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Blue Mountains City Council Election - Questionnaire Response

WARD 3


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There are 4 "lead" candidates in Ward 3. The candidates' full response to our questionnaire is listed below. Candidates are listed in the order they will appear on the ballot paper.

PREFACE

What follows is a tabulation of the candidate's responses to the questionnaire to allow a comparison. Each question, except Question 13 and “Personal conservation goals”, has an implicit preface of  "As a BMCC Councillor I will".

Candidates were asked to answer each question with a "yes" or "no" - there being no assumed answer if left blank. The last item on the questionnaire - a statement of personal conservation values - is provided first.

Personal conservation values

If elected, what will you do for the environment? Outline one or more projects/issues that you intend to work on ? – limit 100 words. 

Joel MacRae  (The Greens)

As a Green I have a firm belief in ecological sustainability and identify that we are facing a climate emergency. If elected, I would dedicate my time to setting the goal of and developing strategies to make the Blue Mountains a zero emissions community. This would start with developing a low carbon strategy for all of Blue Mountains City Council operations, which will expand to include the whole community. Such a strategy will encompass a range of policy areas including renewables, land, water and waste management, and public transport to name a few. Council will need to take a leading role in facilitating all stakeholders in such an ambitious endeavour.

Shae Foenander  (Independent)

I will fight to protect our World Heritage.
I will strongly oppose mass development.
I will support any movement to keep our waterways clean and pollutant free.
I will strongly advocate for protection of our wildlife, fauna and flora against any threat to their survival and existence.
I will Strongly and passionately fight against the development of BCA as I have been doing for the last 10 months.
I will support any ban on coal seam gas mining in the Blue Mountains.
I will oppose any movement toward removing our Character housing zoning.
I will support our current L.E.P in protecting our environment.

 

Mick Fell  (Labor)

I intend to continue advocating for environmental protection policy appropriate to the unique nature of our area. 
This includes ensuring protection of the urban/natural interface with the World heritage wilderness Area and water catchment. 
I will continue to advocate for the preservation of our unique towns and villages and the lifestyle we enjoy as residents.

Daniel Myles  (Liberal)

In the next term, I intend to drive a public debate about the effects that the growth of Sydney is starting to have on our local area. The spread of the population and the rise in housing prices in the Western Suburbs will make the Mountains a more attractive place to live. However, this will come at the cost of what makes the Blue Mountains special. The Blue Mountains population needs to be clear on what the impact on our precious residential amenity and quality of life will be.

Natural areas - Bushland protection and restoration

1. Support Council's current funding to Bushcare and Bush regeneration activities:

a) being maintained

Candidate Party Response
Joel MacRae Greens  
Shae Foenander Ind. Yes subject to knowing the budget
Mick Fell Labor Yes
Daniel Myles Liberal
Being maintained. Happy to discuss increases in the course of this term

b) being increased

Candidate Party Response
Joel MacRae Greens Yes
Shae Foenander Ind. Yes subject to advice about budget
Mick Fell Labor Yes
Daniel Myles Liberal
Yes, subject to availability of State/Federal funding

Postamble:  The 2016-17 budget for bushcare funds 1 full time and 6 part time positions and the bush regeneration budget supports 6 full time positions.

2. Support an increase in the Noxious Weeds program by extending the number of catchments targeted each year, and by providing more private property weed education and advice.
Candidate Party Response
Joel MacRae Greens Yes
Shae Foenander Ind. Yes subject to advice about budget
Mick Fell Labor Yes, subject to staff advice
Daniel Myles Liberal Yes,

3. Support Council maintaining its budget for bushwalking track maintenance and development, using Nature Based Recreation Licence Fees for additional work and actively pursuing opportunities for additional Commonwealth and State funding.
Candidate Party Response
Joel MacRae Greens Yes
Shae Foenander Ind. Yes
Mick Fell Labor Yes, subject to staff advice
Daniel Myles Liberal Yes

 

Enforcement of Environmental Regulations

4. Support Council taking a strong and consistent approach to enforcement of breaches of environmental regulations:

a) by taking legal action against illegal clearing of natural bushland

Candidate Party Response
Joel MacRae Greens Yes
Shae Foenander Ind. Yes
Mick Fell Labor Yes
Daniel Myles Liberal Yes

b) by initiating the establishment of a specialist environmental enforcement unit of suitably trained staff

Candidate Party Response
Joel MacRae Greens Yes
Shae Foenander Ind. Yes I would support this subject to advice
Mick Fell Labor Yes, subject to staff advice
Daniel Myles Liberal
No. I prefer to have many staff across BMCC Health & Development trained in this area for greater flexibility rather than a specialist unit.

 

5. Support the development and implementation of a Council Land Encroachment Policy to address degradation of bushland reserves caused by the use of this land by neighbouring private landholders.
Candidate Party Response
Joel MacRae Greens Yes
Shae Foenander Ind. Yes. Absolutely
Mick Fell Labor Yes
Daniel Myles Liberal Yes

Postamble:  Currently there are issues of residents degrading Council bushland reserves adjacent to their properties by using the land to park vehicles, stockpile materials, locate trampolines, dispose of garden waste, or mowing etc.

Waste

6. Support

a) the introduction of a financial incentive for residents to compost their own waste

Candidate Party Response
Joel MacRae Greens Yes
Shae Foenander Ind. Yes on the condition that State or Federal Grant is allocated
Mick Fell Labor
Yes, subject to staff advice
Daniel Myles Liberal No. Excessive composting in the past has lead to an increase in rat numbers. Composting is fine for individuals but on a large scale, would be one step forward and several steps back.

b) the re-introduction of Council educational programs to encourage a range of waste minimisation practices

Candidate Party Response
Joel MacRae Greens Yes
Shae Foenander Ind. Yes
Mick Fell Labor Yes
Daniel Myles Liberal Yes

 

7. Promote change to the waste collection systems for businesses in order to encourage reuse and re-cycling.
Candidate Party Response
Joel MacRae Greens Yes
Shae Foenander Ind. Yes subject to State or Federal Grants
Mick Fell Labor Yes, subject to the availability of State/federal funding
Daniel Myles Liberal Yes. BMCC should never have got out of this business.

Postamble:  Commercial properties are not provided with the same recycling services as residents, and there is no incentive for businesses to recycle waste.

 

Planning and development

a) all existing provisions aimed at minimising environmental impacts of new development

Candidate Party Response
Joel MacRae Greens Yes
Shae Foenander Ind. Yes
Mick Fell Labor Yes
Daniel Myles Liberal Yes

b) all areas currently mapped as Protected Areas.

Candidate Party Response
Joel MacRae Greens Yes
Shae Foenander Ind. Yes
Mick Fell Labor Yes
Daniel Myles Liberal Yes

 

c) all areas currently zoned environmental protection (E2).
Candidate Party Response
Joel MacRae Greens Yes
Shae Foenander Ind. Yes
Mick Fell Labor Yes
Daniel Myles Liberal Yes
Postamble:  The LEP 2015 governs how and where new development can proceed, and what environmental standards new developments must meet. This LEP must be reviewed and updated in the next few years.)

9. Oppose the State Government imposing a new housing target on the Blue Mountains, designed to increase the housing stock in order to accommodate Sydney’s growing population.
Candidate Party Response
Joel MacRae Greens Yes
Shae Foenander Ind. Yes I will strongly oppose this plan
Mick Fell Labor Yes
Daniel Myles Liberal Yes

10. Oppose any future re-zoning of land aimed at increasing the areas available for medium density housing development.
Candidate Party Response
Joel MacRae Greens Yes
Shae Foenander Ind. Strongly oppose. I support Conservation Society fully.
Mick Fell Labor Yes, subject to staff advice
Daniel Myles Liberal Yes!
Postamble:  Some submissions during the development of LEP 2015, mainly from developers, advocated extending the medium density housing zone, R3, by rezoning land adjacent to the village centres. This is despite the Council Residential Strategy 2010 concluding that there is adequate vacant residential lots to meet expected population forecasts, and that current opportunities for medium density development are under-utilised.)

11. Protect the built heritage and large garden and bushland lots of the Blue Mountains townships by supporting the village precinct objectives and proposed R6 Residential Character Conservation Zone in LEP 2015.
Candidate Party Response
Joel MacRae Greens Yes
Shae Foenander Ind. Yes. Will fight to protect this zoning
Mick Fell Labor Yes
Daniel Myles Liberal Yes!
Postamble:  The Blue Mountains towns are famous for their large lot residential areas featuring older character housing, 'leafy green streets' and display gardens as well as natural bushland. Some submissions during the development of LEP 2015 opposed the introduction of R6.)

12. Oppose the introduction of the SP3 Tourism Zone which will increase the opportunities for large-scale, resort-style tourism development
Candidate Party Response
Joel MacRae Greens Yes
Shae Foenander Ind. I do not support further mass development
Mick Fell Labor Will take staff advice
Daniel Myles Liberal No. I support this zone. Tourism is a great creator of local, sustainable and low-impact jobs
Postamble:  Tourism in the Blue Mountains is currently characterised by locally owned and operated small-scale accommodation and nature and heritage-based activities. This ensures that visual and natural amenity, environmental protection and World Heritage values are preserved, and that the tourist dollar stays in the local community.

13. Will you publicly and strongly support Council’s current position opposing:

a) Coal Seam Gas exploration and extraction in the Local Government Area.

Candidate Party Response
Joel MacRae Greens Yes
Shae Foenander Ind. Yes absolutely
Mick Fell Labor Yes
Daniel Myles Liberal You bet!

b) The transport of nuclear waste through the Blue Mountains.

Candidate Party Response
Joel MacRae Greens Yes
Shae Foenander Ind. Yes, with no hesitation
Mick Fell Labor Yes
Daniel Myles Liberal Yes

 

c) The building of an airport at Badgerys Creek in Western Sydney.
Candidate Party Response
Joel MacRae Greens Yes
Shae Foenander Ind. Massively oppose an Airport in Western Sydney. I have been a very strong advocate for Western Sydney in opposing BCA . I am an executive member of RAWSA and I am on the Mayoral Reference Committee against BCA airport
Mick Fell Labor Yes
Daniel Myles Liberal Yes