By-election

ASK THE STATE CANDIDATES
Tim Holding, our elected State representative, has resigned. There will be a by-election for the seat of Lyndhurst on 27th April 2013 . The LRA invited local residents to suggest which questions they might wish to be put to the candidates. The below list of questions summarises the responses we received. All these questions have been submitted to each of the candidates. Any candidate responses received are provided below. The candidates are identified here .

NOTE: Click on the links down the left to see the responses categorised by question and by candidate.

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Anti-social behavior
  • There appears to be an increase in anti social behaviours locally. We rely on Police based almost 10 Km away who have the attitude when issues are reported that they will send some one if and when they can, we are also waiting for PSO’s to be posted at the Lynbrook train station. What steps will you and your party be taking to ensure public safety is maintained in our area?
Martin Leahy
(Sex Party)
No response received yet
Nina Springle
(Australian Greens)
We believe, based on strong and long standing evidence from Australia and around the world, that the best way to curb ‘anti-social behaviour’ is to provide people and communities with good educational, employment and recreational opportunities and facilities. I would also advocate for a 24 hr police station to service the Hampton Park/Lynbrook area.  In the short term Cranbourne Police Station needs greater numbers to provide the capacity for patrols of the Lynbrook area.
Hung Vo
(Independent)
Firstly, we have to ask ourselves some questions on why this happening. This problem is not just happening in our electorate, but in other electorates as well.

-What drives people to anti-social behaviour?
-Why do we have an increase of anti-social behaviour?
-Will a bigger police presence prevent anti-social behaviour?

I believe we need to look at the community programs available to the people of Lyndhurst. I believe the increase in anti-social behaviour is due to a few factors:

– Lack of activities for our young people;
– Lack of support services for the community;
– Lack of skills training centres
– Lack of community events;

I do not believe that a bigger police presence will reduce anti-social behaviour, it will only push the problem to another location – and obviously none of us want that to occur. What we need are activities, support and skills training for our young people. We also need community events so they can showcase their talents to the community.

Bobby Singh
(Independent)
No response received yet
Stephen Nowland
(Family First)
Anti-Social behaviour is not only a community issue, but also a family one, and ensuring that families are better catered for in Lyndhurst will go a long way to fixing this problem. I would fight to ensure that there is an increased Police presence, particularly in those areas which are deemed “High problem” areas and also making the Government accountable in fulfilling their pledge of PSO’s to train stations. Ensuring that there are adequate youth and community centres that cater for the growing youth population within Lyndhurst. Will also be a priority for me.
David Linaker
(Independent)
No response received yet
Martin Pakula
(Australia Labor Party)
A community’s response to anti-social behaviour is not about any single measure. It’s about educational opportunities, sporting clubs, TAFE and skills development and jobs, as well as a strong police presence and appropriate sentencing by our courts.

Under Labor the crime rate consistently went down.  This was due to our delivery of record numbers of frontline police, as well the introduction of laws and programs designed to cut the causes and effects of crime.  At the 2010 election, the former Brumby government committed to 940 extra police officers on the beat, and had we not been defeated, many of these would have been in growth communities such as Lynbrook. Of course the final decision about where police are deployed is a matter for The Chief Commissioner, but as a local member it would be my job to advocate for Lynbrook to be properly serviced by police as a growing community.

As for PSO’s at Lynbrook, the Baillieu (now Napthine) Government commitment was crystal clear – that there would be at least 2 PSO’s at every metro station by November 2014. As Member for Lyndhurst, I will do what I have done over the past 2 and a half years as Shadow Minister for Scrutiny of Government – harass, harangue and hold the Government to account until they fulfil that promise.
Geraldine Gonsalvez
(Democratic Labor Party)
I do believe that police presence is essential I will endeavour in the remaining one and a half years left in this term of office if elected to increase funding for extra police to service the Lyndhurst / Lynbrook areas of the electorate as well as for more  law enforcement officers at the Local Government sector to work in collaboration to prevent and ensure the safety of residents. After the completion of the current electoral redistribution depending on the per capita numbers and the new boundaries I will if the need emerges and prevails  following the new boundaries for a new  upgraded local police station  depending on how the electorate shapes up after the electoral redistribution. I will definitely advocate to obtain this and ensure that a new police station  becomes a reality.

I will also do my best to encourage and initiate a shared community / police  Community Safety Education Partnership via schools, pre-schools, higher  education sectors such as Migrant and  adult learning centres, U3A, neighbourhood watch, local councils, ethnic / multicultural organisations, sporting clubs and youth groups etc. I will be requesting regular patrols and police presence in troubled, hot spots and areas of public shared use such as stations sporting clubs and entertainment venue for example.

Whilst serving on the Dandenong City Council I was very much a part of the Eyes on the Street Program that progressed to become a state wide initiative   I will ensure we have safety factored in all  planning procedures and that local business and retail also assume responsibility for local safety.
Secondary Schools
  • It’s fantastic to see so many new early learning centres, kindergartens and primary schools in the area. Unfortunately, no new secondary colleges have been built in the area and I am unaware of any plans to build one in our area in the future. At the moment, our primary schools are very bottom heavy, but as these little ones reach secondary school age, I fear that Lyndhurst will not have the capacity to take in the numbers they may be faced with. I am equally concerned by stories from parents who have had negative experiences with Lyndhurst Secondary College (I am yet to hear any positive stories). It is also concerning that many parents would rather move suburb than be faced with the prospect of sending their children to Lyndhurst Secondary. There needs to be another option, as not all parents can afford the alternative of private schools.
  • Would like to see some action regarding secondary high school.
Martin Leahy
(Sex Party)
No response received yet
Nina Springle
(Australian Greens)
Our approach would be to put pressure on the state government to provide more support and resources for Lyndhurst Secondary College and to engage with parents to turn ‘negative experiences’ into positive ones. It is an existing government school and should be supported and resourced so it can be a quality secondary school that has the confidence of the community. Further, we would focus on improving education results at Lyndhurst Secondary College and Hampton Park Secondary College. Residents deserve quality education outcomes.
Hung Vo
(Independent)
I have seen the Brack’s (Labor) government close down quite a few schools in the electorate of Lyndhurst, forcing local students to travel further out of their area to find a school. In this way, they lost their friends, lost their good teachers and most importantly, they lost their favourite school.
To compensate, class sizes were increased at selected schools. This has obviously reduced the quality of teaching and supervision, which impacts academic potential.The Liberal alternative was no better. When in power, they continued to support the idea of shutting some schools down, but did not support further pay rises as demanded by the teachers.If parents want to see change, then they need to vote for the right candidate who will press the issue with the government.
Bobby Singh
(Independent)
No response received yet
Stephen Nowland
(Family First)
I would fight for greater resources for Lyndhurst Secondary College, as well as Hampton Park Secondary College, and to see these Schools become the leaders in the state and National arena. Including extra Technical and trades training in my electorate will also be a priority.
David Linaker
(Independent)
No response received yet
Martin Pakula
(Australia Labor Party)
It is a fundamental element of an egalitarian society that all students are able to access a high quality education. In particular, Government has an obligation to provide decent, accessible secondary education.

The sentiments about the primary / secondary distinction in the Lynbrook area are very familiar to me. In many communities, parents express great confidence in their local primary schools, but equally, express misgivings about the availability and / or quality of the secondary education on offer. As a consequence, some parents are spending thousands of dollars per annum – and causing themselves significant financial stress – on private education.

Many parents choose private schools through a genuine desire to give their children a private education, and that is a perfectly legitimate choice. But equally, some do so because they feel they have no choice – either because the Government secondary school is viewed as “not up to scratch” or because of lack of space.

I’m not in a position to promise a new secondary school for Lynbrook as part of this campaign, but residents should be in no doubt about my commitment to high quality Government secondary education, nor about my determination to fight for the rights of my constituents to be able to access it.
Geraldine Gonsalvez
(Democratic Labor Party)
Have no fear.  Education is my forte.  I am an educator by profession with a Masters in Education.  I will not only commit to work hard to enable provision for good Secondary Education campus but I will go further to lay the foundations for obtain a Tech /Tafe and Tertiary campus.  Whilst serving on the Dandenong Council I very much wanted to see the reality of a University campus on the stock market site that was then determined for sale.  We had the perfect infra-structure but given the complex politics of the day this did not eventuate and besides I departed from council.

There will be no need to sell up and move from the area due to the current lack of provision.  Because I will personally make this my pet project. There are provisions and funding options under the Commonwealth’s commissioned Gonski review that we as a community can tap into.

Regards the issues at the Lyndhurst Secondary high I am prepared to with the permission of parents  staff and students willing to be briefed and personally help identify the contributing factors and help resource and resolve the difficulties. As an educator myself I will work hard to ensure: That schools’ in Lyndhurst do not experience access and equity issues. That they are properly resourced to deliver a modern, varied & properly integrated curriculum.  I will support bilingual learning and schooling options. I will ensure schools cater for varying disabilities and I will assist and encourage parents to be better informed and engaged within the curriculum and school community in a shared, voluntary and skilled basis that optimises the collective skills present within the local community.  I’d like to see higher education and local traineeships and apprenticeships become a local reality.  Finally there is much work to be done within the early childhood and preschool areas. In particular that they be recognised and administered within the Department of schools and education whilst keeping their freedom & Independence. I am against large class sizes.
Waste Management
  • I want to know who will fight for the Hallam Rd Tip to be closed as soon as possible, and a new tip site built right away from residential areas.
  • The Hallam Rd. tip has been an ongoing concern for many of the local residents. Sita and the EPA have made an enforceable undertaking in relation to the issues at the landfill. However recently there have been some issues arising again. How will you ensure that the issues that have occurred previously are not repeated?
  • We need more pressure from the Government on the operations of the local Hallam Rd Hampton Park Landfill. There have been improvements since the Enforceable Undertaking but we need someone that shows real interest in the concerns our residents have regarding the odours emanating from the Landfill and any other possible health concerns. Does the candidate have as much interest in this issue as the residents?
  • A soil processing plan has been approved for the Taylors Rd. prescribed waste facility, however the EPA continues to grant exemptions on contaminated soils, allowing these soils to be used in inappropriate ways or covered with concrete which could cause issues for future generations. How will you support a local employer and ensure that contaminated soils are properly treated?
Martin Leahy
(Sex Party)
No response received yet
Nina Springle
(Australian Greens)
The Greens have been working on issues around the management of hazardous waste for many years now, including the toxic dump in Lyndhurst. Greens MLC Colleen Hartland has worked extensively for over twenty years on these issues, going right back to Coode Island, and extending to the Tullamarine, Werribee and Lyndhurst. With that track record I believe we are the only Party that has the political will to take the concerns of the residents around the toxic dump in Lyndhurst seriously. We would like to see the site at Lyndhurst closed within the next five years and the existing waste eliminated. Rather than moving it to another site where it becomes someone else’s problem, SITA should be looking into new technologies that allow toxic waste and residual output to be dealt with on site. We would be advocating for the establishment of a Parliamentary Committee to look into the safe management of hazardous waste and develop a Hazardous Waste Management Plan.  We would be advocating for an environmental impact assessment at the site to ascertain what actions need to be taken in the rehabilitation of the environment in and around the dump. We would also support more resources going into research and development on progressive ways of dealing with waste now and in the future. Our concern extends not only to the toxic dump but also the extreme smell emanating from the Hallam Road tip. Residents from as far as Cranbourne East have complained to me that they can smell fumes from Hallam Road when they go outside their house. This is unacceptable. We would be advocating for its closure ASAP.
Hung Vo
(Independent)
This issue will never go away. I guarantee that no Labor or Liberal party candidate will address it.I am not an expert but an expert body (the EPA) has informed the community that it is safe for the landfill to be operating there. On the other hand, members of the community are concerned about potential odour and health hazards.I believe that the elected candidate should listen to the people of Lyndhurst, and get all the groups together to share their views. We need to establish if the landfill brings any benefit to the people and to our community. We also need to find out if the tendering company has given back to the community. Before we can resolve the issue we need information to determine the net benefit or loss posed by these facilities to our community.
Bobby Singh
(Independent)
No response received yet
Stephen Nowland
(Family First)
The removal of the waste facility from Lyndhurst is not an easy fix, and is one that all political parties have been trying to rectify over the past 15 years. I would like to see all hazardous waste that is disposed of at this site neutralised before it is disposed of at Lyndhurst. There are Countries around the world such as Sweden that have “Worlds best practice” in disposing of these waste chemicals, and so these should be more investigated and used. That way Refuse facilities will be minimised and the impact on the Community will not be as great.
David Linaker
(Independent)
No response received yet
Martin Pakula
(Australia Labor Party)
I empathise with residents who wish to have tips relocated, whether those residents are concerned with the Hallam Road general waste facility (in the Narre Warren South district) or the Taylors Road prescribed waste facility (in the Lyndhurst district).

But whilst some candidates might be tempted to make commitments about what will happen to such facilities if they are elected, I think it is incumbent on candidates to treat residents with respect, and to ensure their commitments are realistic and not wishful or disingenuous.

Despite the reasonable desire of residents for these facilities to be located elsewhere, the Hallam Road landfill is licensed till 2040, and whilst its closure is not imminent, we all need to work to minimise the impact of odour on residents. As for the prescribed waste facility in Taylors Road, most people believe it would be preferable for such an establishment to be in a more remote location. But Governments of both persuasions have, over almost 2 decades, endeavoured to identify another practical location, thus far without success.

Those efforts should continue and as a local member I will work with Council, other local MP’s (both State and Federal) and the State Government to see that they do. It’s also important for local MP’s to be able to work with the owner of the facilities to ensure that monitoring, reporting and material handling are of the highest possible standard.
Geraldine Gonsalvez
(Democratic Labor Party)
I can confidently and truthfully state  that no other candidate can claim to have the very real long, consistent, voluntary commitment and involvement that I have had to the issues troubling the Lyndhurst landfill, the slaughter of its green wedge and the fight to stop and prevent the offensive industrial uses from being permitted to locate in the Dandenong South /Lyndhurst area. This fight began pretty much when we decided to live& make our home and raise our young family in Dandenong South and has continued since 1984 when oblivious to us the issues began to pile up literally on our door stop and it has since been a tiresome long exercise battling the inappropriate introduction of high hazard uses in the heart of the food growing and residential area of Dandenong South & Lyndhurst with the absences of any buffers or environmental impact statements or assessments.

Residents of Lyndhurst and Dandenong South in particular have been in my opinion very poorly represented in this matter given my long engagement on all the many resident committees past and present set up specifically to try and halt the industrial invasion of  Lyndhurst such as DRAG; [Dandenong Residents Action Group] Defenders Of The Green Wedge; Residents Against Toxic Waste In The South East; [RATWISE] SITA’s CESC ie the Community Engagement Steering Committee for the Lyndhurst landfill.  The only success if brief began when I was providentially elected to serve a single term on the  Dandenong City Council in the year 2000 to 2003.  Up until this time for 12 years all matters related to the Landfill were not dealt with in open council but under delegated authority.  I changed that and brought all discussions out in to the open ordinary meetings of Council.  It then became blatantly obvious that there were grave concerns & issues pertaining to its operational permit.  I then proceeded to set up the very first environment forum for the city where residents could further engage and express their concerns as well as be heard and listen to advice regards the industrial problems of Dandenong South & Lyndhurst.  What followed was active resident participation and together with the residents support and my role as ward councillor and the forum we were able to engage pro-actively with all stake holders and the following actions were established including a detailed consultative study on the future development of Lyndhurst. Unfortunately since my departure from council in early March 2003 all that was achieved as listed below were slowly but surely retrospectively retracted.  This did not stop the community we persevered and it was on our invitation that the various local greens candidates much later became educated and informed about our issues after the local  Dandenong Green Party was established.

I have been personally committed to this cause representing this matter at all levels to date since as early as the 1990’s & late 1980’s.  It’s pretty much been full time and ongoing and is definitely one of my life’s longest tasks that I have been involved in fighting and standing up to the lack of democracy, poor governance and the various planning and environmental justice issues underpinning the amendments, the rezoning battles, which were all a part of the creation of the offensive Industry 2 Zone and hazardous waste precinct in the absence of safe buffers locating in the heart  of  residential Dandenong South and  Lyndhurst. I was and still am an active voice representing the residents in the South East metropolitan region in a voluntary capacity more recently on the CESE and a current member of RATWISE .  I have stood previously as an independent candidate on various elections spending my own money to highlight and draw attention to the lack of consultation and natural justice in this area.  The following are some of the more successful actions I have undertaken in  a specific way to address this matter:

As the 2000 to 2003 Dandenong Ward Councillor:

  • I successfully proposed a 2 year closure on the LYNDHURST Landfill in 2001 & 2002, when previously there was none and it was then supposed to close in 2007. This was determined in conjunction the management of the Landfill, Council, the EPA and State Government.  
  • I also fought and overturned the works approval for the Height extension of the Lyndhurst landfill and had the height extension squashed. This was also done in conjunction with the management of Sita, the EPA and the state Government.  
  • Together with Mr. Stuart Marriner and the members of RATWISE as the then chair woman we successfully campaigned Council to fund the cost of testing the validity of our claim that the landfill was in fact in breach of section 11 of its then planning permit which clearly stated that the landfill was a domestic waste landfill and was not permitted to receive any hazardous waste. Council funded this and as chairperson of the Residents Against Toxic Waste in The South East we participated in representing this matter at VCAT and were vindicated on the 11thof July 2006 when VCAT ruled that the tip was in fact in breach of its planning permit and ordered the use to cease and the city of Greater Dandenong to impose an infringement. This did not eventuate as the ALP state Government of the day called the matter in and ruled that it remain Victoria’s Haz waste landfill tinn 2020 in early 2007.
  • I also participated as an independent submitter into the Nowinji process to determine a good environmental plan for the above ground containment of Victoria’s Hazardous wastes this was successfully completed. However all this become history when the ALP government decided to extend the life of the landfill for 20 years irrespective of the ruling obtained at VCAT and not act on the Nowinji determination.  
  • I also  campaigned with and assisted the residents of Willow Lodge to obtain Pedestrian Access Flashing lights on the busy four lane Frankston Dandenong Road via the Black Spot Funding and had the village connected to mains gas with residents having the choice to be connected as a cheaper alternative to the bottled gas for washing and cooking that previously was not available.  
  • Similarly if elected I will continue to be a local voice representing local issues for local solutions in the Victorian State Parliament. I will as the member for Lyndhurst do my best to factor in closure on the Lyndhurst Toxic and Hazardous waste landfill and advocate for a state of the art above ground Hazardous waste managing facility for Victoria elsewhere on crown land with suitable buffers far away from residential and other environmental risks to ground water and air pollution I will put a stop to ad hoc irregular  rezoning and planning amendments for offensive industrial purposes.
Transport & Traffic
  • Most days, my husband and I have to use the intersection of Hallam Road/South Gippsland Highway/Evans Road. To go along with the actual accidents that occur on a regular basis, I have witnessed countless dangerous occurrences/near misses that no doubt go unrecorded but nevertheless are evidence that this intersection is very dangerous and urgently needs upgrading before another person dies. I am lead to understand that the upgrade of this intersection is tied in with the upgrade of both Hallam Road and Evans Road. What concerns me is that funding has not been agreed upon for the Evans Road upgrade (a road that was only meant to be closed a matter of months, not years). Will our new MP fight to see that both the above mentioned intersection and Evans Road are upgraded in the very near future, working with local council to achieve this goal?
  • How do they plan to improve the train service in the area, with only a single track between Dandenong and cranbourne the service is failing people in this growth area. How will they push for a second track?
  • What is going to be done to connect Lynbrook with Lyndhurst and when? Eg: Evans Rd or Alymer Rd?
  • Railway underpass at Aylmer Rd?
  • I would like to know each candidates stance on a rail line to Melbourne Airport?
  • Would like to know the impact of the Hasting Port development on Lynbrook. In particular the rail line from Hastings to Melbourne and where the line will be and how it might impact Lynbrook.
  • The South Gippsland Highway and South Gippsland Freeway / Mooroduc Freeway intersection and on and off ramp area is a complete mess. The design is outdated, dangerous and doesn’t handle the current amount of traffic. This is becoming an extremely dangerous intersection. What will you be doing to improve the current situation so this area can be made safer for local residents?
  • What is your position on the opening of Evans Road?
Martin Leahy
(Sex Party)
No response received yet
Nina Springle
(Australian Greens)
– Safety is our first priority, we would work with local government and the government of the day to ensure a funding arrangement can be made.

– Support a second track and a staged program of removing level crossings. Both of these are required to run more frequent trains. In the short term, we should provide extra buses to ensure local buses meet every train, till late in the evening. We need buses that run fast, frequent and straight, to get you across the area to different shopping centres, schools and work. That includes the Dandenong South industrial area.

– No, we have enough level crossings; need removing without deciding to build more grade separations. Will funnel the whole district’s traffic thru the pedestrian friendly railway precinct!

– Support.

– Don’t support development of Hastings as a major container port. Apart from the environment of the bay, it is unlikely that much of the freight would be on rail and that would have a massive impact on the south east in terms of trucks.
Hung Vo
(Independent)
I believe that railway tracks should be put underground or on bridges to avoid dangerous intersections. This is the way to save lives and reduce road congestion. A forward looking approach would also see train stations upgraded with additional services for waiting patrons. I also think that roads should be expanded and improved in line with the increase in the population. Build it now so we are ready for the requirements of the future.
Bobby Singh
(Independent)
No response received yet
Stephen Nowland
(Family First)
The biggest traffic issue is  Thompsons road, and will work to ensuring that this road is duplicated immediately, and that the Evans road, Hallam road and South Gippsland highway is upgraded, and that Evans road is reopened as soon as is practical.

Obviously, with the new Hastings Port proposal  will not only impact  the traffic congestion on the South Eastern and Gippsland freeways, but will also have a massive impact on the rail network. Whilst this Port  would be great for employment  opportunities, I would like to see containers railed in and overpasses  built to ensure that this has little or no impact on the road network. There would also have to be the introduction of a second rail line if this were to proceed, so I would see this as a positive particularly if there were rail and road upgrades to accommodate. if there were not these infrastructure upgrades I would oppose it.
David Linaker
(Independent)
No response received yet
Martin Pakula
(Australia Labor Party)
I’ve already used the Parliament to raise the matter of how unacceptable the situation re Thomsons Road is generally, and specifically, the ongoing refusal of the Government to upgrade the Evans Rd / Hallam Rd / South Gippsland Highway intersection and reopen Evans Rd.

I will continue to fight for that opening and will work closely with Council to attempt to achieve that end.

As for the other transport issues raised, the Labor Party has made it clear that we do not support the Government’s Port of Hastings proposal, instead preferring the ‘Bay West’ option near Avalon. We will continue to vigorously pursue that option and highlight the potentially negative outcomes for our constituents of the ill-advised Hastings proposal.

I’m a supporter of an airport rail link – but I recognise that there is a valid debate about how high it is on the priority list, particularly when it is lined up against proposals that would make the day to day commuter network more reliable (such as Melbourne Metro, Regional Rail Link, and track duplications or passing loops).

Finally, I believe Lynbrook residents are right to expect that they should be able to get across the railway line without a 15 minute circuitous car trip (or longer) and I will do what I can to try to resolve this long standing bugbear for residents.
Geraldine Gonsalvez
(Democratic Labor Party)
No response received yet
Engagement with the Community
  • The outgoing Tim Holding MP has been quite invisible to this part of his electorate, especially since he has been in opposition. Will the new candidate, regardless of whether they are in opposition, in government or on the cross bench do more to engage this part of his electorate?
Martin Leahy
(Sex Party)
No response received yet
Nina Springle
(Australian Greens)
I live in Noble Park and until recently managed the Noble Park Community Centre. I am very proud of my work there including the establishment of the Noble Park Community Garden, the Noble Park Drop-In Project (aimed at disengaged Sudanese youth) and the annual International Women’s Day Breakfast. In a similar fashion I am committed to working with all communities in the south east, shown by my work facilitating family violence recovery programs with Anglicare in Carrum in 2011. My family have lived in Noble Park since they migrated from Eastern Europe in the early ‘50s so my roots are firmly in this part of Melbourne. I chose to move back here to raise my children and through my work and community connections feel very much part of life in the south east. One of the four core values of the Greens is grassroots democracy.  Wherever a Green is elected they immerse themselves in the community. We have never had a Greens Councilor in the City of Casey, but Lynette Keleher represented nearby Hampton Park in the last Council term and still is an integral member of that community. If elected I will make it my life’s work to engage and connect with all people throughout the electorate of Lyndhurst, not only because its my job but more so because their needs are my needs.
Hung Vo
(Independent)
I believe the elected candidate should be a person that represents the people of the electorate, and so they should engage visibly with the community. Most importantly, the office of an elected candidate should be open 313 days of the year (including half a day on Saturdays). Tim Holding’s office was more likely open 52 days of the year because he was too busy and didn’t live in the electorate of Lyndhurst.The elected candidate should be aware of the issues in the electorate of Lyndhurst and bring them forward to the appropriate channels for resolution, rather than ignoring them.I believe that the elected candidate should be involved in community programs, especially government funded programs (community health, drug & alcohol, schools, youth services, police). By being familiar with the successes and failures of these programs, the elected candidate can ask the government for further support and implement changes to benefit the people of the electorate.An elected candidate must engage with the community, listen, be aware of the issues and be part of community programs to benefit the people of Lyndhurst.
Bobby Singh
(Independent)
No response received yet
Stephen Nowland
(Family First)
I will ensure that the needs of my community are put before anything else. I would have no greater satisfaction, than to represent this community in Parliament. This is all about RESPECTING each member of this great community and making sure that WE have the adequate services we require.
David Linaker
(Independent)
No response received yet
Martin Pakula
(Australia Labor Party)
With questions such as these, the best rule of thumb is judge us not by what we say, but by what we do. I will be an active, engaged, energetic and accessible local member – but I expect all candidates will say that. For all of us, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating.
Geraldine Gonsalvez
(Democratic Labor Party)
No response received yet
Food Security
  • Since moving to this area 20 years ago, so much agricultural/food producing land has been swallowed up by urban growth. I would be interested to hear what the prospective candidates views are on food security in this electorate and how much is going to be done to limit further encroachment on Casey’s richly productive farm land?
Martin Leahy
(Sex Party)
No response received yet
Nina Springle
(Australian Greens)
The Greens have consistently opposed in Parliament the massive expansion of the Urban Growth Boundary pushed by the Labor and Liberal Parties. This is particularly important in south-east of Melbourne which is one of our major food producing areas. We think it is time to stop the sprawl of Melbourne and look at other options for growth. Food security is a key Greens policy and we advocate for protecting farmland from being swallowed up by urban growth wherever it is occurring.  Former Greens Cr Lynette Keleher fought hard on this issue in the City of Casey, as will Greens Cr Matthew Kirwan in the City of Greater Dandenong.
Hung Vo
(Independent)
Obviously as the population grows, more and more urban development will emerge. This means a reduction in land for farming. I think people should be allowed to choose to move where they want and if they prefer more urban development then so be it. In the final analysis, farmers sell their land because they received a good price and are happy to continue their work elsewhere.
Bobby Singh
(Independent)
No response received yet
Stephen Nowland
(Family First)
I believe that there should be a more rounded approach to this whole issue of farm land being swallowed up by the Urban growth boundary. Agriculture and food producing land has been swallowed up not only in Lyndhurst, but all around the outer suburbs of Melbourne over the past 10 years, and any increase or expansion on this boundary, and the impact  this has on our food security should be carefully considered.
David Linaker
(Independent)
No response received yet
Martin Pakula
(Australia Labor Party)
Much of Casey lies inside the Urban Growth Boundary and planning is undertaken in consultation with the Council. This provides a long-term planning approach to balance the need for more housing with existing land uses, including farming. The Eastern parts of the Lyndhurst electorate are outside the UGB and this means that highly productive farmland will be retained into the future. In particular, the Bunyip Food Belt has been included in submissions to the National Food Plan currently being developed by the Federal Government and includes farms across the Mornington Peninsula, Casey, and Cardinia municipalities, as being of national importance to food security.
Geraldine Gonsalvez
(Democratic Labor Party)
No response received yet
Your Perspective
  • I would like to know what they felt was the most important issues for Lynbrook. After all, they want the job, they should know.
Martin Leahy
(Sex Party)
No response received yet
Nina Springle
(Australian Greens)
Like all outer suburban new estates the most important issue in Lynbrook is infrastructure.  It is always too little, or too late, or both.  Sure, Lynbrook Railway Station was built but how many years did it take? Bus services are not sufficient. Lynbrook has no nearby public hospital. Road infrastructure is not keeping up. I also believe that the hazardous waste management issue is also right up there with issues that need to be dealt with immediately.
Hung Vo
(Independent)
There’s a lot of important issues in the electorate of Lyndhurst. From my perspective, the most important are:

  1. Community health;
  2. Drug and alcohol;
  3. Education;

I believe that when people are sick, they should not be put on a waiting list for 4-10 weeks to see a physio, or receive podiatry or rehabilitation. People who wish to see the dentist for a general check-up could wait for 2.5-3 years. The current healthcare system is not helping the sick and is an inefficient waste of the healthcare budget. I would like to see the Springvale community health centre upgraded. I also want another community health centre to be built in the region of Lynbrook to accommodate the growing population in that area and reduce waiting lists.I am working in a drug and alcohol program and would like to spearhead a new treatment program that involves better support, more training to build the client’s confidence and skills and mandatory rehabilitation. In this way we can save more lives and better treat people that are addicted to drugs or alcohol.I would like to see appropriate class sizes throughout Victoria. I would also like to see all classrooms and facilities modernised and expanded in line with population size and student need.

Bobby Singh
(Independent)
No response received yet
Stephen Nowland
(Family First)
There are many issues facing the residents of Lyndhurst. Issues such as adequate transport and interconnection services, better road, transport and health facilities, creating more employment opportunities within Lyndhurst  to name a few, and all of which I will fight for.  Probably the most important though relates to the family, and it will be what a lot of families will be talking about today, tonight and tomorrow, and it is, how are we going to pay these bills, or pay the mortgage this month?. I will fight to make sure that all new legislation comes with a “family impact statement” but also that there are better family support services to cater for the financial strain on the family!
David Linaker
(Independent)
No response received yet
Martin Pakula
(Australia Labor Party)
The biggest concern for electors in Victoria and in particular in the seat of Lyndhurst is jobs.  This Government has seen a record loss in jobs and investment across the state.

With a strong focus on manufacturing in the seat of Lyndhurst, jobs and the future of the manufacturing industry is of real concern to constituents.

Tens of thousands of jobs continue to be lost under Mr Napthine who refuses to work hard for Victorian families.  Month after month the Liberal National Government fails to invest in jobs, infrastructure, manufacturing and skills and in doing so the Victorian economy continues to go backwards.

The Victorian Labor Opposition released our Plan for Jobs and Growth in November 2012. As part of that plan, we’ve said that a future Victorian Labor Government will support local business through Government procurement policy, grow jobs through infrastructure investment, properly fund education and training and support long-term disadvantaged job seekers to find suitable employment.
Geraldine Gonsalvez
(Democratic Labor Party)
No response received yet
Teen Suicide
  • What is their plan for the major problem of teen suicide in Casey area?
Martin Leahy
(Sex Party)
No response received yet
Nina Springle
(Australian Greens)
The recent string of youth suicides has taken a dramatic toll on the local community. This was emphasised in the ABC 4 Corners program, ‘There’s no 3G in heaven’ which followed the stories of several bereaved parents whose children had taken their own lives in the City of Casey. The program also explored the roles that schools should/shouldn’t play in suicide prevention.

The current system is failing our young people in a number of ways.
Casey CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) are at breaking point, with many case managers struggling to keep up with their caseloads. This stretched service means many of the community’s most vulnerable are slipping through the cracks.Very little emphasis is being placed on early intervention, i.e. identifying people at risk and implementing appropriate strategies to ensure these young people don’t fall through the gaps in the system. Schools were once entitled to $500.00 per student who the school identified as being ‘at risk’. This money was used to link students with services. With the removal of this funding, potentially at risk students will be over looked. One Suicide Prevention Officer has been employed on a 12 month contract for the City of Casey. This is completely inadequate and the Greens would advocate for this position to be made permanent, with scoping for additional staff in this capacity if deemed necessary in the future.

Appropriate early intervention services to identify young people at risk.
Drop-in centres should be established and placed in accessible locations across the electorate, staffed by trained mental health clinicians who work with the community. These centres ideally would operate an open door policy, where no young person will be turned away. The centres should work closely with the local schools, educating students on the importance of mental health and referring those at risk. These centres also need to work in conjunction with welfare agencies. People who are assessed to be in immediate danger will be referred to the local mental health service triage team to further treatment.

Increase funding and support for the local CAMHS service.
By doing this we can give our over-worked mental health nurses ratios which are manageable.
Hung Vo
(Independent)
Teen suicide is happening everywhere. The most important thing is that parents and teachers can identify struggling kids. Parents, teachers, and the community need to be educated in how to identify and support struggling teens.Teachers need to undergo mandatory training so they can be the first to support at-risk teens. They can then refer to outside professional bodies to provide professional care and support for the teen.In order to prevent the increase of teen suicide, the Lyndhurst electorate must have appropriate youth programs. These programs can focus on different areas such as recreational activities, skills training, leadership, support and rehabilitation. Its important that our teens know they are important people and the community values them.
Bobby Singh
(Independent)
No response received yet
Stephen Nowland
(Family First)
The biggest issue facing our young people today, is the whole issue of “Self esteem” and our young people seeing they have a future. Getting our young people to understand their importance in society as well as having a future which involves them valuing themselves is an important step. It is also about making sure that they have a balanced happy family life, and I would fight to ensure that there are not only adequate  early intervention programs in place, but also programs to ensure that there is better family interaction and services available.
David Linaker
(Independent)
No response received yet
Martin Pakula
(Australia Labor Party)
Unfortunately, youth suicide is still a taboo subject within much of the community. Governments at all levels and communities need to work together to breakdown the stigmatisation and silence surrounding youth suicide and mental illness so that our young people don’t feel socially prevented from seeking help.

Sadly the Baillieu / Napthine Government has cut funding to youth and support agencies delivering the School Focused Youth Service program.

More action is needed in supporting programs and organisations that assist our young people to deal with life’s challenges. Organisations such as BeyondBlue that run Suicide Helpline and lifeline, and also Headspace Centres run by the National Youth Mental Health Foundation. These organisations, and many others like them, are vitally important in addressing youth suicide.

My Federal colleague, Anthony Byrne MP, recently held a Youth Suicide Summit, with significant proportions of the Summit featuring in the national ABC 4Corners program, ‘There’s no 3G in Heaven’.
At the Summit Patrick McGorry, professor of youth mental health at Melbourne University, sought to reassure the Casey community by explaining that clusters of suicides were not unusual. He said “It’s very important you don’t feel there’s something wrong with your community. This affects everyone.”

An outcome from the Summit was the establishment of the Youth Suicide Steering Committee. The Committee is comprised of individuals from the Coroner’s Office, Victoria Police, Melbourne University, Casey Council, Southern Health and the Department of Health.

The Committee has created a youth mental health resource kit that has been distributed to local schools and community groups. The kit can also be accessed online and it has specific information for professionals, parents and young people. The Committee is continuing to work with Melbourne University to examine the use of social media in addressing this issue.
Geraldine Gonsalvez
(Democratic Labor Party)
No response received yet

NOTE: The LRA has received the above information directly from the candidates involved. With the exception of some minor spelling corrections and format changes (to better meet the needs of this medium), the information provided here is verbatim as received from the candidates.