Political affiliation: Independent
Political alignment: Centre
Campaigning for: Progress done properly. United leadership. For our future.
What does that mean?
Progress done properly:
• New jobs: Meaningful and sustainable jobs – now and for the years to come.
• Careful town planning: as we open up for two Ballarats moving in and our urban space gets denser, let’s not compromise on our quality of life. No net loss of open space by suburb. The per cent of the city-region that is preserved as natural habitat must be increased in the years to come, not the other way.
• Bridge-building, collaboration and stability – in Council as well as across various borders and barriers in the community.
For our future:
• Safety: Job safety, road safety, energy safety, climate safety. Before 2050, crime statistics for Greater Geelong will have dropped to at least 20 per cent below the state average, and Geelong will have become a carbon neutral city.
• The Clever and Creative Vision goals: In 30 years time, 20 per cent of all water used in the municipality is sourced from alternative sources, suburban tree canopy is greater than 25 per cent, giving shade in the hot summers.
• Over the next decades, more than half of us will be making our journeys to work with ‘public transport’ – a word which in just a few years from now will be including cheap or free self-driving electric shuttle busses and taxis – cycling, including e-bikes, and walking.
• The One Planet Living goals: In everything we do, we will ensure that we leave this place an even better place then we found it.
Jobs: Stability first
Economically, Geelong stands in the watershed. If our region really is to achieve the many great goals listed in the Clever and Create Future vision, including job opportunities, we would want investors to be looking our way.
But what politicians and councillors often fail to recognise in their eagerness to implement this or that policy, “persuaded” or “guided” as they often are by specific vested interests, ideologies and party-politics, is that in order to create significant investment in a city, a region or a country, what you need is not flimsy politics that keep changing every three-four years, depending on who is behind the steering wheel. What investors are looking for is long-term stability. And confidence in the future.
Investors want to put their money in cities and regions where they can see that the local decision-makers have been clever enough to build genuine and robust cross-party strategies and policies that remain in place regardless of which direction the political power-winds may blow in the years that follow.
Geelong has a history of innovation, entrepreneurship and manufacturing successes, and currently the city is beginning to see growing investments in knowledge and innovation-based economies.
To create a thriving Greater Geelong where investors are coming from near and far to put their money in new businesses and exciting innovative projects, and where jobs are being created instead of lost, the last thing we need is a new Council that continues to have its own inner battles and same power struggles driven by large egos who see a constant need to reinvent wheels by implementing new policies and visions of their own just so they can say they have made their mark.
Geelong needs stability. We need a Council that is able to implement and create appreciation around that long-term vision, which has now be created by Administrator Chair Dr Kathy Alexander and her team, so that we don’t keep changing direction and reinvent new wheels every time a new Council is elected.
This is why we need united leadership, which also is what the new Clever and Creative vision for Geelong calls for.
“This piece of work makes clear to investors that Geelong has a long-term vision and knows how to get there. Future Councils can demonstrate the stability and direction required for their investment.”
~ Dr Kathy Alexander, Chair of Administrators, City of Greater Geelong
“The biggest thing the Council can do [for Geelong’s businesses] is to provide a climate of certainty.”
~ Bernadette Uzelac, CEO, Geelong Chamber of Commerce, a group representing 900 business in our region, speaking at a briefing session for candidates on 27 September 2017
For Our Future
Mik is currently in the process of gathering council candidates around a common understanding of how important it is for our city to be united around a singular vision, and that this ‘Clever and Creative Future’ vision is the best bet we have to make this happen.
“According to the latest Business Trends Survey conducted by Deakin Business School and the Geelong Chamber, 25 per cent of respondents identified the greatest barrier to business growth as poor local government leadership, policy or support. This was overwhelmingly the number one barrier to business growth cited by respondents.”
~ Kylie Warne, president of Geelong Chamber of Commerce
Overall, Mik is pushing for new initiatives that are in alignment with the ‘Clever and Creative Future’ vision and the One Planet Living principles, and for shifting the unsustainable focus on growth to a focus on well-being and quality of life.
To give some examples, that means that Mik – in accordance with the vision and framework – will be speaking and working for:
• New jobs
• Community health, connectivity and well-being
• Careful town planning
• Safer roads
• Vibrant and thriving arts scene
• A strong connection to Wadawurrung Country
• Clever and affordable housing
• Electrification and innovation
• Better recycling
• Adults education and learning
• Meaningful and innovative employment initiatives for young people
• An approachable Council
Mik runs as a truly independent candidate with the ability and the will to collaborate with everyone around the table.
If elected, Mik wants to be able to work with representatives of all political colours – while ensuring that the decision making process is open and fair, makes economical sense and is in alignment with the decided policies and frameworks of Council.
In Australian politics, various issues have been ‘hijacked’ and twisted around to a point where colours – the conventional talk about red versus blue as left versus right, progressive versus conservative – no longer give meaning.
What is even more problematic – and the reason so many Australian voters are disillusioned about voting – is that core values of honesty, integrity, responsibility and accountability have been eroded.
“Speaking of integrity and transparency, elections in this country always seem to bring a certain genie out of the bottle – the money-genie. I find it disappointing to observe – now from the inside – how money is allowed to influence the result of a Council election. The game of a democratic election should be about policy, opinions and ability to convince – not about who has the most money to run a campaign.
In that respect, Australia as a whole allegedly has some of the sloppiest regulations in the world, allowing for a flow of donations and favours under the table that eventually influence on the decision-making in the chambers and parliaments. This is a systemic flaw that will simply have to be corrected in Australian politics over the coming years.
“You can trust me on this: I will keep speaking up about it until that money-genie is back in its bottle,” says Aidt. “Transparency and fairness are fundamental values in a true democracy. They should never be compromised.”
If elected, Mik will be working for
• Collaboration – bridging differences and issues of diversity
• Integrity – honesty, transparency, fairness
• Responsibility and care – for health and safety
» Follow, comment and support Mik’s campaign on www.fb.com/MikForGeelong