Tonight was the first GERA ‘Meet the Candidates’ forum for Rosstown Ward residents. It was a great turnout – standing room only! Seven candidates showed up – but only one current councillor, Cr. Ho. Noticeable by their absence was the non appearance by Pilling and Esakoff. We have learnt that GERA sent out invitations to all candidates, including incumbents who were seeking re-election. Pilling only replied late this afternoon when the invitation had gone out weeks and weeks earlier, claiming a ‘previous engagement’. Esakoff did not even bother to respond!

Present were: Ms Karslake; Mr Zois, Mr. Box; Mr Jayaweera; Mr Dunstan; Mr Athanasopoulos and Cr. Ho.

After a two minute introduction from each of the candidates, the session was thrown open to questions from the floor. The issues that were of major concern to residents were:

  • Planning and overdevelopment
  • Heritage
  • Tree Protection
  • Governance
  • Skyrail

It would be fair to say that all candidates expressed the view that council had simply not done enough on any of these issues and that major change was required – ie. changing the local law; introducing structure plans; setting up a significant tree register, improving transparency and accountability, etc.

All in all, the prevailing view was that the current council was definitely failing its residents on so many fronts and that new faces, new policies and immediate actions were required to address these concerns.

We endorse most of what was said and urge all residents and voters to consider who bothered to show up and who didn’t and whether they want another 4 years of the same incompetence and lack of vision that has characterised this council for far too long!