Springvale North Ward: Know your candidates

Sean O''Reilly

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Want to know more about the candidates standing for Greater Dandenong Council?

And what the questions are that these aspiring councillors don’t want to answer?

Apart from deciding how your hard-earned rates are spent, these are the people who make the big decisions about property development in your neighbourhood.

The Star Journal emailed all 67 candidates with questions on their occupations, as well as their business and property interests.

The survey also probed for their political allegiances, campaign donors and their attitudes to property development.

Most were candid but, as the survey responses below show, several candidates took side-steps.

Others did not respond before the 10am deadline on 25 September.

Candidate surveys returned after this date will be added to the Star Journal website at dandenong.starcommunity.com.au

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SPRINGVALE NORTH

Suburbs: Springvale (bounded by Railway Parade, Bowmore Road and Springvale cemetery)

Sitting councillor: Sean O’Reilly

Other candidates: Ricardo Buensucesco and Angela Holl

No survey response: Buensucesco

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SEAN O’REILLY

Suburb of residence:

Springvale.

How long have you lived in Greater Dandenong?

13 years.

Occupation:

Senior Analyst Programmer.

Business/employer name:

Kmart Australia.

Property interests:

One unit in Springvale I reside in, and one unit in Noble Park.

Business interests:

Minor holding of Wesfarmers shares.

Have you run for council/ been a councillor before, or run for any other level of government? If so, please list details (where, when, length of time, etc).

Candidate, City of Glen Eira, 1997.

Councillor, City of Greater Dandenong, 2012 –

Are you/have you been a member of a political party? If yes, which party and what faction? If no, what party do you most identify with?

I’m a member of the Australian Labor Party. I receive no funding from the Australian Labor Party. Council decisions are made by myself, with no political influence.

What councillors, ex-councillors, MPs or ex-MPs have assisted or advised your campaign?

No assistance from MPs. Within a campaign or not, I talk with other councillors regularly, and other councillors ask me for advice from time to time.

What is your campaign budget?

Prefer not to disclose. I’ll spend to get my positive messages to voters.

Who are your campaign donors? How much have each contributed?

I am completely self-funded, and I do not accept donations. This demonstrates that the only thing that influences my decisions are the best interests of residents.

Which candidates are your ‘running mates’?

None.

Who will you direct your preferences to?

There are only three candidates in my ward. I think it best that voters choose their own order of preference.

Describe your involvement in the local community (in 50 words or less):

Eight years of experience as councillor and former mayor. My website, seanoreilly.com.au has an extensive list of things I’ve achieved.

Example of ‘inappropriate development’ in your ward?

Some development is OK. But when developers just try to maximise profit at the expense of surrounding residents, I have spoken out and voted to block the development.

What type of new development would you support in Greater Dandenong’s Green Wedge (Housing/commercial/recreational/industrial/none)?

There should be no change to the existing green wedge rules.

Three most important issues for your ward (in 50 words or less)?

1. Now more than ever, low rates, particularly those affected most by COVID.

2. After restrictions are eased, traffic congestion and parking issues.

3. A clean environment. Continue to monitor and stop rubbish dumping.

What extra Covid-19 relief does your community need?

We’re assessing and targeting relief to those most in need. Many residents are really battling. Traders have been hit hard. It’s important to target more relief to the people that need it most.

Your Covid-19 lockdown hobby?

Juggling and supporting my family.

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ANGELA HOLL

Suburb of residence:

I live in Springvale North.

How long have you lived in Greater Dandenong?

Over 19 years. I’ve grown up in the City of Greater Dandenong, having lived here since I was a child.

Occupation:

I am working as a Finance Analyst. I am also qualified as an Australian Lawyer.

Business/employer name:

I work at a Telecommunications company.

Property interests:

No property interests.

Business interests:

No business interests.

Have you run for council/ been a councillor before, or run for any other level of government?

This is my first time running for council. I’m excited and honoured to be a candidate.

Are you/have you been a member of a political party?

I am proud to be an Independent candidate. I have never been a member of any political party.

What councillors, ex-councillors, MPs or ex-MPs have assisted or advised your campaign?

None.

What is your campaign budget?

I am funding my campaign with my own money, so it is quite a limited budget.

Who are your campaign donors?

I am funding my own campaign. I have not accepted any campaign donations in order to remain Independent.

Which candidates are your ‘running mates’?

I do not have any running mates.

Who will you direct your preferences to?

As an Independent, I’d like to preference other Independents. However, as the other two candidates in my Ward are ALP (Labor) members, my preferences are limited. I generally support new contenders as I believe Council needs new ideas and fresh faces.

Please see my facebook page (facebook.com/hollangela) for my finalised preferences.

Describe your involvement in the local community:

I’m passionate about helping our community and giving back where I can. I’ve volunteered at a Springvale homework club to tutor students from refugee and migrant backgrounds. I’ve also been a guest speaker at local schools such as Keysborough College and Heatherhill Primary School, to help guide and motivate students.

Example of ‘inappropriate development’ in your ward?

I’ve advocated against overdevelopment in our Springvale North Ward. I’ve worked alongside my neighbours to oppose, at VCAT, a large housing development near Springvale Station. Another potential development of interest is Melbourne Racing Club’s plans for Sandown Racecourse – I want to ensure residents are well-informed of any plans or developments.

What type of new development would you support in Greater Dandenong’s Green Wedge (Housing/commercial/recreational/industrial/none)?

The Green Wedge is otherwise known as one of the ‘lungs’ of Melbourne. I believe we must protect it, and I don’t see any strong justification or need for development in the Green Wedge.

Three most important issues for your ward:

1. Bringing recognition to Springvale North – historically we haven’t received as much focus as other Greater Dandenong areas. We need improvement in our roads, infrastructure and parks.

2. Bringing an inclusive voice to Council, so our community feels heard and represented.

3. Support for residents and businesses during Covid-19.

What extra Covid-19 relief does your community need?

Greater financial assistance for residents and businesses (e.g. keeping rates low), and further community grants to be made available. We also need more mental health support services during this challenging period.

Your Covid-19 lockdown hobby?

Virtual trivia and games sessions with my family and friends. I recently hosted a session over a zoom call where we played quizzes, scattergories and a few other games together.

 

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