The Hills North Ward candidate profiles

North Ward

Group A — Liberal Democrats

Bob Frier

The Liberal Democrats are anti-left, anti-right and pro-liberty. Their polices are based on classical liberal, or libertarian principles of small government and low taxes, with emphasis on personal freedom and individual responsibility.

For these local government elections, the Liberal Democrats propose to reduce rates, levies and other taxes, and cut red and green tape.

Property rights are paramount. If it’s your property then it’s your tree to trim or remove. No more harassment of rate-payers, or harsh penalties for breaching stupid “nanny state” rules.

Liberal Democrats will encourage the expansion of business and employment in the region, to reduce wasteful commuting times. They will also respond to the views of residents and rate payers rather than the sometimes biased opinions of council staff with another agenda.

Liberal polices. Democratic principles.

Kenneth Kwong

Graham Nickols

Group B — Liberal

Clr Robyn Preston

What qualifies you to represent the community? I was elected to Council in 2008 as an endorsed Liberal. I would be honoured to serve a second term on Council so that I can further utilise the skills I have acquired during my 25 years in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors as well as the knowledge I have as a small business owner, a wife and a Mother. I am committed to supporting our volunteers and I appreciate the invaluable work they do.

What do you hope to achieve on Council? I want to continue to be a voice for the individuals in our community who need representation whether they are residents or local businesses. I want to be able to provide solutions and to show leadership and direction in the future of this prosperous Shire.

What will be your priorities during your time on council? Ensuring we continue to live within our means and focus our resources on important issues. Improve existing infrastructure, provide adequate open space and sporting facilities and show respect and support for our volunteers.

Peter Gangemi

What qualifies you to represent the community? I am intricately involved in the community being the immediate past Hills Shire Youth Ambassador, a member of the Hills Relay for Life committee, a member of the Hills Youth Committee and a resident of Box Hill for 25 years.

What do you hope to achieve on Council? Should I be elected, I would hope to support our community and volunteer organisations as best as I can, as being a volunteer I recognise that they are the lifeblood of our community. I hope to ensure that council maintains its strong financial position, allowing us to continue meeting the backlog of infrastructure projects, particularly in our rural areas. I also hope to be able to improve the quality of our roads and the speed of their maintenance in North Ward. I also hope to improve access to parks and sporting facilities for our residents in North Ward, particularly meeting the challenges associated with a growing population.

What will be your priorities during your time on council? My priorities will be to ensure that Council remains debt free, with savings to be invested into improved infrastructure such as roads, parks, equipment, lighting and footpaths

Mark Taylor

What qualifies you to represent the community? As a Police Inspector with over 20 years of community service I truly understand the partnerships and commitment required from local government, business, volunteer groups and local residents to achieve “friendly, vibrant and prosperous communities”. Experience and understanding that has been formally recognized by the Commonwealth Government with a Centenary Medal for ‘service to policing and the community’.

I grew up in the Hills playing soccer and cricket across the Shire whilst attending James Ruse Agricultural High School. Today my extended family and many original friends continue to reside throughout the area. In 2004 my wife Petrina, a local primary school teacher and I built our home in Rouse Hill where we still live with our two young children. Amongst work, family and Law studies I have helped establish the Rouse Hill Progress Association and now actively support Our Lady of the Angels Primary School and the RHAC netball club.

I am extremely proud to be a Hills Shire resident and would be honored to represent the local community.

What do you hope to achieve on council? To entrench the reputation of The Hills as “the place to live, work and invest”. Attract and support business and employment opportunities, partner in appropriate infrastructure and encourage the provision of a mixture of good quality residential options.

What will be your priorities during your time on council? My first priority will always be the concerns of North Ward residents. Encouraging sustainable growth, improving community and sporting facilities, improving local roads and supporting the great work of our many and varied volunteers.

Group C — Building Australia Party

John Vellenga

What qualifies you to represent the community?

Lived in the hills area since migrating to Australia 1979. Seven Hills 79-82, Glenhaven 82-92/93, Castle Hill – present

What do you hope to achieve on council? To make housing more affordable by harmonising infrastructure levies, reducing planning delays and the reduction of over-regulation. To protect the current lifestyle and environment of the garden shire.

What will be your priorities during your time on council?

Promote an ethos and fervent interest in aged care and transport access within the Hills Shire. Simplifying the building process by chasing down planning inefficiencies.

Reg Pignat

Peter Wakefield

What qualifies you to represent the community? My family and I have lived and worked in the hills district for 23 years

What do you hope to achieve on council? To simplify the process and speed up building approvals. Protect the garden shire from overdevelopment

What will be your priorities during your time on council?

To represent the community the best way that I can.

Group D — ALP

Barbara Burton

What qualifies you to represent the community?

I have been a councillor for North Ward in The Hills Shire Council for the fourpast years.

What do you hope to achieve on council; what will be your priorities during your time on council? I have advocated strongly for residents representing their views to Council and helped resolve problems. Having lived locally for over forty years Barbara understands our community and the issues that are important to us.

I’m dedicated to our area and committed to making our community a better place to live for all local residents.

I value our environment and local heritage and will work to protect it, and is leading the fight to stop Coal Seam Gas mining ruining our beautiful area.

Good quality childcare and preschool are vital for young families and I will continue to advocate for high quality, affordable Council Childcare and Preschool facilities.

I have delivered more footpaths for North Ward, and better roads and roundabouts. I will continue to work to improve and upgrade our roads, cycleways and footpaths. I am experienced and responsible, and will work for strong financial sustainability at Council. I will ensure Council is accountable and all decision-making is transparent and honest.

Aisha Amjad

What qualifies you to represent the community?

I am a Hills girl through and through and having lived here my entire life, I understand all aspects of the area – our issues, values, problems and positives.

I am passionate about the people and committed to the community. I believe I can bring a fresh vision and voice to represent all our residents, especially the youth and working families.

What do you hope to achieve on council?

I would love the opportunity to serve my community and get out there to work on expanding access to better health care, child care, education, and transport services; to improve our infrastructure; preserve and promote our environment; and to address all issues concerning our local community, its families and individuals.

Above all, this is what I hope to achieve:

“A healthy social life is found only, when in the mirror of each soul the whole community finds its reflection, and when in the whole community the virtue of each one is living.” – Rudolf Steiner

What will be your priorities during your time on council?

*Fixing the roads and improving road safety (especially around Schools).

*Restoring existing buildings/facilities. This is the Garden Shire, and I believe in preserving the natural beauty of the area.

*Expanding access to better services across the Shire. Working closely with ALL groups is a top priority to ensure their concerns and needs are adequately addressed.

Monique Atkinson

Group E — The Greens

Jocelyn Howden

What qualifies you to represent the community?

BA Dip Ed. Former teacher. Worked in NSW Parliament 8 years for Greens Upper House Member Ian Cohen

For 35 years I have lived and brought up my 5 children (with my husband) on Glenorie Wildlife Refuge in North Ward. During that time I have been involved with local schools and environment groups and fostered 20 disadvantaged children.

What do you hope to achieve on council?

I am passionate about helping community groups protect their local bushland, as North Ward contains great flora and fauna diversity and is part of “the lungs of Sydney”, nurturing clean air and clean water for future generations to enjoy.

What will be your priorities during your time on council?

* Integrity on Council.

*Good public transport

* More cycleways

Catherine Woolnough

North Ward

The Greens

What qualifies you to represent the community? As a member of The Greens I aim to represent the needs of the community before the needs of developers.

What do you hope to achieve on council? The Hills electorate is one of the fastest growing areas in Sydney. I hope to achieve sustainable growth of the area by ensuring appropriate infrastructure is in place before further growth and by ensuring our beautiful natural bushland areas are protected from development. The Hills currently needs more buses, efficient delivery of the North West rail link and more cycle ways. I would support weekly council collection of food waste in separate bins as was trialled by council previously. I would also support council run programs which enable businesses and apartment buildings with multiple owners to install solar panels and rain water tanks.

What will be your priorities during your time on council?

There are a few development applications that I would oppose; apartments at Mackillop Drive, 25 storey apartments at Kellyville and soccer fields at Kenthurst Park.

Michael Bellstedt

What qualifies you to represent the community? My family and I have lived in the Hills area since 1998, and my three children have attended local schools in Glenhaven and Castle Hill in this time. We are active members of the local community, and involved in a range of local activities including the recently founded Knightsbridge Bush Care group. Whilst my children were involved with the local Scouts group, I was an active committee member.

What do you hope to achieve on council? In my professional capacity I have been working with the NSW government to facilitate assistance to small, medium and large business to save on energy costs, and I have had an active role in assisting TAFE organisations improve their curriculae in this area. I aim to apply my skills in this area to the benefit of the many small and medium business in the hills area in particular to assist them to reduce their power costs and improve their environmental outcomes, by coordinating council and state government efforts in this regard. In particular, I will facilitate various state and federal support programs for the benefit of local businesses.

What will be your priorities during your time on council?

In addition to the specific agenda [above], I aim to create greater awareness and care for our local bushland, which is being pressurised by development, pollution and rampant weed infestation. Improved cycleways, better public transport and higher integrity by councillors are also high on my agenda.


Pat Cunningham

What do you hope to achieve on council? My background and work experience gives me the opportunity to represent the community in the most positive way. Until recently I was the owner of the Riverside Oaks Golf Resort at Cattai . This business contributed to the local Tourism trade in a meaningful way and was also an employer of many people from the rural area of the Shire.

For the past 20 years I have also owned and operated a property development and building company under the name of Topmead Homes. This company the majority of its work in the Hills Shire and work included the redevelopment of the Amaroo Park Motor Raceway into a rural residential development.

Prior to this period I spent 20 years as a senior executive in the Finance Industry.

I was also proud to serve in the Army and toured Vietnam in 1966 to 1967.

I have lived in the Hills area for more than 30 years and believe that I have an affinity with the area and are able to empathise with the community and be able to represent them without the control being imposed by a political party.

What do you hope to achieve on council? My aim is to give all residents of North Ward a highly visible voice within the Council.

Also I will ensure that all decisions are totally transparent.

What will be your priorities during your time on council?

My priority if elected to council will be to work towards rate payers receiving maximum services and benefits for their investment, including Roads, Transport, Child Care as well as improving funding for Crisis Facilities.

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