment.
I certainly have time to devote to the demanding role as councillor.
If you are voting for another candidate, perhaps you may consider me as your second choice.
Deborah Alford-Kerr (Debbie Daks)
I’ve lived in Romsey for 13 years and associated with the area since the 1980s.
I’m an artist, have worked in real estate locally, and more recently had the privilege of delivering the parcel post for the past three years – all have given me great insight to the needs and wants of our growing community.
I don’t believe a black-and-white blanket approach to be an advantage to anyone or anything.
Should I be elected, I will consider everything on its own merit and vote for what I believe services our community the best.
Our world has changed dramatically since the last election, and we are all trying to grapple with the uncharted waters.
A fresh approach to local government is necessary, with committed people at the helm, creatively adapting to the challenges ahead.
I would be keen to see a secondary education facility for Romsey, as so many students have to travel so far for education.
Animal welfare is a priority, abolishing euthanasia and re-homing, extra support for local rescues, and individuals who re-home and care for abandoned and surrendered pets.
I believe all planning applications should be judged on their own merits.
I feel that any development should be sympathetic to our unique environment, and infrastructure in place to support it.
I’m running as an Independent, I will not be influenced by any political party; my community and its needs comes first.
If you have had contact with the Macedon Ranges Shire recently, you would be aware of the staff upheaval that has occurred, culminating in the resignation of the chief executive.
Over the past two years, the Shire has ‘let go’ a significant amount of experienced staff.
All this has been allowed to happen during the watch of the current group of councillors.
Now is the time to put stability back in the shire.
Now is the time to make council accessible and improve communication with the community.
Now is the time for the shire to re-connect with small business and engage with local tradespeople rather than contracting services outside the shire.
Now is the time for the community to be treated as an integral part of council processes.
Now is the time to ensure council facilities and services have the capacity to grow alongside population increases.
And when it comes to town planning, let us ensure there is meaningful consultation.
Now is the time to give east ward a loud voice.
Vote 1 – Geoff Neil.
To know more about me, visit www.geoffneil.com.au or contact 0407 506 369.
My guiding principles for the Macedon Ranges are the three pillars of protection, progress and prosperity, and the avoidance of a fourth ‘P’ – politicisation.
And there’s another ‘P’ that I’m committed to – having an indoor swimming pool in the east ward put back into the council’s recreation capital plan. We need it, among other facilities to make the east more attractive.
In terms of our pillars, we need to protect what makes our shire unique, with carefully planned progress to ensure growth does not damage the reasons we live here.
Prosperity means creating industries, careers and jobs to provide a future for our young people, so they don’t have to move to Melbourne to pursue their dreams.
Growing up near Romsey I’ve worked locally all my life, except five years in the Army serving our country.
Wendy and I brought up our three children, Thomas, Ellen and William, living in the district.
As an elected councillor over several terms, I know what concerns our community – and you.
Council seems to want to waste our precious budget on questionable projects, rather than creating real growth.
More needs to be done to benefit our communities in the east.
We need our fair share of funds and works in Lancefield, Romsey and Riddells Creek.
I have a proven record on environmental, youth, aged and development issues.
I’m a firefighter – Lieutenant and president of Lancefield CFA.
I’m best placed to push for a better deal on things that concern us all in east ward.
It has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve as an east ward councillor for the past four years.
I grew up in regional northeast Victoria and have lived in the Macedon Ranges for 12 years, building a home and raising a young family on a rural property.
I am a primary school volunteer, Landcare member and board member of the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance.
I was a founding member of the Hanging Rock Action Group, advocating for community consultation on our landmark’s future.
At this critical time, experience and leadership are more important than ever.
If elected for a second term, my immediate focus will be coronavirus recovery – council has an important role supporting local businesses and tourism, community services and infrastructure, and events, arts and culture to rebuild a vibrant shire.
I am ready to continue work on current projects – east ward infrastructure and facilities, the Regional Sports Precinct, and Shared Trails Project – to support families and the local economy.
When not at council I work in sustainability, tackling energy, waste and recycling challenges.
I am passionate about council continuing to work with community and other levels of government for a climate-resilient future for our children and grandchildren.
I will continue to stand for sustainable, thriving communities, protecting the rural liveability and natural environment of our shire, and making sure everyone has a chance to have their say to inform the services and support they need.