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The Willoughby State by-election is to be held on Saturday February 12, 2022 to elect a member of the Legislative Assembly of the New South Wales Parliament for the district of Willoughby. Voting is compulsory.

 

There are six candidates running in the Willoughby by-election, listed below in alphabetical order. All candidates were sent 10 identical questions suggested by members of the North Sydney Living and Willoughby Living Facebook groups. Any candidate who has not yet responded may do so at any time and we will add to this list – please contact info@thelivingcollective.com.au

For information about early voting and postal voting please see the bottom of this article.

 

William Bourke, Sustainable Australia Party

willoughby by-election

1. Tell us about your connection to the Willoughby area.

I have lived on Sydney’s lower North shore for around 20 years. Early in that period worked at the Willoughby Leisure Centre on the front desk for two years, while completing my masters in Marketing and Sports Management. I am currently a councillor and Deputy Mayor at North Sydney Council and my Council ward of St Leonards sits almost entirely inside the Willoughby electorate. I have worked in my Crows Nest office in the Willoughby electorate for most of that time as well.

2. Please summarise in a few sentences why you are standing as a candidate in the Willoughby by-election and what makes you the right person to represent the people of Willoughby in our State parliament.

Sustainable Australia Party is an independent community movement from the political centre with science and evidence-based policies driven by and for local communities. Willoughby needs a local MP that will act in the best interests of the local community, not someone beholden to vested interests, or a single individual candidate without a clear set of policies or vision for our future.

3. Have you done anything previously to improve or preserve our local area?

As a Councillor at North Sydney, I am consistently advocating for improvements and protections for our local areas. I am particularly focused on protection bushland and green spaces, while advocating against ever-increasing high-rise developments that stretch our services and infrastructure like schools and recreational spaces.

4. Environmental issues caused by the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link are a frequent source of concern for our members. What is your position on the tunnel going ahead, and please address your views on the following: – smoke stacks being located near schools, loss of bushland and recreational space, damage to Middle Harbour ecosystems?

I am completely opposed to the building of more privatised mega roads like the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link, along with their toxic pollution. We need sustainable transport initiatives including rail line solutions (e.g. Metro) from North Sydney to both the Northern beaches and South side of the Harbour. This would ease congestion and improve local travel times, as well as avoid toxic, polluting smoke-stacks and associated smog. We also need better and safer bicycle networks including a fully connected network throughout the area, as well as better and safer pedestrian infrastructure, including better lighting in parks, lanes and other walkways.

5. The former member in the seat of Willoughby – Gladys Berejiklian – resigned from parliament due to an ICAC enquiry. What is your view on the importance of having an ICAC, and your view on its recent loss of funding?

ICAC is a vital part of NSW democracy and should be strengthened to better investigate and report on alleged corruption, particularly in the planning system. The community is losing faith in politics. This must be rectified with greater transparency.

6. Several bus routes servicing the Willoughby area have recently been removed. What will you do to ensure residents have adequate access to public transport?

We need more regular and flexible bus networks in order to remove car journeys and pollution from our roads.

7. If another virulent strain of Covid-19 was to take hold in Sydney, what is your view on whether the State Government should impose further lockdowns?

Hopefully we can avoid future lockdowns by taking precautions like wearing masks indoors while in public places and maintaining good vaccination coverage. Where any lockdowns eventuate as a last resort, business, casual workers and the arts and entertainment industries need to be properly supported by government.

8. Are there any other issues you consider pressing for the Willoughby community? What will you do to address them?

Stopping overdevelopment by reforming the NSW planning system. We need a transparent, democratic and environmentally sustainable planning system that will stop overdevelopment, while properly protecting our built heritage, backyards and urban amenity. Governments must deliver new community infrastructure before more housing is approved, including new schools, hospitals, public transport, roads, recreational and sporting facilities, green space, etc.

9. If elected, how will you stay in touch with residents in the Willoughby electorate and monitor their views on the issues before parliament?

I regularly hold local pop-up stalls at parks and local markets. There is no better way to get direct feedback – i.e. face to face. Social media is another great way to interact along with town hall-style meetings.

10. How can Willoughby residents stay up-to-date with information about your campaign for the Willoughby by-election?

I have had a great response from the community so far and would like to thank everyone who has been in touch and volunteered so far. Willoughby residents can visit our website at www.sustainableaustralia.org.au or email willoughby@sustainableaustralia.org.au

Samuel Gunning, Liberal Democratic Party – no response

 

 

Penny Hackett, Reason NSW Party

willoughby by-election

1. Tell us about your connection to the Willoughby area.

I have lived in Willoughby for over 25 years with my husband and two adult daughters, first in Northbridge and now in Willoughby South. I love living here and fully intend to see out my days in the area. My daughters went to Willoughby Public School where I was involved with the P&C for many years. I’ve been involved in local resident’s action groups and have received two North Sydney community awards since 2012. I’m well known around the area as someone who is prepared to tackle challenging issues, will stand up for the community and gets things done.

2. Please summarise in a few sentences why you are standing as a candidate in the Willoughby by-election and what makes you the right person to represent the people of Willoughby in our State parliament.

I made a last minute decision to run after the surprise preselection by the Liberal Party of a right wing male candidate who lives in Mosman. I feel strongly that the Liberal Party are taking this “safe” electorate for granted and giving lip-service to promoting more Liberal women in Parliament.

People in this moderate electorate want to be represented by someone who actually lives in Willoughby, genuinely cares about this community, shares its values and will put people above politics.

I have already worked hard for this community and have the skills and experience to represent it in NSW Parliament. I’ve been a lawyer in the finance industry for over 30 years. For the last 4 years I have led the campaign for voluntary assisted dying laws as President of Dying with Dignity NSW, lobbying NSW MPs and running a grassroots campaign with over 100,000 supporters.

I have first hand knowledge of how our political system and parliament works. It needs MPs who genuinely represent their constituents instead of their party, their faction or their ideology.

3. Have you done anything previously to improve or preserve our local area?

I was involved with the Willoughby Public School P&C for many years, with three years as President from 2011-2013. I was one of the leaders of the school overcrowding campaign in Northern Sydney which led directly to the creation of three new schools in our area and extensive redevelopment of others including Willoughby, Artarmon and Mowbray Public Schools. I also fought for access to on-site After School Care and steered the school through its 150 year celebrations.

From 2016-2018 I was secretary of the Federation of Willoughby Progress Associations, representing nine local community groups as a combined voice to lobby Council and MPs on local issues such as congestion and public transport, planning and development, school infrastructure, Chatswood CBD and local village master plans and the critical need for more green space and outdoor recreation facilities. I campaigned to improve the chaotic Chatswood Station bus interchange and for local council meetings to be recorded to allow greater resident participation.

4. Environmental issues caused by the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link are a frequent source of concern for our members. What is your position on the tunnel going ahead, and please address your views on the following: – smoke stacks being located near schools, loss of bushland and recreational space, damage to Middle Harbour ecosystems?

These projects have not been subject to the usual careful assessments of financial viability or consideration of alternative options, particularly public transport solutions. They should not proceed without a comprehensive assessment of the need for the tunnels, their financial viability, credibility of traffic projections, and consideration of alternative options.

There are significant environmental risks and loss of amenity during both the construction and operation phases of the of the projects. I don’t believe these have been satisfactorily addressed.

The community is rightly concerned about air quality and health impacts of particulate pollution and the potentially serious environmental risks in locating the dive site on contaminated land at Flat Rock Gully.

If the tunnels are to proceed, it would be absolutely essential to include a dedicated bus lane and to ensure that the health and environmental concerns are properly examined by independent experts and subject to genuine community consultation.

5. The former member in the seat of Willoughby – Gladys Berejiklian – resigned from parliament due to an ICAC enquiry. What is your view on the importance of having an ICAC, and your view on its recent loss of funding?

I feel very strongly that ICAC plays an important role in holding our elected representatives and public servants to account and should be properly funded. I realise that people have some concerns about the public nature of its hearings but I ultimately believe that an open and transparent process is essential for the community to have confidence in its deliberations and findings.

6. Several bus routes servicing the Willoughby area have recently been removed. What will you do to ensure residents have adequate access to public transport?

We need more and better public transport and routes which respond to the needs of the community. I’m very unhappy about the loss of those bus routes which were generally well used. Covid has reduced public transport use and I fear that the operators are using this as an opportunity to pare back their timetable and cull routes to save costs just as we are re-opening and expect greater demand for public transport.

I’d like to see transparent patronage data released for all public transport routes – this is now easily available through Opal Card records. Any changes to routes or reduction in services should be subject to community consultation with the relevant data available for inspection.

7. If another virulent strain of Covid-19 was to take hold in Sydney, what is your view on whether the State Government should impose further lockdowns?

I’ve followed the health and economic impacts of the pandemic closely since the beginning and one of my daughters currently works on a Covid ward at RNSH. I would hope that we could avoid another mandated lockdown now that we have high vaccination rates and better covid treatments. However, it would ultimately depend on the circumstances and the severity of the outbreak.

As demonstrated during this Omicron wave, many people lock themselves down if they are fearful about their health so a “let it rip” strategy” can do great damage to the economy as well as disrupting supply chains and overloading healthcare workers.

Any decisions on public health measures (including lockdowns) must ultimately be guided by the capacity of the healthcare system to cope. The Omicron outbreak has caused severe pressure on the system, despite the Premier’s claims that it’s coping well. We have an exhausted and anxious health workforce and this must be factored into decision making in the event of another severe outbreak.

8. Are there any other issues you consider pressing for the Willoughby community? What will you do to address them?

The most pressing local issues stem from residential development and increasing density which puts incredible strain on local infrastructure and the environment. Development approvals must ensure good design, sustainability and public amenity – the right development in the right places – and ensure that investment in local infrastructure, public spaces and protecting the environment keeps pace. State Govt laws increasingly take development decisions out of the hands of local councils and limit community input.

Traffic congestion is a serious problem. Better traffic management and public transport are essential along with well designed cycling infrastructure. We have a serious shortage of indoor and outdoor sporting facilities and must preserve our green spaces, bushland and waterways. We must support our village centres so people can shop and socialise locally.

A range of housing options are needed to cater for young people, families and older people, plus affordable housing so our essential workers can live locally.

More broadly, the community wants concrete action on climate change and is deeply unhappy that this has been been a political football for over a decade. They want properly funded schools and hospitals, excellent public transport and infrastructure and strong planning and building controls. They want open and transparent policy making, free from vested interests and political ideology – government which actually delivers rather than making empty promises.

I would be an active and loud-spoken representative for this community and the people of NSW, many of whom are deeply cynical about the ability of the major parties to deliver for the people they are supposed to represent.

9. If elected, how will you stay in touch with residents in the Willoughby electorate and monitor their views on the issues before parliament?

MPs must be accessible to community and actively seeking feedback is key. Regular updates through newsletters and social media are essential, as is responding promptly to constituent correspondence.

I would maintain close contact with Willoughby Council, the nine Progress Associations and other community groups to stay on top of local issues that affect our residents’ daily lives. It would be a priority to engage with the multicultural groups which are such an important part of our wonderful, vibrant, diverse and supportive community.

Having run the grassroots community campaign for voluntary assisted dying laws in 2021, I have seen the influence that local voices can have on political decisions. I would commit to canvas the views of the community on important issues before Parliament through genuine community consultation and regular surveys to enable everyone to feel heard and express their views. That’s what democracy should be about.

10. How can Willoughby residents stay up-to-date with information about your campaign for the Willoughby by-election?

Website https://www.pennyhackett4willoughby.com.au
FB: https://www.facebook.com/Pennyhackett4willoughby/
Twitter: @penny4reason
Instagram: reasonnsw

Tim James, Liberal Party

willoughby by-election

1. Tell us about your connection to the Willoughby area.

I was born and raised in Willoughby on Penshurst Street just up from the Rocket Park (Muston Park). I was educated locally, got my first job in Chatswood and have lived in Willoughby for more than 30 years. Mum and Dad still live in the family home in Artarmon. I’ve been involved with many local causes and clubs since the 1990s including the executive of the Artarmon Progress Association. I’m proud that five generations of my family have lived in and contributed to Willoughby from my Great-great-grandfather George James who was on the founding committee of the Royal North Shore Hospital.

2. Please summarise in a few sentences why you are standing as a candidate in the Willoughby by-election and what makes you the right person to represent the people of Willoughby in our State parliament.

I am asking the people of Willoughby to support me, as I fight for local road and infrastructure improvements, two new schools in Chatswood and Gore Hill, better planning and more public transport services, including the restoration of local bus services. As a father of two, about to be three, young kids I want to see more local public green spaces for local families and I want to tackle housing affordability.

I also want to see the Royal North Shore Hospital, where my Mum worked as a nurse for twenty years, enhanced as a world-class teaching hospital with room to grow on its current site to meet future needs.

Our community has been through a lot in the last two years, and our recovery depends on having a strong, stable and experienced government that can manage the impact of the pandemic on the community and our small businesses. I will be able to be a strong voice in the Government, advocating for our local community and its needs.

I was incredibly humbled to receive the endorsement of Gladys Berejiklian and, given the opportunity, I will work extremely hard to continue the great work that she has done for this community. If elected, my extensive corporate and government experience will help me to serve the community, and deal with the complex issues that we currently face from day one.

3. Have you done anything previously to improve or preserve our local area?

I have campaigned for important local causes including heritage and environment, local services and schools, and stopping over-development. As Secretary of the Artarmon Progress Association I helped drive local efforts to save Artarmon Bowling Club, to improve commuter safety, to guide the future of Artarmon Library, to stop inappropriate development and improve Artarmon Reserve.

4. Environmental issues caused by the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link are a frequent source of concern for our members. What is your position on the tunnel going ahead, and please address your views on the following: – smoke stacks being located near schools, loss of bushland and recreational space, damage to Middle Harbour ecosystems?

I come to the tunnel issue with fresh eyes and open ears. I want to be sure that the needs, interests and safety of our local community are met throughout. The project is some years away yet and I am listening to all views and options for improvement.

I am hearing concerns about the process & management of construction works and local effects. These need careful attention and strong representation.

I will continue to consult with people across our local community, will be a strong voice and will stand up for Willoughby’s interests on this issue.

5. The former member in the seat of Willoughby – Gladys Berejiklian – resigned from parliament due to an ICAC enquiry. What is your view on the importance of having an ICAC, and your view on its recent loss of funding?

I support the need for a robust and well-resourced independent body that oversees the integrity of our governance, and so I believe it is important to have an organisation like ICAC – which was in fact introduced by a Liberal Government.

6. Several bus routes servicing the Willoughby area have recently been removed. What will you do to ensure residents have adequate access to public transport?

I am a great advocate for public transport, and ensuring that we have suitable and reliable public transport will be one of my key priorities. Many local residents have raised with me their views about local bus service changes and I stand ready to act to work to restore local bus services. I want to help ensure the Metro is well delivered locally and train services and facilities improved where necessary too.

7. If another virulent strain of Covid-19 was to take hold in Sydney, what is your view on whether the State Government should impose further lockdowns?

I believe that we should continue to listen to the expert advice, which has served NSW well. Our state has done remarkably well in managing the pandemic, and we just need to look at other jurisdictions to see how much better we are doing. I wish to pay tribute to Gladys for her outstanding job leading our state through this incredibly tough period. One of the key reasons that we have been able to do even better than the best-case modelling is the way that the community came together.

8. Are there any other issues you consider pressing for the Willoughby community? What will you do to address them?

It’s important to work well among the three levels of government and I commit to convening a round-table, tri-level meeting among local, state and federal representatives to identify areas and opportunities to improve Willoughby, whether it be in relation to place-making, local community services, sporting grants and facilities, and more.

9. If elected, how will you stay in touch with residents in the Willoughby electorate and monitor their views on the issues before parliament?

Since becoming endorsed as the Liberal candidate, I have been pounding the pavement, meeting with local residents and businesses and listening to their needs, concerns and aspirations. If elected, I will continue to tirelessly engage with the community in every way possible. I encourage anyone with an idea, suggestion or an issue to contact me via e-mail, social media or when you see me out in the community. I would be an open, grass-roots and accessible local MP if elected.

10. How can Willoughby residents stay up-to-date with information about your campaign for the Willoughby by-election?

I urge all of your readers to visit my website – www.timjames.com.au

and to follow me on social media https://www.facebook.com/TimJames4Willoughby/

https://www.instagram.com/timjames4willoughby/

 

Larissa Penn, Independent

willoughby by-election

1. Tell us about your connection to the Willoughby area.

I was born at the Mater, grew up in Cammeray and Cremorne and spent many happy hours at my Grandparents house in West Chatswood. As an adult I have lived in Neutral Bay, Crows Nest, Northbridge and we have owned our family home in Naremburn for over 20 years. My 3 children attended Cammeray Public School where I also attended and was school captain! I later attended North Sydney Girls High School. I have also worked in Willoughby and have volunteered my time across many community groups and committees.

I have been working hard for Willoughby as a representative on Willoughby Council’s Bicentennial Reserve and Flat Rock Gully Committee, as President of the Naremburn Progress Association, P&C Vice President and Founding Chair of the Environment and Sustainability Committee at Cammeray Public School, Secretary of the Federation of Willoughby Progress Associations, as a community advocate and Convenor of Stop the Tunnels and as a Youth Leader.

2. Please summarise in a few sentences why you are standing as a candidate in the Willoughby by-election and what makes you the right person to represent the people of Willoughby in our State parliament.

Willoughby is being taken for granted. We are seeing widespread overdevelopment, large scale infrastructure projects which will degrade our urban liveability and increasing pressure on our schools, green spaces, sports
fields and health care. Voters in Willoughby have a vision for our communities future and I have the experience to help bring that vision to life. I want to see greater government transparency around funding decisions, respect in
politics and planning, our urban liveability improved and our environment protected. I believe there is much that needs to be done to address Climate Change and that needs to start with the decisions that are being made in our own backyard. My points of difference are that I am a true local and truly independent (with no party affiliations). My knowledge of the area is current due to my community work and I am not bound by the party system where Willoughby’s issues need to be filtered through other priorities. As part of my role on various committees I have formed good working relationships with local Councils and Members of Parliament and would hit the ground running for Willoughby. I also have a corporate professional background and management/ science qualifications as well as small/ family business experience to contribute. I believe that it is only through a strong and dedicated independent voice that Willoughby’s potential can be realised.

3. Have you done anything previously to improve or preserve our local area?

Through my work on community committees, I have raised awareness around development issues, I have fought to preserve public and bushland spaces at Flat Rock Gully, I have helped to drive sustainability projects such as solar conversion, active transport and recycling at our local school, I took an active role in the development of the recent Plan of Management for Bicentennial Reserve, I have lobbied Council and State government for better outcomes around development and major projects. I am perhaps best known for providing a detailed risk assessment of the Western Harbour and Beaches Link projects and guidance to the community on issues which
will impact them – I lead the collection of 11,000 signatures to see the project stopped and re-assessed and directly lobbied Parliament to run a Parliamentary Inquiry which is now in process. This has resulted in a slowing of the project with tighter conditions and increased mitigations – however there is still a lot of work to be done and the government needs to hear the message that the community remains unsatisfied with their approach.

4. Environmental issues caused by the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link are a frequent source of concern for our members. What is your position on the tunnel going ahead, and please address your views on the
following: – smoke stacks being located near schools, loss of bushland and recreational space, damage to Middle Harbour ecosystems?

I am opposed to the toll road tunnels and will continue to advocate that a suit of previously scoped alternatives such as the Chatswood to Dee Why/Brookvale Metro, Smart Motorway solutions and cycling infrastructure be re-assessed. There are more sustainable and effective solutions already on the table. Placing unfiltered pollution stacks in Sydney’s largest school zone is simply unacceptable (the data in the EIS clearly demonstrates an increase in pollution to the majority of schools) and our parks and bushland are already under strain due to overdevelopment. Allocating bush and parkland for tunnel dive sites and construction zones for a decade will have a huge impact given the shortage that already exists. And there are ongoing risks to green spaces, sports fields, and urban centres due to contamination, drawdown and the insertion of permanent tunnel support facilities.

I have been working to escalate the issues around Middle Harbour which have included an assessment of Aboriginal site impacts in conjunction with the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council and work with technical experts to better understand the contamination concerns. As an experienced compliance auditor and risk assessment professional it is clear to me that the risks outweigh the benefits when it comes to this project. The business case for the project is weak and the benefits assumed are not evidenced by the data. I want to see investment in solutions that will work and are sustainable. This is a very complex project, and we need a representative who knows it well to be able to affect the changes needed to protect our environment.

5. The former member in the seat of Willoughby – Gladys Berejiklian – resigned from parliament due to an ICAC enquiry. What is your view on the importance of having an ICAC, and your view on its recent loss of funding?

I think a strong ICAC is essential and that more funding should be allocated. I am concerned about a growing culture around funding decisions being made on a political basis rather than based on evidence. Decisions should always be made in the public interest and the principles of fiscal responsibility must be upheld. Allocating funding where there is little evidenced benefit isn’t acceptable to most of the people I have spoken to in Willoughby. As a perceived “safe seat” there is a sense that we are being overlooked for funding for that reason. It is important that any accountability system remains independent and impartial.

6. Several bus routes servicing the Willoughby area have recently been removed. What will you do to ensure residents have adequate access to public transport?

I have been part of bringing these issues to light in the electorate through my committee work. It is essential that we continue to have strong public transport links – and routes which are direct rather than disjointed, something the current changes have created. I will advocate strongly for a re-establishment of services and improvements to the Warringah Freeway upgrade to address widespread traffic issues created by the current design. There is opportunity to further improve public transport links as part of this project. I am also an advocate for grade separated cycling links – providing a safe and direct option will encourage more commuters to cycle which will help relieve our congestion issues. The broken links across Willoughby and between Willoughby and North Sydney will be a focus for me. It’s not just about links to the city we also need better links around schools and our local centres to create a calmer village atmosphere and safety for kids.

7. If another virulent strain of Covid-19 was to take hold in Sydney, what is your view on whether the State Government should impose further lockdowns?

We have swung between full lock downs to “let it rip” and I believe that neither are an appropriate risk-based response to managing COVID. As a professional I assessed these types of risk responses for major businesses and government departments and hold biotechnology qualifications. Each strain of the virus is different, and therefore our response needs to be different at different stages of the Pandemic. We can’t say therefore that we will never need another lock down (particularly if we face a far more virulent strain with unknowable features). We do have a responsibility as a society to look after our most vulnerable and should we face a strain that is far harder to manage we will need to allow a short period of time to readjust settings and let the science catch up. My preference however is to manage the settings to sit between “lock down” and “let it rip” to keep control and ensure our systems can cope in terms of health and supply.

In regard to the current strain my stance would be that we shouldn’t need another lock down if we can stay in control of transmission. I don’t think current settings are sufficient to maintain control. Whilst most people will
suffer mild symptoms there are a percentage of people who will need care and there is already too much pressure on our hospitals and supply chains. An appropriate risk-based response would put settings where this can be managed so that everyone who needs care can receive it. I am also concerned about people not being able to access medical care for other reasons and have heard some alarming stories from locals. To slow the spread and spread the peak we should be wearing masks and working from home if possible. This is not a lock down approach but one that manages risk so our systems can continue to cope. I think there is a need for better communication and collaboration with the public to take a team-based approach to fighting the virus – we are not in an individual fight against COVID-19; we need to continue to work together as much as possible.

8. Are there any other issues you consider pressing for the Willoughby community? What will you do to address them?

Yes, overdevelopment is a huge issue. We are currently growing above the State average and seeing re-zoning and density without appropriate planning for schools, parks and health care. I am particularly concerned about what is a unique and precious local environment in Willoughby and I have been working proactively to protect our parks and waterways. We need a review of planning controls to bring more decision making back to the council level so that density and amenity can be better balanced and the right of appeal should be removed from large developments that are knocked back. I want to see the planning system work more wholistically and proactively to ensure the right plans are in place to manage growth in a sustainable way. An example of this is that recently I’ve been working with Sydney Water to tackle the issues associated with the recent sewage overflows into Flat Rock Gully. There are capacity and age issues which over development is placing a great deal of pressure on. If we can’t sure up the basics to deal with development, then there needs to be a halt on new projects until these critical issues are resolved.

I will also be advocating for at least two new schools in the area to service our growing population and take pressure off current schools. It is not acceptable that kids are learning in demountable and crowded classrooms – I want to see land set aside by the state government for healthy, green and spacious schools not high-rise developments. Health services are also a big issue and I will oppose the government’s plans to use land at Royal North Shore Hospital set aside for medical expansion for private use. I will also work to address the gap in
mental health care services in our area particularly for our young people. As a result of increasing density, we need to see more sporting facilities, parks and key community hubs like Northbridge Baths upgraded. We cannot continue to grow at such a pace without the State Government contributing. There is a wider case to be answered regarding development and infrastructure regarding the fact that COVID has changed the way we work, live and travel. We need to re-imagine Sydney and look to how we can take advantage the change to create more sustainable, liveable and accessible urban and regional centres.

9. If elected, how will you stay in touch with residents in the Willoughby electorate and monitor their views on the issues before parliament?

I will make an effort to meet people where they are at – some prefer social media, other questionnaires, others in person chats and others more formal committees. I think we need a range of mechanisms to reach everyone in Willoughby and I will be particularly focussed on bringing in representation from groups who are currently underrepresented such as young adults and those from non-English speaking backgrounds. I think everyone needs to have a voice in Willoughby.

10. How can Willoughby residents stay up-to-date with information about your campaign for the Willoughby by-election?

Please head over to: larissaforwilloughby.com or you can find me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook…and even Tik Tok!

 

Lynne Saville, The Greens

willoughby by-election
Image: The Greens

1. Tell us about your connection to the Willoughby area.

I grew up adjacent to bushland upslope of Lane Cove River, attended local schools, worked and spent much of my life on the lower north shore. Our sons attended local public schools, we were active members of many school, environment, scouting and community organisations. My husband has a long established small local business in the arts. With strong connections with the lower north shore and its vital communities, I was honoured to serve 4 terms as councillor on Willoughby Council.

2. Please summarise in a few sentences why you are standing as a candidate in the Willoughby by-election and what makes you the right person to represent the people of Willoughby in our State parliament.

Based on 18 years of experience as a Greens Councillor for Willoughby and professional experience as a registered nurse, in acute areas, health promotion and education, I have developed a deep-seated commitment to evidence-based, socially progressive policies. I have a strong track record, with focus on policy, and work across disciplines. I support broader efforts to increase social and public housing supply, and improve housing affordability particularly for nurses and other front line workers who want to continue to live and work in this community, and strategies to promote health and employment in the community.
Willoughby faces many challenges – I have the experience to recognise and respond to them. I understand the importance of health, education and food security to the strength of our society and economy. A healthy economy needs a healthy population, and a healthy population needs a healthy environment.

I have strongly advocated for public school facilities and was actively involved in the campaign to save Chatswood High School. The protection and renewal of conservation areas, the protection of our built heritage, and provision of community services have been and will continue to be important areas of activity.

As past Chair of Sydney Coastal Councils Group, I am aware of many challenges with regard to the protection of marine areas, water quality and potential risks from the NB tunnel excavation, which I oppose.

Despite challenges from climate change and the pandemic, I believe there are many opportunities for a cleaner greener future, with transition to clean renewal energy, with creation of thousands of new jobs in renewable energy. There is opportunity to build a more cohesive, socially equitable, fairer society.

3. Have you done anything previously to improve or preserve our local area?

I have actively participated in:
• school grounds working committees to improve outdoor amenity, plantings, shade for students; Bushcare Co-ordinator at Chatswood High School over 15 years;
• Clean Up Australia Day;
• Monitored creek health with West Ward Streamwatch.
• Willoughby Environment Protection Association member for many years, past secretary, advocating better protection natural heritage, biodiversity and bushland on private property and reserves, as well as Foreshore Building Line.
• Member Northside Storage Tunnel Community Liaison committee which worked to achieve full community access to Tunks, and minimise worksite area during construction.
• Royal North Shore Hospital Environment group, community representative, which developed Environmental Management Plan for RNSH. Current member RNSH/LHD Planetary Health committee.
• As councillor on Willoughby Council I strove to better protect bushland, watercourses, street amenity, street tree plantings, the natural and built heritage of the LGA. I was member of and chair of councils Bushland and Natural Heritage Committee, its Heritage Advisory Committee and Sustainable Reference Group.
• Local Land Services Council Advisory committee focussed on feral animal and weed control, biosecurity.
• Sydney Coastal Council Group, council representative, on executive and chair, advances sustainable management of Sydney’s coast and estuaries, now lead agency for Sydney Harbour Coastal Management Program to improve water quality and marine ecology.

4. Environmental issues caused by the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link are a frequent source of concern for our members. What is your position on the tunnel going ahead, and please address your views on the following: – smoke stacks being located near schools, loss of bushland and recreational space, damage to Middle Harbour ecosystems?

Because of potential risks to the environment, marine ecology, water quality and to local communities, and costs, I oppose the proposed Northern Beaches tunnel. I support increased services and routes of electric buses to the northern beach, and investigation of potential to reinstate tram from Manly to Narrabeen (or further).

Smoke stacks near schools: Vehicle fuel emissions cause air pollution/reduced air quality, increased respirable particulate matter which may lead to adverse health effects and exacerbate lung conditions in children and those vulnerable. We have a responsibility to protect children from harm and adverse health effects. The Australian Lung Foundation reports that the WHO released updated and stronger guidelines overnight drawing on the latest body of epidemiological research on the health risks of air pollution, the costs of which are estimated at around $16 billion annually for Australia. Air pollution is estimated to cause between 2,616 and 4,884 premature deaths annually in Australia. “Each state and territory has the legal power to make health-based pollution standards, regardless of the national standard”.

Tackling air pollution protects health and reduces the causes of climate change.

Loss of bushland, recreational space, Middle Harbour ecosystems.
Complex and serious engineering problems raised in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) submissions include risks posed to groundwater, damage to creeks, seawater, deterioration in water quality, effects on marine ecology and risk of infiltration. The last mainland population of little penguins, believed to number approximately 60, live on Seaforth and Castlecrag foreshores, where coffer dams will be built to allow tunnel boring into rock either side of the harbour.

The EIS acknowledges that the penquins may be forced to leave the area permanently with no protection provided. It reveals two unlined tunnels connecting Middle Harbour to portals at Sseaforth, Balgowlah will cause water table to fall, with groundwater flowing into the creek by 96%.

Open space, precious bushland, natural ecological services, our community assets are at risk from proposed tunnel construction while habitat connectivity and wildlife may be destroyed.

5. The former member in the seat of Willoughby – Gladys Berejiklian – resigned from parliament due to an ICAC enquiry. What is your view on the importance of having an ICAC, and your view on its recent loss of funding?

Integrity in Public Life cannot be underestimated. The reason we are having this by-election is because of revelations of the ICAC investigations. For the public to maintain trust in politicians, we must have well-funded checks and balances in place. Recent funding cuts to ICAC, the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission and the NSW Ombudsman, diminish public confidence in the state and its institutions.

6. Several bus routes servicing the Willoughby area have recently been removed. What will you do to ensure residents have adequate access to public transport?

Advocate on behalf of residents to re-instate public transport routes asap to meet community needs, to ensure that services are maintained, affordable, funded and resourced to encourage use of public transport and reduce car dependency. A review of services, routes and bus stops should be undertaken to ensure community needs are met, Electric bus fleet should be increased,

7. If another virulent strain of Covid-19 was to take hold in Sydney, what is your view on whether the State Government should impose further lockdowns?

My view is that NSW should be guided by expert epidemiological and public health advice (from Australia and the World Health Organisation), whether or not to impose lockdowns and/or other public health measures such as wearing maks indoors, isolation, physical distancing, air filtration and ventilation to better protect health.
‘Based on the current evidence, the overall risk related to Omicron remains very high. Omicron has a significant growth advantage over Delta, leading to rapid spread in the community with higher levels of incidence than previously seen in this pandemic. Despite a lower risk of severe disease and death following infection than previous SARS-CoV-2 variants, the very high levels of transmission nevertheless have resulted in significant increases in hospitalization, continue to pose overwhelming demands on health care systems in most countries, and may lead to significant morbidity, particularly in vulnerable populations’ (WHO Jan 2022).

Originally we locked down for reasons including a) to eliminate the virus (which we didn’t) b) buy time for vaccines c) buy time for boosters d) monitor resistant variants d) global acceptance of the disease etc so the current situation and virulence of the variant would be considered.

The federal and state government did too little to contain the pandemic, the roll out of vaccines was problematic, not enough boosters have been given, and there are problems related to accessing RATS and affordability, hence rates of transmission and deaths have increased. The situation in aged care is critical, public hospitals are over-stretched, and we have witnessed 1,000 mostly preventable deaths.

8. Are there any other issues you consider pressing for the Willoughby community? What will you do to address them?

It is imperative that immediate action is taken at all levels of Government to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions by 75% by 2030 across Australia. The NSW State Government acting with the Greens and Labor is establishing Renewable Energy Zones across the state – a national Greens Initiative from 2018. On the other hand, and over the opposition of climate scientists, the Liberal State Government with Federal Government support has just approved a new gas-fired power station in the Hunter Valley. A lot more needs to be done across NSW, and in our home territories of North Sydney and Willoughby in the areas of green power generation, transport using electric vehicles, and building design for insulation, LED lighting and on-site power generation. Reductions in methane generation in agriculture, and conversion of Greenhouse gas emitting manufacturing processes also require attention. We also need to protect and renew our local green canopy. Working together in these ways both at home and abroad, our global goal should continue to be – as confirmed at the COP26 United Nations Conference on Climate Change (Glasgow 2021) – to restrict the average temperature increase to a maximum of 1.5 C. Without it, we will experience more catastrophic droughts, wildfires and even inundation of low-lying areas of North Sydney and Willoughby surrounding Sydney Harbour by mid-century.
Integrity in Building and Planning Approvals: There is another element to integrity, which has been abused by the current Liberal State Government: its reckless watering down of building planning guidelines, lifting of height limits and removal of process-related protections that mean that communities regularly find themselves hosting tall, high capacity, overshadowing building projects that they don’t want.

Over-crowded schools, particularly Chatswood are a major issue to meet increasing population as governments apply pressure to councils to increase housing supply.

The Chatswood Interchange is inadequate for purpose and requires re-design and re-build to ensure it is fit for purpose, e.g. capacity for more buses, bus stops, lanes and safer pedestrian access.

Royal North Shore Hospital site must be secured for present and future health services. Plans for residential development on site should be abandoned.

Support Teachers “More than thanks’ to ensure fair salaries conditions.
Support ‘Nursekeeper’ to retain nurses and paramedics currently under-staffed, working in extremely difficult conditions, risky work.

9. If elected, how will you stay in touch with residents in the Willoughby electorate and monitor their views on the issues before parliament?

Pandemic permitting, maintain zoom and other means to maintain communication flow; elicit their views; engage with community leaders; consult progress associations; community organisations; hold regular meetings; ensure prompt response to inquiries and complaints with follow up; and by ensuring decisions made are undertaken with best available research and evidence, and that is communicated to the community.

10. How can Willoughby residents stay up-to-date with information about your campaign for the Willoughby by-election?

Refer to: Greens campaign web page, and by contacting me directly.
If you have any further inquiries, please don’t hesitate to contact me, and I look forward to future communications.

 

Willoughby By-Election Early and Postal Voting Information

Voters at the Willoughby by-election can choose to vote:

  • via post, or;
  • in person at an early voting centre, or;
  • in person on election day at our voting centres.

You must vote only once.

Willoughby By-Election Early voting (pre-poll)

Early voting is open to everyone.

Early voting opens Monday, 31 January 2022 and closes Friday, 11 February 2022.

Early voting centres in map view

Early voting centres in list view

iVote will not be available to voters at these elections.

Willoughby By-Election Postal voting

Postal voting packs will be sent to every voter enrolled in the Willoughby district.

To help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, postal voting will be open to everyone on the electoral roll in these districts, and postal voting packs will be automatically sent to them.

You must vote and complete your postal vote certificate envelope by 6pm, Saturday, 12 February (election day).

Completed postal ballot papers must be received by the election manager no later than 6pm, Friday, 25 February.

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