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RCoW Elections – Update 24.10.08

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Source: Wangaratta Chronicle – 24 10.08

No party time for councillors



Issues emerge as the first candidates nominate for rural city election

Written by PHILIP NOLAN.

PARTY politics, the Wareena Park Sunday market and late night hotel trading have emerged as early issues as the first four candidates officially lodged their bid for city council seats yesterday.

Three of the first four candidates were also women, putting another angle on what is shaping to be one of the most intriguing city council elections for some time.

Sitting councillor Rozi Parisotto was quick off the mark yesterday in chasing another four year term, with Lauren O’Neill, a prominentlocal Labor Party identity, also signalling her intentions.

Former police superintendent, Doug McPhie, will be standing on an anti-political party platform, while Lisa McInerney says she wants to bring the voice of young professional people to the council table.

The field is expected to fill out when four more of the existing councillors – mayor Roberto Paino, Neville Wright, Ron Webb and Bernard Young – all lodge their nominations.

Other residents who have also expressed their keenness to win a council seat include former councillors Kerrin Chambers and Anthony Griffiths, Y’s Men’s Club stalwart Ron Aldridge, anti-litter campaigner
Dianne Farmer and Milawa woman Amanda Campbell, while local senior citizens president, Margaret Walters, is also considering standing.

Doug McPhie, who lodged his nomination yesterday, has said party politics have no place in local government.

He said following political agendas had caused problems in other municipalities, and should not be part of Wangaratta council debate.

He also identified 5am trading as a major problem in preserving law and order on city streets, saying that closing times for local clubs and hotels on weekends should be brought forward.

Meanwhile, Ms O’Neill added more heat to the burning issue of Wareena Park’s Sunday market yesterday.

She publicly challenged mayor Roberto Paino to make the market ‘his business’ by seeking to have the planning laws amended to allow it to continue at the popular location, rather than shift it to Avian Park.

Market organisers had been told by council officers the market is in breach of planning regulations and agreed to relocate to the Newman Street site.

But stallholders, buoyed by a petition signed by 900 people last Sunday, want the market to stay put.

Rural city chief executive officer, Doug Sharp, told this week’s council meeting that the same planning scheme prevailed at Apex Park, but council intended to amend it to allow any future regular market.

“If they can do it there, why not at Wareena Park too,” queried Ms O’Neill, who wants the newly elected council to have a say on the issue – unlike its outgoing predecessor.


Written by Greg Naylor

27 October 2008 at 12:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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