Riddells Creek Sustainability Newsletter

17 November 2008

Vote for Sustainability

Filed under: Local Council Elections — Lyn H. @ 8:39 pm

Local Government Elections 2008


The following questionnaire was sent to all prospective East Ward candidates.



I believe that climate change is a real and serious threat to our environment, our economy and our society. I believe that all levels of government, business and the community must take urgent action to immediately reduce emissions and help stop dangerous climate change.

Agree  Disagree

If elected, I commit to playing my role in ensuring Macedon Ranges Shire Council –

1. Understands and promotes to residents and businesses the likely local

impacts and consequences of, and solutions to climate change for the Macedon Ranges.

Agree  Disagree

2. Support local climate action groups and active citizens to engage local

residents and businesses to take action against climate change.

Agree Disagree

3. Host or support community purchasing programs for bulk buying of energy

efficiency or renewable energy products eg. Solar panels and solar water heaters.

Agree  Disagree

4. Supports lobbying of State and Federal Governments to:

a. Increase and improve their policy responses to climate change in

order to urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions

b. Extend their funding of education on the causes of climate change

and the local, national and global impacts of climate change for

local communities.

Agree  Disagree

5. Develop a Sustainable Transport Plan to help the local

community reduce their emissions from transport and cope with climate

change.  The plan could include community bike pools, bike paths and bike parking and a targeted community bus scheme.

Agree  Disagree

6. Improve local community access to sustainable transport options with

funding from all levels of Government.

Agree  Disagree

7. Promote and support local community renewable energy schemes (eg

wind, solar).

Agree  Disagree


8. Achieve zero net emissions from Local Government buildings by 2020

Agree  Disagree

9. Require Local Government operations (eg parks and gardens, cleaning,

and whether internal or by tender) to identify climate change mitigation

measures and targets by 2012.

Agree  Disagree


10. Develop and implement a carbon neutral plan for Macedon Ranges Shire Council and their operations to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020.

Agree  Disagree

11. Develop and implement a carbon neutral plan for our local community to

achieve carbon neutrality by 2020.

Agree  Disagree

12. A solar right is an unobstructed line of sight path from a solar collector to the sun.  Local planning laws should protect our solar rights.

Agree  Disagree

13. If elected, will you use the existing clauses in the planning code to create sustainable buildings and sustainable development?  And will you strengthen the laws to make them more enforceable?

Agree Disagree

14. The orientation of buildings, planting native plants and water harvesting are essential for sustainable planning.  Will you support the Council using financial incentives, such as a rate discount, to achieve sustainable planning approvals for new developments?

Agree Disagree

15. New developments should be as self-sufficient in water as possible. Rain water tanks should be compulsory in all new residential, commercial and industrial developments.

Agree Disagree

16. Please list the following from 1 to 5 in order of how you see it as a priority when making council decisions:

  • Financial viability.
  • Environmental impact
  • The views of affected residents
  • Expanding regional economic growth
  • Future sustainability

17. Any further (brief) comments


Following are the responses we have received to date 17/11/08 (6 so far).  As the replies come in, we will add them to the website.


Hilary Roberts agrees with all statements except No 4, 8, 9, 10 and 11.

He comments- Whilst I applaud the intentions and directions of your survey, a number of the questions are impossible to answer due to lack of definitive data.  I am not prepared to agree with something just because it sounds good and I am not prepared to commit to changing things or delivering things over which I have no direct responsibility or authority to deliver.  There needs to be measurable sustainable evidence provided to enable a considered answer to be given, for example, I have no idea whether it is possible for MR to be carbon neutral by 2020.

  For number 16 he lists the following from 1 to 5 in order of how he sees it as a priority when making council decisions:


1 Environmental impact

2 The views of affected residents

3 Future sustainability

4 Financial viability.

5 Expanding regional economic growth



Hugh Tighe created a new response and wrote strongly agree to all questions.  He lists the following from 1 to 5 in order of how he sees it as a priority when making council decisions:

1 Environmental impact

2  Future sustainability

3 The views of affected residents

4 Financial viability

5 Expanding regional economic growth

He comments-
 If elected I would encourage the participation of groups such as the RCSG (
Riddells Creek Sustainability Group)with council climate policy initiatives, develop partnerships and policy frameworks, publish a sustainability policy for the Shire with website and voting facility to measure the level of support for sustainability policy proposals .


Geoff Neil wrote –  I do support some of the statements, especially solar neighborhoods and watertanks and, being honest, there are statements here that I do not understand and have no idea what impact they would have on Council operations if introduced (or the community if not).   I think if re-elected my actions will ‘speak louder’ than responding per statement in the questionaire.   It is very easy to mark them all ‘agree’ in an effort to seek a particular outcome.   I cannot do this.


Graham Hackett agreed to all the statements.


Eric Nothard agreed with all the statements, and listed the order of priorities as

1. Future sustainability

2.The views of affected residents

3.Environmental impact

4.Financial viability.

5. Expanding regional economic growth

He comments- Keep up the good work


Joe Morabito declined to answer the questions, but rang to say that most governments are just talking, we need action.  And he said to see his election flyers.


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