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Candidates questioned

Friday, 7th September, 2012

John Groenendijk John Groenendijk

In the lead-up to tomorrow's Council elections, the BDT has this week run interviews with the city's mayoral candidates.

The questions cover a range of topics and have been answered by Mayor Wincen Cuy, and councillors Darriea Turley and John Groenendijk.

The series finishes today with John Groenendijk.

Q: What should be done with our film studios? Do you still support the project?

A: The film studio represents a significant opportunity for BH, not simply because of the studio but more so the precinct that will be developed around it, particularly from a tourism perspective.

The EOI has had 5 responses regarding ideas and funding to develop this and I will ensure those submissions are fully assessed and all options put up to Council with recommendations from the review committee.

Q. Do you support Council contributing to the haul road when Perilya will be the main users and, according to the consultant, it would be at least a decade before a full ring road is ready?

A: I do not support council contributing towards a haul road, however I do believe it is a worthwhile investment in our future to support a heavy vehicle by pass, in line with the airport master plan. The savings in doing this now compared to revisiting this opportunity later are significant and cannot be overlooked.

Q: Are you worried about the ongoing costs of the haul road? How much is it estimated this will cost Council?

A: If it is a haul road then Perilya will pay for the upkeep as it is their road.

Q: Do you think CCTV is still effective if not monitored 24/7?

A: CCTV is very effective and does not need to be monitored 24/7 as it records everything for future review if and when required. It is a deterrent and an effective way to identify criminal activity and its perpetrators leading to more convictions to get criminals off our streets.

Q: How much funding do you think should be put aside in the next budget for our local roads? Can we lobby the state for more?

A: There is never any harm in lobbying the state government for more money however it is likely to only be allocated to state controlled roads.

In terms of how much we put aside, it would depend on the level of our budgeted income and the results of the deficit/debt reduction strategy in place. I would like to see our expenditure increased if it is affordable to do so.

Q: Do you support selling Shorty O'Neill Village

A: I support effectively managing the required level of care for our aged community; this may or may not entail selling Shorty O'Neil. The latter is designed for independent living and as such may no longer be suitable if high care beds are required.

Q:. Do you think the high care beds at Shorty O'Neil are working at the moment? Should Council play a role in high level aged care or leave it
the experts?

A: I think we should leave high level aged care to the experts; only through effectively partnering with an aged care specialist can council hope to properly address this issue.

Q: How do you propose to fix the social issues in our community, i.e., spates of vandalism, anti-social behaviour, violence and binge drinking?

A: There are many ways to set an effective strategy for this including the use of CCTV, community education, partnering with the police, community groups, CDAT etc.

It is improbable that these issues can be "fixed" but requires a program to reduce them to a minimum and control them as such.

Q: Do you intend to increase Council rates above the IPART cap next year?

A: This is not within the scope of our control at present.

Q: Do you support the fiveyear debt reduction plan or should something be done more quickly? How?

A: I would like to see debt reduced as quickly as possible without sacrificing jobs or productivity.

I have already outlined my strategy as per BDT article 4/9. However I will support a five-year plan if that is the best we can do.

Q: How will you continue to lobby for the NBN?

A: I am extremely disappointed that the Federal Governmentt did not see fit to include us in their current roll out plans.

In conjunction with RDA and Chamber of Commerce we will continue to provide evidence regarding our need for the NBN and its importance to the future of BH. This will require continued lobbying to Minister Simon Crean.

Q: How will you be a better mayor than the other candidates?

A: I'm not sure if I can say I will be a better Mayor as we all have our strengths and weaknesses; all I will say is that I will represent BH with determinations and resolve to the very best of my ability.

Q: Will you support closing the library on Sunday for a saving of only $15,000 a year?

A: No

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