Springvale Central Ward: know your candidates

Minh Van Tran

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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 CENTRAL

Suburbs: Springvale (bounded by Railway Parade, and Corrigan, Sharon and Heatherton roads)

Sitting councillor: None

Candidates: Richard Lim, Thi Gam Tran, Thi Thich Huynh and Minh Van Tran

No survey response: Huynh

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MINH VAN TRAN

Suburb of residence: Springvale

How long have you lived in Greater Dandenong?

I have lived in Greater Dandenong since 1989.

Occupation:

Small Business Owner of Local Accounting & Taxation Services (Taxation Agent)

Business/employer name:

Minh Tran and Co Pty Ltd.

Property interests:

I have title to my house and land

Business interests:

I am a Managing Director of my company Minh Tran & Co Pty Ltd

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).

I ran for council in 2016 and I was not successful in being elected.

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?

Yes, I have been a member of ALP.

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

N/A

What is your campaign budget?

I am funding my election from my own resources.

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

N/A

Which candidates are your ‘running mates’?

No.

Who will you direct your preferences to?

I shall direct my preferences to candidates who want to work for the community and who want to make a difference in Greater Dandenong

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

My involment commumity includes SEMVAC Helps, Rotary Club, Clean Up Australia Day and Fundraising programs to aid research at the Royal Childrens’s Hospital.

This year, I was also actively involved in fundraising for the Victorian Bushfire. Our South East Community was able to fundraise and handout a cheque of $44,887.65 to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal.

Example of ‘inappropriate development’ in your ward?

N/A

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

I have supported the Springvale Master Plan which has led to an upgrade of the Springvale Town Hall and the Springvale Community Hub.

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

1. Council rates are always going up

2. Health and wellbeing of our community

3. Maintenance of our footpaths

4. Supporting for local groups, sporting clubs and associations

5. To advance parks, recreation and conversation effort that enhance the quality of life for all people.

What extra Covid-19 relief does your community need?

Overcoming the economic crisis in our community by the COVID-19: Great Recession.

• The local government should have more programs to support businesses impacted by the COVID-19. More grants and cash-flow support should be provided to local business in retail, food services, hairdressing, events, gyms etc, to help them survive and keep employing our local residents. More funding should be provided to community groups and associations to create more activities. It will benefit local residents’ physical and mental wellbeing.

• Maintain a safe and vibrant city of opportunity for all to visit, work, live and play by supporting local groups, sporting clubs, parks, recreation centres. This will enhance the quality of life for all people and attract the more visitors/ tourists.

• I am committed and will dedicate myself to the enable the recovery from COVID-19 to our Greater Dandenong residents, community groups, associations. At least 50% of my council allowance will be donated to the Hospital and Non-Profit Organisation i.e. The Monash Heart Hospital 25% and another 25% also will be donated to community groups and associations such as Churches or temples as needed. My donations will commit to remaining for the whole term 4 years if I was elected.

Your Covid-19 lockdown hobby?

The hobbies helped me stay positive during lockdown are:

• Gardening, Cooking and Baking, and listening to music.

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RICHARD LIM

Suburb of residence:

Glen Waverley

How long have you lived in Greater Dandenong?

I have been running my pharmacy in the heart of Springvale for 29 years.

Occupation:

Pharmacist

Business/employer name:

Lim’s Pharmacy

Business interests:

Lim’s Pharmacy

Political party:

I am a member of the Labor party, but I am not part of any faction.

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

campaign?

Mayor Jim Memeti

Campaign budget:

$8,000

Campaign donors:

This campaign has been fully funded by myself.

Which candidates are your ‘running mates’?

Unfortunately, I do not have any running mates in the upcoming election.

Who will you direct your preferences to?

Unsure at present.

Involvement in the local community:

I have raised over $1.5 million for numerous charities and community groups. I was a

member of Springvale Rise Primary School Council, but I still help fund school camps and

supplies for students. Additionally, I host health seminars for seniors in Springvale,

participate in Clean Up Australia Days, etc.

‘Inappropriate development’ in your ward?

I would deem the multi-level carpark at 8 Balmoral Avenue in Springvale to be an example of

inappropriate development. This 540-space carpark constructed to combat road congestion

in Springvale has ultimately failed in serving its purpose. This is due to its extremely poor

design which consists of narrow and accident-prone ramps, as well as lack of CCTV and

security patrol. This carpark remains close to empty most of the time, with road congestion

still a rampant issue.

What type of new development would you support in Greater Dandenong’s Green

Wedge (Housing/commercial/recreational/industrial/none)?

I would aim to preserve as much of the Green Wedge as possible to protect our fragile

environment. However, I would support recreational development such as playgrounds and

picnic areas for our community to enjoy the nature and open spaces.

Three most important issues for your ward?

Severe road congestion and lack of parking, poorly maintained infrastructure such as roads,

footpaths, security, outdated shopfronts, etc., and minimal designated recreation areas in the

central (e.g. social seating and dining spaces).

What extra Covid-19 relief does your community need?

Due to COVID-19, many local businesses have been forced to shut which has heavily

impacted the lives of our business owners and residents who have lost their jobs. Once

restrictions are lifted, the council needs to work on ways to attract more visitors and

customers to Springvale, helping small businesses recover quickly and increase jobs in our

local area. The council also needs to make government financial aid and mental health

services more accessible to the 18% of residents in Greater Dandenong who have limited

English skills by actively promoting these services in different languages.

Your Covid-19 lockdown hobby?

I have spent most of my free time during lockdown hosting multilingual online seminars from

home on health advice, current events and COVID-19 updates for multicultural organisations

such as SBS, SK Media, SK Health Time, CANN, Radio Free Asia, etc. I run these seminars

up to four times per week. I also thoroughly enjoy cooking for my family.

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THI GAM TRAN

Suburb of residence:

Dandenong North

How long have you lived in Greater Dandenong?

Occupation:

Postal worker and community volunteer

Business/employer name:

Australia Post

Property interests:

None

Business interests:

None

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

None

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

None

What councillors, ex-councillors, MPs or ex-MPs have assisted or advised your campaign? No-one

What is your campaign budget?

$3,000

Who are your campaign donors?

No-one

Which candidates are your ‘running mates’?

No-one

Who will you direct your preferences to?

I haven’t decided yet

Describe your involvement in the local community:

As the team leader of a team of volunteers, I have personally given information and referrals to help a few thousand people in need, mainly those who have little English

Example of ‘inappropriate development’ in your ward?

No specific comment

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

No specific comment

Three most important issues for your ward:

Based on my volunteering experience, I am most passionate about helping people disadvantaged by their lack of ability to achieve good English. If elected I will push for Council policies and programs focusing on the many thousand such people in our City. I also want to make the Springvale Community Hub the best it can be

What extra Covid-19 relief does your community need?

As a volunteer, I have personally helped a few dozen people with Covid-related needs. Those with good English are doing tough, those with little English fare much worse.

Your Covid-19 lockdown hobby?

I don’t have time for hobby. On a typical day after work, I would be cooking or doing housework while talking with and helping people who need my volunteer service. Since Covid hit, we have been more busy not less

 

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