Candidate profiles for Bunbury council election
As the election campaigns start to heat up across Bunbury, we asked each of the candidates vying for a city councillor position “why should Bunbury vote for you”.
The record-breaking 22 candidates state their cases (in the order they appear on the ballot paper).
#1: Wendy Giles:
I have been privileged to serve as your elected member for the past four years.
As a career academic, I have consistently made independent decisions and continue to support policies which are in the best interests of all Bunbury ratepayers, not just those of vocal lobby groups.
I have a genuine commitment to consultation, communication and transparency.
My particular passions are better sporting facilities, more footpaths and cycleways, protection and improvement of our natural assets, support for community groups, culture and the arts, strengthening the tourist industry and social justice issues.
#2: James Hayward
Over the past four years I have worked to get better outcomes for our city.
I helped lead the Withers renewal, helped Carey Park residents find their voice, faced up to angry residents at College Grove over a proposed housing development and took their position to council.
I have walked the streets of Glen Iris listening to locals’ concerns.
Over this next term if re-elected I will continue the work I have already started and set my sights on sorting issues around sporting facilities and a new skatepark.
I have experience and will build on that to help lead our community forward.
#3: Karen Turner
I am a single parent with a mortgage, who has two teenagers, runs a residents Facebook page and works in the community caring for elderly residents on a daily basis.
This gives me good insight on current issues and frustrations, plus I understand the financial and social pressures that a lot of residents are currently under.
I am running for council because I believe there is a gap that needs to be filled. I will be the voice of the community, something I believe is missing on the current council.
The community needs someone who actually asks the residents what they want, who will listen and not just presume to know.
#4: Joan Jenkins
Some key aims are to reduce debt and rates and create a healthy, safe city with better social balance across the community.
I will also focus on education, serious transport solutions and waste reduction, including plastics.
I am a long term resident, health professional and educator, environmentalist, small business woman, events coordinator/fundraiser, with a broad background in community involvement and development.
Over time, people have kept telling me I “should” run for council so I am taking a stand to work for a better deal for all.
#5: Karen Steele
I am running for re-election because I am passionate about engaging our community.
My priority is to remain an independent voice and make decisions in the best interests of all residents.
Bunbury deserves people on council that are not out for personal gain but are there for the good of our fantasticcity.
I will continue to make decisions that will progress Bunbury, by listening to residents and business owners to revitalise our CBD but not at the expense of our suburbs.
I guarantee you will get the same passion and visionary thinking I have already given you if re-elected.
#6: Joanna Hugues-dit-Ciles
I am standing for council as I believe the city needs fresh input backed up by professional experience in working with the community to make our city a destination of choice, where the quality of living and great employment opportunities become the envy of the South West.
Bunbury can certainly fit under the criteria set out by renowned urban planner Alexander Garvin (What makes a great City, 2017) including a city open to everyone and something for everybody, but needs strong leadership, foresight and consideration for future generations.
#7: Jodi Larke
I care deeply about our city and making Bunbury a great place to live for many generations to come.
I am passionate about building a strong, collaborative, cooperative and inclusive community where everyone is looked after and feels valued and respected.
I would like the future Bunbury to be a walkable, cycling friendly city with great public transport, sustainable, mixed use and innovative urban design, easy to access community services and a wide range of activities.
Together let’s create a liveable, environmentally friendly and economically viable city.
#8: Jason Shaw
I am 34 years-old and I do not come from a public service background.
I have commercial experience and aptitude that can create a positive impact on the local economy.
I have an active young family that gives me real first-hand experience on the local issues that affect them.
A vote for Jason Shaw is an investment in the future of your kids and grandkids.
We have had a massive construction boom in WA over the last 15 years and as a city have missed out on our fair share of infrastructure resourcing due to lack a of vision.
The vision has been too short-sighted and static for too long.
#9: Jaysen de San Miguel
My key policies involve support for local sporting and community facilities, developing the best environment for local businesses to thrive and making the most of our fabulous lifestyle opportunities.
I am happy to discuss any policy or issue and would encourage you to get in contact with me.
I intend to represent the whole of our community, however the group that is heard from the least, but will live with our decisions the longest, is our youth and I want to be their voice.
If you have never participated in a local election, make this your first.
#10: Mel Baruffi
I have been part of the Bunbury community for almost 29 years.
I have spoken to many people over the years from all areas of the community both through voluntary positions and various businesses I have worked for, and I regularly hear people feel they are not listened to.
I am standing as an independent, I believe we need diversity in business to create a stronger community and encourage employment opportunities for our youth and families.
I want to maintain the liveability of Bunbury, while planning for a future.
I believe we need more transparency and consultation for budgets, planning and spending.
#11: Jim Stephen
With no hidden agenda or vested interests I offer unbiased, rigorous decision-making based on wide consultation with community and business for solutions which are in the best interest of the whole Bunbury community.
After being a retail pharmacist for 35 years, a real estate agent for 12 years, a partner in a Perth CBD restaurant and a public speaking and communication coach, I am now free to use all of my life’s experiences and skills to work with our community, council and city executive for Bunbury’s exciting future.
Vote Jim Stephen for rigorous, responsible and compassionate decision-making.
#12: Michelle Steck
For 14 years I have served as a councillor and have the experience to dedicate myself to the community.
I stand for open and accountable governance. I voted against the parking meters, strongly advocated for the suburbs and business in Halifax and Picton.
I established the Withers Advisory Committee.
I voted against the taxing sports in our community – sports are integral to the health and pride of our community.
Bunbury needs to emerge as the destination city for jobs, innovation, tourism, enjoying waterways, arts, education and sensible development.
I need your vote to continue this work.
#13: Beth Ferguson
Councillors should set rates and charges with ratepayers in mind so when the economy is experiencing tougher times the onus is on council to act accordingly.
I place great value on the services provided by community-building organisations which inspire people to get together, participate in the arts, play sport and pursue their common interests.
It’s council’s role to nurture them by being approachable, helpful and fair about charges.
I will work hard to promote development that boosts our economy and attracts visitors and my best to win a fairer share of State and Federal funding for Bunbury.
#14: Ron Kinson
The council needs to bring its focus back to people and ensure the needs of all community members are being met.
I have lived in Bunbury for 20 years and can see how important it is that we manage sustainable growth and development and value and protect our natural environment.
We need to support employment through strengthening and diversifying our local economy, taking advantage of modern technology and innovative business models, and ensuring we have the facilities to support a healthy community with sporting facilities, playing fields, footpaths, and cycle paths.
#15: Alfred Leigh
I seek your vote because I have the following achievements:
A Bunbury city councillor for more than 10 years, past chairman of the Setagaya committee and I also served on the Asset Management, Youth Advisory, CEO selection panel and Audit committees.
I supported the library being built in the same area as requested by the community, I saved ratepayers money by recommending a cheaper alternative to decommission the Bunbury Jetty in 2013 and I have completed all 14 Local Government WALGA modules.
I value people’s views and can assure you of serving Bunbury to the best of my ability. Vision includes building social capital and projects with smart ideas and materials that will last and supporting residents/businesses.
#16: Tresslyn Smith
One of the primary roles of council is to support and promote community groups and volunteers.
Council should support all areas of our city in a balanced way.
Councillors need to take note of the opinions of ratepayers, community groups and residents.
Councillors need to debate in respectful and open ways to make correct decisions for the sustainable and financial progress of our city. Council meetings are frequently under 30 minutes – last week’s was about 15 minutes.
Council also needs to look forward and assist the State and Federal governments to increase our population and employment opportunities – one would be to attract more retirees to Bunbury.
While walking around our city I see too many shops and houses empty – I will work to change this.
#17: Emma Nesbitt
I want to open Bunbury for business, for jobs, for a healthy community and for tourism.
I also want to work with a team of people who share the same vision.
That vision is for a city that is loved by those who live and work here and for a city that attracts tourists and investors.
My top priority is improving council’s local purchasing policy to ensure local contracts are being delivered by local companies, in order to assist with job creation and facilitate investments into our community – skateparks, water parks and tourist attractions that not only welcome visitors, but assist our own community to live healthier outdoor lifestyles in beautiful facilities.
I want an economic business unit within council to assist business development and facilitate prospective investment.
#18: Todd Brown
The whole of my life has been a series of events that have lead me to this.
When my children were born it changed my life forever.
I realised the Bunbury they will grow up in is similar but not the same as the “funbury” I grew up in.
It has matured like any fun loving kid into a serious adolescent trying to find their place and identity in a truly mad world.
To help my kids I became engaged and committed in their school communities.
Through that time there were crises and tragedies where I found strength in standing up for others.
Through these events I learnt you are probably never ready to complete the difficult tasks ahead until you try and succeed.
For me I feel that time is now and I have the necessary skills to help guide this “adolescent” we call Bunbury.
#19: Marina Quain
I am 49 years young, happily married mother of two, a full-time unpaid community volunteer in the areas of basketball and soccer.
I’m passionate about improving our sporting facilities, Neighbourhood Watch with an emphasis on the safety and security of the residents in our community, supporting and providing for our senior citizens, revitalising our CBD, supporting grass-roots community initiatives and encouraging youth and community activation.
If you share my vision, want change, vote and ask your friends to do the same.
I am willing to learn and engage with all sectors of our community to achieve positive outcomes for all.
I believe my input as a councillor will be an asset – a role that I will use for the betterment of the whole community.
#20: Kris Plumb
A vote for me is a vote for a brighter Bunbury.
Bunbury has seen some challenges over the years and unfortunately there is some negativity and a loss of confidence in council.
My aim is restore ratepayer confidence in the council to build a better Bunbury.
I will do this by remaining optimistic and focussed on every decision that comes before me, by listening to the community’s voice and by consulting with the right people prior to making the final decision.
Ultimately I got sick of listening to the pessimism and complaints and at times contributing to them.
I’m a firm believer that actions speak louder than words, so I am here play my part for a younger representation on council and to focus not on what we cannot do, but on what we can do to make Bunbury a better place to live, work and play.
#21: Zyggi Uchwal
I do not have any party endorsement.
I am independent, not aligned, a good negotiator and I have vision for Bunbury’s future – build what Bunbury can be.
I am against the ideologically motivated disposal of the city assets, unnecessary borrowings and rate rises – and that includes rates for non-for-profit organisations, including sport clubs.
Bunbury does not have any industry or great swaths of farming land, but we have a lovely climate.
Bunbury could thrive on tourism.
Tourism has several under-appreciated assets in the city – expand them, develop them and make our city great.
Make it a place that everybody visits on their “must go to” list.
I have a dream for our city becoming great, becoming something that is not only my dream, but a dream for all of us.
#22: Keith Palmer
I commit to decisions that offer the best value and most effective solutions – free of political influences or favours.
I have experience on local, State and national boards, committees, directorships and businesses, particularly in infrastructure development and I have lived and worked in Bunbury for 37 years.
I am a member of the South West committees of Engineers Australia, Institute of Public Works Engineers and Master Builders WA and serve on the board of the Donnybrook-Capel “community bank”.
I support Bunbury’s sustainable development, meaning our future growth is supported with both public resources and aesthetics – to a standard of which we can all feel proud.
Facilities and support for our people should be improving and our businesses shouldn’t just survive, but thrive.
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