Council election candidates

Updated 5 October 2016

There are HEAPS of new candidates for the upcoming City of Greater Bendigo council elections. You will be sent a ballot pack from 4-6 October, which must be returned by 6pm, Friday 21 October. (More info from VEC here).

We hope to hear who has been elected on Saturday 22 October 2016.

The final list of candidates (with statements and pictures) here.

Also, here is the Candidates’ response to a 14500644_1430661733615026_3265541622819227726_orecent survey conducted by Bendigo Tourism.
Survey responses from a recent survey by the Bendigo Sustainability Group are here.
There are also Candidate Forums being conducted in the coming weeks.

Not sure what ward you’re in? Check the ward maps here or more info from the VEC here.

Eppalock Ward

Worth a read: Some candidate responses here from The Addy.

Yvonne Wrigglesworth   0417 318 246   Facebook
There are heaps of articles about Yvonne 
As a passionate community leader, I’m all about getting a wriggle on and making things happen. I believe empowered communities succeed. I am a married mother of two, living in Axedale and work at Bendigo Health as the Director of Strategy, Planning & Governance. As a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, I am an active director on several volunteer boards and committees, including being the current Chair of Community Leadership Loddon Murray. With your vote I will work hard to represent your priorities, making the suburbs and towns of the Eppalock Ward and Greater Bendigo the best places to live and raise a family. Council investment should support our community to increase active living and ensure children and youth have access to facilities and services that decrease regional disadvantage. It’s important to grow local businesses and industries to retain jobs and encourage graduates to return; this includes promoting our region with careful investment in vibrant arts, culture and tourism. I will make sure decisions have a longer-term view, providing benefits for today and future generations.

Margaret O’Rourke   0427 019 900   Facebook
is promising to push Council to bring better internet and mobile connection to Bendigo – article and video interview
The City of Greater Bendigo is an area with great history – as well as great potential. The Eppalock Ward needs a councillor who is an experienced leader, who understands good management, who can contribute to sound and efficient financial management. Bendigo needs a council that can develop and implement a strong and prosperous plan for the future, a plan that will encourage industry, businesses and jobs with improved services for now and the years to come. I am committed to Bendigo and our rural communities being the best place to live and work. I will work with you and for you to make this happen. A vote for Margaret O’Rourke is a vote for : responsive and effective local government, working hard to assist our rural and city residents to be better connected for the future; growing jobs and encouraging industry to our region; and striving to enhance the communities in our council area to be an even greater place to live and work.

Rosemary Glaisher   0412 149 351
She is passionate about the environment, tackling climate change, and transitioning to the new economy.- article and video interview.
As a school-teacher and the mother of two Axedale-raised daughters, I am committed to helping build the kind of society that will allow our young people to flourish into the future. I am standing for Council to protect the things that make this area so special: our beautiful forest, our vibrant and diverse cultures and our strong community spirit. I will also be working to make our region a more sustainable place to live and work. I have chosen to stand with the Greens because of our shared commitment to people, communities and the environment. My key areas of focus include: (1) Ensuring sustainable planning to keep Bendigo liveable; (2) Protecting biodiversity in and around our City in the Forest; (3) Encouraging appreciation and respect for our cultural diversity and (4) Supporting community groups and their valuable work.
Vote 1 Rosemary Glaisher. Practical. Proactive. Principled.

Brenton Johnson   0423 673 214
“Every single day I’m doing everything in my power to make sure every Bendigo citizen is better off today, than they were yesterday.” article and video interview.
I’m your independent candidate. I am 100% dedicated to improving the value you receive as ratepayers and renters. As a business and community leader, I have built my reputation delivering outstanding outcomes with creativity and vision. If elected, I promise to bring this same energy to council. I will strive for safer streets, responsible financial management and smarter council decisions. I will support our community groups, drive growth, improve our sporting facilities and playgrounds, as well as strengthen Bendigo’s approach to sustainability. We must create an inclusive Bendigo community that provides opportunities for all; our youth, families, elderly and people with disabilities. You deserve better council services that make your life easier, not harder. Together we will make Bendigo an even greater place to live. I believe a council should listen to its people and put their personal differences aside for the good of the city. My promise to you is that I will work hard to deliver you the best outcomes possible. Have your say about the issues important to you If you are looking for a change on council. Vote 1 Brenton Johnson. I will not take your vote for granted.

Suzie Hawke   0447 801 710  – article here.
I have lived in the Eppalock Ward for over 15 years. I am a married mother of 3 children and have loved raising my family in this great regional city. I am a practising speech pathologist with over 25 years experience working predominantly with children, families and people with disabilities. In this election I am standing for children and families, sport and recreation, support for people of all abilities, inclusive communities and public safety. I want to support our council to provide high quality early years services that are welcoming and accessible to all families. I want these services to be provided in Bendigo and in the smaller townships surrounding. I want to continue to develop high class sporting venues, support upgrades to current sporting facilities and promote sport and recreation to support healthy lifestyles. I want the City of Greater Bendigo council to be supportive of people of all abilities and inclusive of all cultures and religions. I want everyone to feel Bendigo and the surrounding townships are communities that are friendly, welcoming, safe to live in, and are places that they want to raise their family in.

Geoff Stephens   0413 499 720   Facebook
This local builder and businessman believes sincere community consultation, transparency of council processes and accountable, informed decision making are essential to be truly representative. More here from the Bendigo Weekly and Bendigo Addy and Bendigo IPTV.
We chose to raise our family and make Bendigo our home. A long term resident and practical businessman with strong ethical principles, I am passionate about the proactive advancement of Greater Bendigo, both urban and rural. Priority 1 is to truly represent the people of Eppalock Ward and Greater Bendigo through real community consultation and engagement, transparent council processes and informed decision making. Strategic growth, housing, business, industry and job creation over the next four years needs an accountable council with diverse knowledge and skills. With my building background and planning knowledge, I will strongly advocate on planning issues. A proactive council must be accountable for expenditure. I have extensive contract management experience in the government and building sectors and believe that significant cost savings can be made through diligent management of current and future council contracts. I stand for no nonsense, tightly controlled contracts and business cases, thereby providing more funding for our visions, long term strategies and infrastructure. Paths, roads, drains, rates, essential services and strategic township plans must be a priority, Other independent candidates who will make a difference are Carrington and Flack. Vote for true representation, strength, independent thinking and difference.

George Flack   0418 507 992
says “Ratepayers are my top priority.” – article here and video here.
Bendigo born educated and self-employed operating Flack Advisory in Eaglehawk. Throughout George’s 44 years within Financial Services (Banking, Social Security & Financial Planning) George has gained considerable experience locally and internationally. George is involved in his community through Marist Brass Band (52 years), Bendigo CFA (49 years), amateur & professional athletics (48 years), founding Chair of Relay for Life in 1999, Citizen of the Year 2000, Olympic Torchbearer 2000, Australia’s ‘Financial Planner of the Year’ in both 1996 & 2004. George offers voters an alternative with transparency, enhanced financial accountability, zero rates rises, more emphasis on footpaths, gutters, drains, bus shelters and a solution to the current waste problems. George is also prepared to tackle the financial wastes associated with the Vision Super defined benefits issue. There appear to be other candidates with a similar willingness such as Colin Carrington and Geoff Stephens whom I suggest you preference directly after myself. George is prepared to stand up for the rights of ratepayers by considering the cutting back of expenses rather than the raising of revenues by rate rises but still providing an outcome that betters the whole of the Bendigo area by acting on your needs.

Colin Carrington   0401 076 085
His top priorities are rates capping, greater priority to outstanding roads and drainage works and reigning in expenditure on the arts and tourism – article here.
As a retired Army Reserve Major with genuine leadership experience and skills, I’m committed to the values, ideals and morals on which Bendigo and Australia were built. I won’t stand by when they are threatened. Fully retired, I’ve time necessary to effectively fulfil Councillor duties. I feel the pain of ratepayers with ever increasing rates and garbage fees. Our roads, drainage and footpaths have been neglected, despite millions spent annually covering Art Gallery and Theatres losses. I’ll fight for; rate increases not exceeding the annual CPI, 3 free tip vouchers yearly, introduction of annual free ‘hard waste’ collection, stricter control and scrutiny of council expenditure, increases in services for the elderly and adolescents. Council must focus on economic development and employment, creating jobs. Media reports indicate some candidates, ‘will stand up for the huge number of people who currently have no voice’. Apart from myself, local businessmen George Flack and Geoff Stephens are such candidates. We need new Councillors who’ll address issues raised by you, and in community plans. Also bring much needed change, transparency, and reprioritising Council’s focus. I’ve served my country. It’s now time to serve you. Vote 1 Colin Carrington. Heathcote’s Local Bloke and RSL Service member.

Helen Leach (0408 346 240) is re-contesting her seat.
I want your council dollars working for you in your suburb, township and rural area, not just central Bendigo; a practical down-to-earth approach is necessary. My priorities are better roads, drainage, footpaths, a refocus on neighbourhood facilities and services, and independent council reviews. We must reduce overlap between council, state and private sector services and minimise council staff increases and costs. I believe in less council social intrusion and streamlined timely planning and delivery. We must lift Greater Bendigo’s economic performance and job growth and capitalize on our agricultural potential. A more transparent accountable Council open to ratepayers ideas is what’s necessary, as well as making Small Township plans a reality. There should be low rates, fees, and charges. I am independent. As a wife, mother and grandmother, with experience as a business partner, carer, registered nurse, Councillor, and as an active passionate member of our Greater Bendigo community, I care. Honesty and representing the needs of residents must outweigh political alliances and special interest groups. I will represent you, Eppalock Ward, and Greater Bendigo with dedication.

Mark Weragoda   0418 507 704 is re-contesting his seat.
As an Eppalock Ward Councillor for the past four years, I have gained a sound understanding of the needs and aspirations for the ward. I have completed my Diploma in Local Government which cements Governance, Diplomacy and Advocacy. Our vibrant municipality needs continuity in its delivery of projects and infrastructure. I am passionate about our communities and will work harder to achieve good, vibrant and affordable outcomes for everyone concerned. As Chair of the Lake Eppalock Land and On Water Management Group, we intend to look at the long term future of the lake and all user groups. I have gained a valuable understanding on the finances of the City by sitting on the Finance Committee. I sit on the Heritage Advisory Committee, Bendigo Art Gallery board and the Airport Advisory Committee. Our heritage, tourism and connecting regional cities only boost our economy, employment and industry growth. Advocating to all levels of Government is fundamental to the growth of our city and I have good relationships with Ministers and Parliamentarians. As a local businessman owning my own business for the last 27 years and a Rotarian for 25 years, I talk to communities with common threads and objectives.

  • We’re sorry to hear that Cr Rod Campbell will not be re-contesting his seat – more.
  • Nick Cugura’s agenda for council is simple – create jobs, reduce rates and improve consistency of decisions- article here. (No longer standing for election.)

Lockwood Ward

Worth a read: Some candidate responses here from The Addy.

Jennifer Alden   0488 235 680
She says that boosting community participation would be a top priority if elected. – article and video interview.
Having lived in Lockwood ward for over 20 years, I am keen to listen to and support local communities as a progressive community voice, speaking up for those doing it tough. My decades of experience on committees, boards and in management roles have equipped me for the job of Councillor. With a doctorate of public health I am keen to contribute substantially to Council’s Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan. I am passionate about making our communities healthier, supporting people in growing their own food, reining in the influence of pokies and advocating for secure energy efficient housing. I will fight to protect our open spaces and for Council-run services for young and old. As a small business owner I am interested in creating job opportunities for locals in a changing climate through renewable energy and smart housing. My vision is for communities that are welcoming and prosperous, where everyone has a better say in how their neighbourhood looks and feels. This Council desperately needs renewal, new skills and fresh vision. I am ready to provide that as your Lockwood ward candidate. Vote 1 Jennifer Alden for transparency, honesty, inclusiveness, collaboration and sustainability.

Matt Emond   0467 768 095
He will be working hard to ensure that the City of Greater Bendigo puts community first – article and video interview.
We need to put the Greater back into Bendigo. I bring you energy, commitment and drive. The current Councillors squabble while Bendigo suffers. Enough! We must now focus on what brings Bendigo together: jobs for the future, good sporting and cultural facilities. I grew up in Spring Gully, studied at La Trobe and University of Melbourne, and have worked in health, education and creative industries over the past 20 years. Before moving back to Bendigo I worked at Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne and as an adviser to the Shadow Attorney General and Arts Minister. I love Bendigo and the values it taught me of hard work, getting the job done, decency, respect and cohesion. I will work hard to be a voice of reason to drive solid economic and social development for Bendigo. Let’s put community first to attract more jobs, respond to our communities needs, ensure council services are efficient and cost effective, fight for Lockwood Ward’s fair share of roads funding, increase needed funding to the SES, support for cultural and sporting organisations and activities, and put local jobs and contracts for locals first. It’s time for a fresh start.

Rod Fyffe (5443 7673) is re-contesting his seat.
Bendigo is a vibrant, progressive city that needs passionate, committed and experienced representation to continue to make progress and offer all of our citizens a chance to maximise their potential. Over the last four years I have fought hard to maximise the rate dollar and to deliver improved and expanded services and facilities. The Ulumbarra Theatre is complete and proving an enormous benefit to the community. Our indoor aquatic centre at Kangaroo Flat has started and promises great health and wellbeing opportunities as well as economic ones. More footpaths, bridges, roads and kerb and channelling have been laid across the Ward. Extra recreational facilities at Spring Gully, Marong and Maiden Gully are being rolled out. Working with other Councillors and the community over the next four years I will fight hard to develop and implement the Marong Structure Plan, continue to make more investments in footpaths, road maintenance and recreational facilities across the ward. I will fight hard to improve economic opportunities for all citizens by promoting economic development. We need to preserve our heritage and environment; and we need to continue to deliver services in a more effective and efficient way. Experience on Council is vital.

Barry Lyons (0408 510 622) is re-contesting his seat.
I am married to Betty, we have 5 children and 11 Grandchildren all living, working or schooling in Bendigo. I have been a COGB Councillor for the past 8 years and always available for discussion regarding events or issues. I believe that I bring a certain amount of stability to the Council Chamber and have a common sense approach to all matters discussed or decided. I have extensive experience in Business and Development. As Mayor I had the opportunity to advocate to both State and Federal Ministers for funding to enable our city to flourish (aquatic, stadium, theatre, airport and others) such as lighting for sports pavilions, netball courts, early learning and maternity services with much success. The future looks great for the region but needs thoughtful planning and guidance. We live in a great city and I would like the opportunity to make sure we keep and improve for our grandchildren what we have. I wish to continue to work for the community in this capacity and seek your approval.

Samuel Tshisekedi   0404 559 769
I am passionate about our city, Bendigo. A migrant married to a local girl and raising my family here I’ve enjoyed the hospitality of this great city, its residents and this great country. I have since become a proud Australian citizen and I would be honoured to serve this great community. I studied business management in the UK, hold a degree in Theology, speak 6 languages and are completing my BA in International Relations. Having lived in England my firsthand experience of the immigration challenges facing Europe brings a world scale view to our region. A business owner and communications consultant, I have the skill and knowledge to facilitate strong relationships across the diverse range of community members and stakeholders. I believe in building consensus and working collaboratively to promote local business, industry, community groups and education providing pathways for employment and career development for our youth and unemployed. I am passionate about engaging community discussion on all significant decisions putting the community in the drivers seat. A centrist, I will be the voice of reason and commonsense with strong moral values to get the peoples business done.

Jan Pagliaro   0477 529 875
She has worked in aged care and in the disability sector and said if elected, her focus would be to protect people in both these groups. “I will strongly advocate for the most disadvantaged in our community.”
As a long term Bendigo resident, I know the City of Greater Bendigo’s strategic importance and firmly believe that it is to be a catalyst for change and a model for other municipalities to follow. For this to happen there must be new, independent thinking councillors, who have diverse strengths and respectfully work together to effect a proactive march into the future. My extensive background in the disability sector has given me a deep insight into the lives of our most vulnerable and hence I am an avid supporter of Disability and Aged Care services remaining with council. I am very concerned for our disadvantaged youth. If elected I will strongly advocate for the disadvantaged and the community groups who play a crucial role in support of people from all walks of life. I am also committed to small business development. Most importantly, for the City of Greater Bendigo to become a true catalyst for change, I am committed to real community engagement. Listening to, and acting on behalf of the people of Greater Bendigo must be priority number one. Councillors are elected by the people and must serve them, not their own agendas.

George Egan    0459 590 146
I believe the council should provide local services for the community not impose ideals. I was born, grew up, educated and now run a small retail business in Bendigo and want our city to be Bendigo for residents and not another Melbourne. After being in Melbourne for 10 years we returned to Bendigo to raise our children as it provides a much more liveable, friendly and spacious town for kids to explore. I want Bendigo to stay a place that if our children do not stay here they remember it fondly and may return in the future. I want the council to make fair, open and consistent decisions and support local residents, local clubs and local businesses (both small and large). The councils primary goal should be the community members by providing services, parks and gardens, jobs for local people and business and allow community members to have access to decisions made by the council. I am not affiliated with any political party as I feel councilors should represent the local community not political parties or special interest groups. Finally I believe the council must work within its budgets and not gold-plate construction but build fit for for purpose.

Damien Irving   0404 041 615   Facebook
(statement in comments below)
Listening – I think it’s the most important skill a Councillor must possess. Decisions made by Council have a big impact on the lives of residents. It is vital that Councillors listen to everyone’s concerns and that each concern is taken seriously and given the attention it deserves. Many residents feel that Council is not listening. My priority is to be available and approachable and to listen to the people of Bendigo, families, local businesses, clubs and groups and ensure that decision-making is reflective of what the community really wants. I’m Damien Irving, a father, a consultant at a Bendigo-based business and a very proud Bendigonian.

Vaughan Williams   0414 414 467  – article and another article.
As a Golden Square resident and local businessman it is my intention that Bendigo Council builds a sustainable future which depends on positive forward planning. I stand for transparency, accountability, I support Australian values and implore a responsive new council. Rate increases must be capped to the CPI each year. I will support refocusing priorities towards local industry and the local economy to create greater job opportunities. The time for change is now and I will continue to support ongoing external reviews of council. More support for Lockwood ward people, families, communities, businesses, clubs and organisations to give everybody a fair go. Footpaths, drainage upgrades and better road maintenance are high priorities to allow safer linkages for the Lockwood Ward residents, together with a visionary transport plan. Costly projects, overblown budgets and staffing costs under the current council avert funds from being appropriated into meaningful productive projects offering a sustainable financial return for the community within the Lockwood Ward and across the Bendigo council region. For a true independent councillor that will listen and represent you.

Cr Elise Chapman (0419 116 952/ is running for Council this term. Video interview.
Council needs to be united and work strongly as a team, the time for real change is now. Like you I am a resident of our ward. I am dissatisfied with the performance of council and how it spends our ratepayer dollars. We need to better support our Lockwood ward people, families, communities, local businesses, clubs and organisations. I pledge to hold regular ward meetings where you can have your say. I pledge to be accountable and approachable and to deliver projects that are in the best interests of the Bendigo community. I will continue to make council more efficient, effective and economic in all it does. I will not support a rate increase-council needs to operate within its means. I love our ward and I want to see it prosper. I am the only candidate in the Lockwood ward to have successfully completed the Municipal Association of Victoria’s three year Diploma of Local Government. I also have 16 years’ experience in business and extensive negotiation and mediation skills. It would be my honour to “be your voice”. Vote 1 Elise Chapman, for real representation and a fair go for everyone.

John Cooper   0488 564 640
He wants to help make Bendigo into an even better place to live in. Inclusive, diverse, innovative, prosperous and safe for everyone.- article here.
I pledge to represent the interests of the people of Bendigo, especially Lockwood ward, to the best of my ability. Better bus stops, better gutters, more free and low cost recreational options for kids and adults alike! My basic goal is to do what I can to help the people of Bendigo prosper. We need more free recreational facilities such as family friendly bike paths that connect the suburbs and are safe by day and night. I would like to see a greater diversity of temples (not just churches and a mosque. Synagogues and others should be encouraged to build). Bendigo needs better public transport, such as smaller buses more often and running later. Footpaths connecting safe, sheltered and well lit wheelchair friendly bus stops. A Bendigo only train service going from Bendigo to Epsom, Eaglehawk & Kangaroo flat (with expansion plans to Huntly, Sailors Gully, Big Hill and Strathfieldsaye) would encourage growth in the region. Development needs improved environmental considerations and innovative business ought to be encouraged into our city. Compulsory, free desexing of pets with vermin potential would reduce feral animal control expenses in the long term, as would higher limits for indoor only microchipped & registered pets.

Ian Dean   0419 131 910
When elected I want no rate increase above CPI and reduced in real terms. We must get funding from State and Federal Governments who collect 97% of all taxes and stop State Government cost shifting on to rate payers. Reduce petty local laws and give responsibility back to property owners as it should be under Fee Simple Property rights. If a property request is ok with your neighbours council should not interfere. Reduce red tape around planning matters. Get away from poorly thought out expensive ideas that benefit no one. e.g. the tram proposal around Lake Weeroona & the Hargreaves Mall big screens. Make council officers more accountable in Court Proceedings and not use ratepayers rates to fight ratepayers! I will vote against the formation of any more Nationals Parks in City of Greater Bendigo and maintain our magnificent Wellsford Forest. It is so magnificent because it is a well-managed forest. COGB is a high firewood collection area which you cannot do this nor most things in a National Park. And what are Fee Simple property Rights? – the right to do what you wish, within reason, on your own property.

Whipstick Ward

Worth a read: Some candidate responses here from The Addy.

Cr James Williams ( is re-contesting his seat.
During my time on council I have worked hard to deliver outcomes not just for Bendigo but the broader regional areas. Issues like the Ravenswood interchange, Bendigo airport and the Bendigo livestock exchange I have promoted and worked with all tiers of government to deliver outcomes. I chair the farm advisory committee, rural wellbeing, airport and many other strategic and regionally focussed groups. In delivering the new airport runway we can create opportunities and jobs not just for Bendigo but also the broader region. Funding and widening the Elmore-Mayreef Road, the pedestrian crossings at Huntly, Elmore and the widening of Napier Street in White Hills all demonstrate my ability to lobby on behalf of the community. The Eaglehawk recreation precinct of Canterbury Park and associated upgrades is a great example of working with my fellow councillors to deliver positive outcomes and the independent review of council delivers ongoing savings. I believe an alternative transport link from the Midland to the Calder Highway and East Bendigo is needed and I have begun lobbying for this. I have worked closely with Peter Cox and look forward to doing the same with Michelle Goldsmith to continue to provide diverse and much needed outcomes. Video interview here.

Cr Peter Cox ( 5446 1274  / is re-contesting his seat.
Peter Cox lives in California Gully. He strongly represents residents as an independent voice on the Council. Peter was Mayor in 2014/2015 and has a tertiary qualification in Community Development. He is an experienced manager establishing Recycle Shops, Business Incubators and the Inventor Awards and has initiated action to gain tens of millions of dollars for projects in the Whipstick Ward. He supports an independent Office of Mayor and Councillors to provide stronger leadership and governance. He works tirelessly to improve Greater Bendigo’s facilities to cater for all ages, its growth and has worked on strategies that makes Bendigo one of the great small cities of the world. He supports a cap on rates while partnering with other levels of government to upgrade the Epsom Primary School, Peter Krenz Leisure Centre, a new regional play space, development of the Eaglehawk & Epsom Stations and rail services and the Botanical Gardens. He loves Greater Bendigo’s wonderful history and heritage and believes major works are required along Bendigo Creek. He supports candidates James Williams and Michelle Goldsmith and together will represent both urban and rural areas.

Wayne Gregson    0417 379 007
He has nominated traffic and the arts as priorities if he is successful – article here and here and video interview here.
Greater Bendigo’s hard-won reputation has been trashed by expensive squabbling. This silly street theatre has to stop. I am dedicated to practical, intelligent decision making which both shows more respect for our community and can gain more respect in return. I have a proven track record of standing up for Bendigo and a great deal of experience in the public, private and voluntary sectors. A journalist for most of my life, in Bendigo for the past 30 years I’ve been an editor, a small business owner, a parliamentary research/communications officer, a CEO of Bendigo’s iconic trams and the tourist mine and a councillor. I’ve been nationally awarded for my services to Bendigo . But there’s still so much to be done. We used to call Bendigo the City in a Forest. Have you visited any of our bush reserves lately? Rubbish dumping and illegal off-road activities damage them daily. Do you ride a bicycle? I do, but much much of our cycling infrastructure remains unconnected and inadequate. Greater Bendigo is rapidly expanding and we need to plan sensibly to put services into place now which will meet that certain demand. It’s time to stop bickering and get back to business.

Thomas Prince   0437 928 361
He wants to help Bendigo move forward in a positive direction through:
Making a stand on unacceptable social behaviours, encouraging healthy lifestyles and supporting the CoGB residents wellbeing and by providing better avenues to keep the community connected. article
A younger representation on Council will be an opportunity to bring a fresh approach back into our beautiful regional City. You will see rejuvenation as together we engage as a community. An excited attitude towards supporting our heritage whilst we continue to innovate and progress. And a sense of satisfaction as communities are empowered with the knowledge to be the change that they hope to see in this great City. I want to place community interest at the heart of every issue and this is the prelude to commence the achievement of positive outcomes for the City and its people. To achieve this I will commit to improving communication with communities, helping bridge the gap between rate payers and the Cities officers by involving myself in their activities and building a personal connection and strong relationships with my constituents. This will also allow the City to stay relevant to the priorities that will develop and grow an attentive council in meeting the needs of its people. Communication leads to understanding and understanding will lead to a positive future for the City of Greater Bendigo.

Michelle Goldsmith   0439 465 589
She has been endorsed as the Greens candidate for Whipstick. The St John of God critical care unit nurse said ‘diversity and inclusion’ would underpin her electoral platform- article here.
I’m a local, having lived all my life in Bendigo and Eaglehawk, including raising my three children here. I care about progressive, consultative, collaborative and transparent local government. I value Bendigo’s unique status as the city within a forest and believe that a healthy environment means a healthy community. As a registered general and mental-health nurse, I am dedicated to maintaining and improving healthcare support services to all members of our community, with emphasis on secure home-based services, whether urban or rural. I am committed to securing ongoing investment in Whipstick Ward for public infrastructure, open spaces and service and sports groups. I am passionate about encouraging and supporting social diversity and inclusiveness in Bendigo. Attracting the best of human capital is what will foster investment, job-creation and industry in modern Bendigo. My vision is of a progressive society which values fairness, respect and equity. I would love the opportunity to add my experience and knowledge to that of Peter Cox and James Williams in Whipstick Ward to make the bold decisions which will have sustainable long-term positive impacts, within a changing climate, for the people of Bendigo. Vote [1] Michelle Goldsmith for Diversity and Inclusion.

Stuart Symes   0400 347 203
The Symes have a proud history in our region as business people and supporting our community over many decades.I am very happy to have been able to play my part in that success story.Running as an independent I believe all major changes to our region such as the mosque and major works programs must have full and open consultation and with all residents being allowed to have their say. We deserve a cohesive Council working together to deliver real benefits fairly across the whole Ward. I fully support a simple opt in or opt out of the green organic bin for both new and existing residents.Councillors need to take control of wages and expenditure and deliver a fairer balanced budget.Address long overdue projects and safety concerns by sealing roads and providing footpaths, crossings and street lighting.This should apply equally and fairly across all regions including rural.We must get back to basics and concentrate on those thousands of forgotten projects and provide the services we deserve.I believe a Councillor must put the interests of others above their own and if you Vote1 Stuart Symes that is my guarantee to you.

Andrea Metcalfe   0472 770 893  – article here.
As a lifetime resident of Bendigo, I seek your support to be the community’s representative in the Whipstick ward. I have the drive, energy and time to devote to being an accessible councillor, who places the interests of the community at the forefront of decision making. Over the past four years I have closely observed this Bendigo Council and its processes through my own interactions on planning matters and by attending Council meetings. I believe there is significant room for improvement and for more efficient use of ratepayer money. If elected, I will not hesitate to challenge senior council officers when my independent research contradicts officer recommendations. I am currently an active community representative to the Council on flood mitigation in the Huntly/Epsom area. Regarding the new organics bin, I conducted a successful campaign to ensure that this Council initiated an exemption process for those residents who are effectively managing their green organic waste. I support CPI rate capping, funding priority for core council services and improved services for rural communities. I have no political affiliations and stand for council on the values of honesty and transparency.

Gordon Moore   0403 034 812
I am running for a position on the Bendigo council to represent the ratepayers of Bendigo and all members of our community. I have not been and am not currently a member of any political party. I have no business interests or investments. I have no land or property that requires development. I have no particular social agenda. I do believe in community consultation and development. I believe in the development and encouragement of community gardens for use by all members of our community. I believe that Bendigo needs rational infrastructure development that benefits all ratepayers and not just special interest groups. I feel that previous councils have been frivolous in spending our rates on projects that do not benefit the community. My intention is to return fiscal responsibility to the Bendigo Council and to see that the ratepayers are represented first and foremost.

Malcolm Pethybridge   0417 444 041
I am an independent self-funded retiree with no financial agendas to be made from becoming a Councillor.I have lived in Bendigo for over 40 years working full time in the engineering industry around Bendigo. Supervising the assembling and commissioning of the Torrumbarry Weir, as well as assembling the solar dishes in Bridgewater. Also owned and managed a cattle and sheep farm successfully. My partner Belinda and i are Bendigo people along with our five boy’s, one girl and seven grandchildren. All children are working and living in Bendigo. I would like Bendigo to move ahead with more assistants to create employment, sealed gravel roads around Bendigo, footpaths to schools, and for our elderly to assist walkers and mobile scooters.We need a motor complex area for our learner drivers, as well as defensive driving, to improve safety on our roads for cars and motorbikes. Review the planning of high density housing and compact living strategy as we need to maintain our way of life and have backyards.Recycling our waste is great but this has not been implemented correctly or fairly and our waste is not disposed of correctly it can be used to generate electricity.

Julie Hoskin   0428 143 078
Residents reasonably expect their councillors to be a strong voice, to advocate on their behalf, to act honestly, with fairness and integrity-without fear, ulterior motives or prejudice. Regrettably, many of these qualities have been missing from Council and resident’s concerns have been ignored. For years I’ve vigorously pursued accountability from the council on behalf of Bendigo residents, including at VCAT and court. Council needs to be more accessible, cooperative and transparent to enable residents to have their say and to make informed decisions on issues affecting them. I believe a more efficient, sensible and balanced approach to expenditure, development and planning for the future of our region is attainable. Budgeting within our means, whilst maintaining fundamental and primary services, quality of life and job creation without further impost on ratepayers is crucial. Having previously worked in Building and Planning at COGB, I have the invaluable advantage of understanding the processes that Council should follow regarding COGB business. It’s my goal to see that residents are well represented, that waste and mismanagement stops, especially unnecessary expenditure for staffing/functions outside local Government core business and that your money is used wisely. Bring Council back to the people. Video interview here.

Cr Lisa Ruffell will not be re-contesting her seat and we thank her for her valuable contribution since 2008.

Are missing information, or do we need to link to an article or website?
Let us know or comment below.

Updated 5 October 2016



About iheartbendigo

The unofficial guide to Bendigo and Central Victoria.
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6 Responses to Council election candidates

  1. Sue says:

    Elise Chapman said on ABC Drive on Tuesday that she hadn’t yet made up her mind about running for council. She said she would make that decision later next week.

  2. Hi, some details about myself, Damien Irving: I’m Bendigo born and bred. I live in Kangaroo Flat. I’m the father to a beautiful 3 year-old girl. I’m a CFA volunteer. I’m a Software Developer at a Bendigo-based business that develops analytical tools for economic development and planning practitioners in local government. I’m a proud Bendigonian.

    Listening – I think it’s the most important skill a Councillor must possess. Decisions made by Council have a big impact on the lives of residents. It is vital that Councillors listen to everyone’s concerns and that each concern is taken seriously and given the attention it deserves. Many residents feel that Council is not listening. My priority is to be available and approachable and to listen to the people of Bendigo, families, local businesses, clubs and groups and ensure that decision-making is reflective of what the community really wants.

  3. Jim says:

    Having always been an conscientious voter I try my best to research all candidates and their parties prior to voting. When I began researching for the upcoming local elections I came across your website and began researching each candidate facebook page. I soon found that some of the candidates did not have a link to their facebook pages. Initially I thought that these candidates did not have a facebook page. As I scrolled further down I came to Geoff Stephens profile on your page, where there also was no link to the candidates facebook page. However I know from using the social media platform that Geoff does have a facebook page and a facebook profile.

    I applaud you for your efforts in assisting people like myself in researching candidates, however I feel that to truly have a fair and unbiased presentation of such, you should endeavour to present all candidates evenly and have the same links for each candidate where possible.
    I have included a link to Geoff’s facebook profile below for your inclusion.


  4. Colin J says:

    As a knowledgeable but uninvolved observer of local council issues and events, I can only say how disappointed I was to see Julie Hoskin elected to the Whipstick ward, given her history of deep involvement in the anti-mosque campaign.

    My worst fears were confirmed with the media reports immediately after the election where Ms Hoskin responded to media queries about the $100,000 in unpaid court costs awarded against her in the High Court etc by saying she ‘was unaware’ of these debts.

    ‘Unaware’ ? ….. how could she possibly be ‘unaware’ of over $100,00 in court costs being awarded against her.

    As far as I can see, in her first public statement after being elected to Council, she has lied.

    Furthermore, surely there is a major conflict of interest in remaining a Councillor with these debts unpaid and where she has been clearly shown to have (at the very least) ‘misspoken’.

    Whilst the art of lying has been made semi-respectable with the success of Mr Trump in America, we should not blindly accept the same behaviour from our local government representatives.

    Ms Hoskin needs to treat her constituents with better than the utter contempt shown in her first post election interview. She needs to be more forthcoming with her situation, and to explain what steps she proposes to make to pay off the debt.

    Failure to do so means that she has no honorable option but to resign.

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