Ararat by-election candidates have their say

Bill Braithwaite

I have been a resident of the Ararat Rural City since the year 2000.

After working at senior levels of State and Local Government for 38 years including seven years as CEO of the Ararat Rural City, I am now developing my olive plantation and producing extra virgin olive oil at Armstrong.

I have a degree in Civil Engineering and also an MBA. I am currently a Director of the Board of East Grampians Health Service, and now seek to further contribute to the community as a member of the Council.

The success of any organisation or business is based on sound financial management, Councils are no different. The maintenance of services, the delivery of the Council Plan, the ability to take advantage of opportunities as they arise as well as keeping the rate burden low are all dependent upon sound financial management. I believe my years of experience in Local Government will be of value in these areas.

I am personally committed to open transparent government and I will always work to be as inclusive as possible. I believe that consultative government produces the best results all round. I support a sustainable solution for a combined indoor/outdoor aquatic facility for Ararat.

I am very interested in assisting to promote economic development opportunities throughout the region. In these very challenging economic times strong linkages to State and Federal Government are critical and if elected I would seek to strategically focus the Council's efforts in this area for the benefit of ratepayers.

These are my credentials and my commitments and I present them for your consideration. Thank you

Glenda McLean

This by-election is an opportunity for the rate payers of the Ararat Rural City to ask the question of value for money, to query the proportion of money spent in each community by this Council and to elect a person who will be fair and just in decision making.

When talking to Ararat residents, feedback they provided has given me a good indication of what the key issues are for them and what their expectations are of this Council. My previous employment in government positions, sourcing grants etc would be invaluable in helping projects like re developing the outdoor pool.

This election has also been an excellent opportunity for me to personally visit most communities within the electorate and speak to people who are passionate and who want to be heard. Small business owners along with farmers require practical support from their Council. I believe it is reasonable for them to expect Council to play a boundary rider role in enabling their business/farm to stay profitable without unnecessary restrictions.

In terms of credentials for Council, whilst working in health I completed my Masters in Business and Psychology. I have continued further studies to complement my skill set that will see me present a different approach with a fresh, honest look. I have lived and worked in varied cultures and look forward to working hard should I be successful in this election.

Frank Deutsch

My wife and I own and operate the Lake Bolac Caravan and Tourist Park.

I have come to realise that the ARCC has not spent its efforts and our rates on the residents’ priorities. Our Council, instead of making provision for the maintenance of our sporting facilities, such as the outdoor pool, has been providing services that are not needed nor wanted by the ratepayers, such as: ‘Foreign Relations’ (including overseas trips for Councillors and officers); and ‘Economic activities’ in competition with private rate paying businesses.

It is time to ensure that common and fiscal sense prevails. Over the last few years, Ararat has become a very expensive place to live with the ever increasing cost of rates, way above the CPI at already a high base.The present Council has issued a Council Plan proposing to accelerate their wasteful expenditure.

Ararat needs:

1. An outdoor swimming pool (an absolute must for this town).

2. More private enterprise (the employment engine).

3. More employment opportunities (growth and opportunity for workers).

4. More opportunities for economic growth (success breeds success).

5. Lower rates for all (city folk, farmers, employers, employees and retirees).

6. Less red tape to attract private business (unnecessary red tape adds costs).

Getting the priorities right is important, therefore it’s back to basics. Our rates must come down. I will fight to actually reduce our present high rates. Our ‘Rates in the Dollar’ ought to be no more than $0.005 of CIV, which is still well above the average of most towns in Victoria.

I have already asked the Minister for Local Government for help to secure businesses to relocate to Ararat, because only a strong diverse business community can ensure progress and growth for our community.

If we do not encourage business, we will be the biggest loser. Please note: This year, your rates will rise again by approximately six per cent.

Click here to view voting information on the upcoming by-election.

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