I’ve had some very insightful emails from residents of Strand Ward so I’m sharing my responses to their questions here.
Question: Are you or have you ever been affiliated with a political party? Answer: No. I am standing as an independent candidate and have never been affiliated with a political party.
Question: How long have you lived in Strand Ward? Answer: I have lived in Strand Ward for nearly 20 years. I bought my first house in Clark St Williamstown in 2001 and have stayed ever since.
Question: What is your position on upgrading playgrounds in Strand Ward particularly for younger children? Answer: I support the upgrade and introduction of more accessible and updated children’s playgrounds. Some playgrounds will be upgraded as part of council’s current plans and I will encourage this work to be rolled out quickly. If I’m elected I will be happy to talk with residents and community groups about what we can do to improve them further.
Question: What will you do to assist the local business recovery in 2021? Answer: With my business background, a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) and experience on several boards, I will look for ways to reduce business costs, help to cut red tape and encourage more customers into Strand Ward. I will support business grants and tools to help businesses become more sustainable. I will bring a new level of governance skill to Hobsons Bay Council which we will need more than ever over the next four years.
Question: What will you do to ensure that businesses do not cause environmental disasters, and add financial impact to the local rate payers and the local area? Answer: I will support all efforts to minimise the impact of pollution across all of Hobsons Bay. I will advocate for the clean up of any existing toxic sites working with state and federal government entities.
Question: What is your position on public transport and traffic management in developing areas (eg near Point Gellibrand)? Answer: I encourage use of public transport as well as the introduction of new bike paths that connect to existing bike paths as well as to public transport hubs. I support traffic management and will advocate for an early focus on and investment in the Hobsons Bay Integrated Transport Strategy with an update to the bike strategy.
Question: The roundabouts within the area have become an embarrassment. What will you do to ensure that this issue is resolved? Answer: I understand the roundabouts are managed by VicRoads and local council and are managed under the council’s Road Asset Management Plan (RAMP). I would work to understand what the issues are and if appropriate, I would encourage the involvement of volunteer gardening groups to maintain the vegetation working in collaboration with council and VicRoads.
Question: Why can’t adult exercise equipment be installed at Edwards reserve when numerous other parks have it? Other things such as outdoor chess/backgammon park tables and chairs would make it more pleasant for passive recreation and see the park utilised more. Answer: This sounds like a good idea which I support. The council has already committed to:
- new perimeter fencing around Edwards Reserve
- replacing the timber boardwalk with a new timber structure with extended play opportunities
- a sprinkler style water feature to tie in with the trickle stream
- a new drink fountain with a bottle filling station
- planting of an advanced tree to improve natural shade in the play space
- restoration works to existing timber sculptures
Question: What is your view on the fortnightly collection of landfill rubbish? Answer: I know that some residents are concerned about the way the waste management system was introduced after the recycling crisis. I will encourage an early review of the waste management strategy. I believe in increased recycling and reducing the amount of single use plastic in circulation. I support whatever we can do to reduce landfill and pollution of our streams, rivers and the bay with plastic and other litter.
Question: Port of Melbourne is allegedly planning for further extension. What is your view on expanding the port, its current operations and its negative impact on the western suburbs generally in terms of noise, pollution and traffic? Answer: While the Port itself is not a local council issue, I will advocate with state and federal entities to understand the issues of the port and how they impact local residents. I do not agree with extension of the port if it has a negative impact on our residents and Hobsons Bay or the view of the city from Williamstown. I believe the view of the Melbourne CBD from Williamstown is unique and iconic and should be protected if at all possible.
Questions from BikeWest:
Question: How will you encourage the people of Hobsons Bay to take more trips by bike? Answer: I support an integrated transportation plan approach with equitable land use and connected transportation systems as put forward in the Hobsons Bay council’s Integrated Transport Plan 2017–30. The commencement of the tunnel project, the railway crossing projects and other infrastructure projects across Hobsons Bay, offer opportunities to reclaim space for cycling and pedestrian enjoyment. If elected, I will work to investigate the best ways to maximise these opportunities.
Question: What is your single highest priority active transport project in your area? Answer: As part of my candidacy, I commit to pushing for early focus in the council planning process to review the Hobsons Bay Strategic Bicycle Plan 2013–17 to clarify how bikes fit into the integrated transportation plan. Bike and cycling infrastructure is a high priority: Clear lane markings, repair stations (I support a bike hub like the Footscray Bike Hub by Inner West Community Enterprises* and Rotary Footscray in Williamstown or Newport which was funded by the ‘Pickmyproject’ state government funding), inter-connectedness with bike paths and transport hubs as well as bicycle parking, storage, shower facilities and lockers.
Question: What do you think can be done to increase the number of children cycling to school? Answer: Improve the perception of safe riding. Parents are concerned about their children’s safety either because of traffic or other potential threats. Adult riders demonstrating safe rider behaviour is one of the best ways to encourage younger riders. Also a reduction in traffic will help keep all riders safe.
Thanks for all of your questions! Please keep them coming! You can also visit my Facebook Candidate Page www.facebook.com/pslegaudforstrandward
* I serve as a volunteer director on the board of Inner West Community Enterprises/Seddon Community Bank. I also serve on committees with BirdLife Australia, Hobsons Bay Community Fund and Hobsons Bay Wetland Centre.