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Questions For Candidates
Blue Mountains City Council
2012 Election
Ward 1

There are 5 "lead" candidates in Ward 1.

The candidates, their party and their full response to the Society's questionnaire as a pdf are listed below. Candidates are listed in the order they will appear on the ballot paper.

Detailed below is a comparison of the candidates' responses. The last item on the questionnaire - a statement of personal conservation values - is provided first.
6. Personal conservation values
Provide a brief statement of your personal conservation values – limit your statement to 100 words.
Michael Begg  (Liberal)    Note: this is a Liberal Party Candidates Joint Response

Don McGregor  (Labor)
The best way we can honour the work of earlier conservationists is to make sure the National Parks they helped establish are not degraded. Stopping the further destruction of the Gardens of Stone to the west and rolling back the coal seam gas exploration zone in the east are immediate challenges. I oppose hunting in national parks anywhere.

It is not just up to Governments we all have a responsibility to limit the risk of the pollutants we generate escaping into the National Park and World Heritage Area. Likewise we need to do all we can to limit the Green House gases we emit in the course of our daily lives.

Robert Stock  (Independent)
Man made climate change is what confronts us and it is terribly disappointing that governments in this country at all levels are only making progress at such a snail’s pace. I believe Council has an opportunity to influence decisions in favour of funding rail instead of roads in this transport corridor to on the one hand reduce carbon emissions and on the other avoid having to have four lanes from Katoomba to Mount Vic.

We live in a fragile global and local environment that needs care not to become degraded.

Brent Hoare  (The Greens)
I stand for the Greens due to my deep and life-long commitment to defending the Earth and working for the survival of imperilled species, including our own. For over 25 years my career and life choices have been informed by;

Matt Hodgson  (Australia First Party)
Council finances are currently such that all non-core expenditure needs to be curtailed. Water bubblers, especially lavish ones like at Wentworth Falls are an unaffordable luxury. Council’s existing environmental levy imposes an unaffordable burden on ratepayers. Council’s environmental programmes need to be funded out of ordinary rates revenue, which can be achieved by curtailing Council extravagance such as on raw materials and consumables, contractor and consultancy costs, legal fees, non-core capital works – such as the millions to service the Hat Hill development, borrowing costs and advertising.

Blue Mountains heritage conservation is vital and I recommend that Council reinstate a full time Heritage Officer to assess all planning decisions in respect to environmental and cultural heritage objectives and impacts.

Preface

What follows is a tabulation of the candidate's responses to the questionnaire.

Each question has an implicit preface of "As a BMCC Councillor would you".

Candidates were asked to answer each question with a "yes" or "no" - there being no assumed answer if left blank.

1. Natural areas and wildlife
    a. Bushland protection and restoration
  1. Support Council's current funding to Bushcare activities being maintained.
Candidate Party Response Comment
Michael Begg Liberal YES
Don McGregor Labor YES
Robert Stock Independent YES
Brent Hoare The Greens YES
Matt Hodgson Australia First YES

  1. Support the Council taking measures to oppose recreational hunting in National Parks.
Candidate Party Response Comment
Michael Begg Liberal We are opposed to recreational hunting in the Blue Mountains National Park
Don McGregor Labor YES
Robert Stock Independent YES
Brent Hoare The Greens YES
Matt Hodgson Australia First YES

    b. Responsible Pet Ownership
  1. Support the Council continuing to advocate to extend the existing state Companion Animal legislation to domestic cats.
Candidate Party Response Comment
Michael Begg Liberal NO
Don McGregor Labor
Robert Stock Independent YES
Brent Hoare The Greens YES
Matt Hodgson Australia First YES

2. Urban sustainability
  1. Support the introduction of water bubblers so people can recharge their water bottles.
Candidate Party Response Comment
Michael Begg Liberal We support the introduction of water bubblers, subject to available funding
Don McGregor Labor YES
Robert Stock Independent YES
Brent Hoare The Greens YES
Matt Hodgson Australia First NO

  1. Support Council extending its existing environmental levy for another five years to support essential Council environmental programs.
Candidate Party Response Comment
Michael Begg Liberal YES
Don McGregor Labor YES
Robert Stock Independent YES
Brent Hoare The Greens YES
Matt Hodgson Australia First

  1. Support Council in supporting and promoting practical sustainability initiatives developed by local community organisations to lower the community’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Candidate Party Response Comment
Michael Begg Liberal We support sustainable practices
Don McGregor Labor YES
Robert Stock Independent YES
Brent Hoare The Greens YES
Matt Hodgson Australia First

3. Pollution and waste
  1. Support the introduction of a Green Bin for garden waste while retaining the chipping service.
Candidate Party Response Comment
Michael Begg Liberal We support a review of the way we manage green waste in the Blue Mountains. We would like such a review to examine the possible introduction of green bins.
Don McGregor Labor YES
Robert Stock Independent YES
Brent Hoare The Greens YES
Matt Hodgson Australia First YES

  1. Support the introduction of an annual e-waste collection.
Candidate Party Response Comment
Michael Begg Liberal YES
Don McGregor Labor YES
Robert Stock Independent
Brent Hoare The Greens YES
Matt Hodgson Australia First YES


4. Planning and development
Preamble. Council has two local environmental plans (LEPs) governing how and where new development can proceed, and what environmental assessment standards new developments must meet.

LEP 2005 was developed after extensive and thorough community consultation and covers the more developed areas such as the towns and villages. The older LEP 1991 covers the bushland and rural areas.

Both LEPs must be reviewed and updated as part of the NSW government planning reforms, including conforming to a consistent format and style set by the NSW government (the "LEP standard template").

  1. Support ensuring all the existing environmental protection measures currently included in LEP 2005 are not undermined or removed in any updating or revision, including existing provisions related to Protected Areas and those related to minimising environmental impacts of new development, and retaining all areas currently zoned environmental protection.
Candidate Party Response Comment
Michael Begg Liberal YES
Don McGregor Labor YES
Robert Stock Independent YES
Brent Hoare The Greens YES
Matt Hodgson Australia First YES

  1. Support ensuring that LEP 1991 is updated and developed consistent with the provisions, methodology and approach taken in LEP 2005, including provisions related to Protected Areas and those related to minimising environmental impacts of new development, as well as retaining all areas currently zoned environmental protection.
Candidate Party Response Comment
Michael Begg Liberal We believe LEP 1991 should be updated so the environmental protection measures are consistent with LEP 2005.
Don McGregor Labor YES
Robert Stock Independent YES
Brent Hoare The Greens YES
Matt Hodgson Australia First YES

  1. Support Council taking all reasonable steps to restrict one-off “spot” rezoning of land outside of the process of reviewing LEP 2005 and LEP 1991.
Candidate Party Response Comment
Michael Begg Liberal NO
Don McGregor Labor YES
Robert Stock Independent YES
Brent Hoare The Greens YES
Matt Hodgson Australia First YES

5. Public participation and accountability
  1. Support the opportunity for the community to provide informed and timely input into Council decision-making at a strategic and policy level prior to decisions being made - particularly in respect to LEP planning processes.
Candidate Party Response Comment
Michael Begg Liberal YES
Don McGregor Labor YES
Robert Stock Independent YES
Brent Hoare The Greens YES
Matt Hodgson Australia First YES

 © 2015  Blue Mountains Conservation Society Inc.