Achievements as your local representative
As your local representative on the council I was able to make a positive difference to our local area. These include:
- Successfully achieved funding for upgrades to many local parks and playgrounds (e.g. Altona Doggy Beach, Apex Park, Brooklyn Reserve, Burns Reserve, Cherry Lake, Croft Reserve, Den Dulk Reserve, Doug Grant Reserve, Duane Reserve, Federation Trail, Ford Reserve, Frazer Reserve, Hosken Reserve, Langshaw Reserve, Logan Reserve, Norah McIntyre Reserve, Paisley Park, Ransom Reserve, Truganina Explosives Reserve and Weaver Reserve);
- Supported funding for upgrades to community assets such as libraries, public toilets, the Altona Boat Ramp, shared trails, shopping strips and local roads;
- Supported many local community groups and sporting clubs (including arts & theatre groups, community gardens, friends’ groups, historical societies, Men’s Shed, multicultural groups, resident groups, senior citizens, service clubs, sporting clubs, and trader associations);
- Lobbied the State Government and the relevant departments to address air quality, noise and traffic issues in Brooklyn and Altona North and regularly advocated to ensure local industry cleans up their act;
- Supported improvements to our natural environment including the Altona & Seaholme foreshore, and the Kororoit and Skeleton Creek corridors;
- Successfully opposed the closure of local kindergartens;
- Opposed rate increases and supported a rate reduction during COVID-19;
- Successfully achieved funding to continue with the Implementation of the master plan for the Altona Sports Precinct (including the Altona Little Athletics Club, Altona Hockey Club, Altona Football Club, Altona City Soccer Club, Altona Tennis Club, and Altona Bowling Club);
- Opposed inappropriate developments (such as log fumigation facility in Altona and dirty industry in Brooklyn);
- Supported striking the right balance between reducing waste and increasing recycling – recycling should be encouraged, every household that wants a large rubbish bin should get one for no extra cost, each household should have access to two free hard waste collections per year, and e-waste collections should be more regular;
- Supported construction of new footpaths and upgrades to drainage;
- Supported plans for an “Urban Forest” and improved landscaping across Altona, Altona Meadows, Altona North, Brooklyn and Seaholme;
- Supported the proposed new Aquatic Facility and Large Scale Solar program;
- Encouraged a human rights approach to community services, especially in the areas of services to elderly residents, people with disabilities, people living on their own, and families;
- Supported genuine community consultation and engagement;
- Supported increased scrutiny of Councillors and the expenditure of public money.
Some recent capital works highlights:
- Freeson Street Carpark Upgrade, Altona – $127K
- Apex Park Seawall Construction and Entry Improvements – $607K Norah McIntyre Reserve Open Space Improvements – $250K Fencing Works Doug Grant Reserve – $143K
- PA Burns Reserve Foreshore Improvement Works – $1.7M
- Langshaws Reserve Open Space Improvements – $150K Millers Road Pedestrian Ramp – $1.6M
- Open Space Improvement Works, Rowan Reserve, Duane Reserve and Brooklyn Reserve – $1.3M
- Paisley Park Soccer Pavilion Renewal – $760K Sargood Street Carpark Renewal – $110K
- Den Dulk Reserve Open Space Improvements – $200K AH Forde Reserve Open Space Improvements – $220K Frazer Reserve Open Space Improvements – $90
- Altona Early Years Centre – $7.5M
- Altona Box Lacrosse/ Carpark – $409K
- Altona Library Refurbishment Works – $900K
- Craig Street Reserve Upgrade – $157K
- JK Grant Reserve Flood Lighting – $450K
- Outdoor Gyms Altona Foreshore – $200K
- Pedestrian Ramp – Bent Street, Altona – $400K
- Road Rehabilitation Harcourt Road, Altona, Jordan Close, Altona, Taras Avenue, Altona North and Third Avenue, Altona North – $950K
- PJ Lynch Reserve Pavilion Renewal – $769K
- Altona Road/ Pines Scout Camp Intersection – 149K Brooklyn Dog Park – $124K
- Weaver Reserve Public Toilet Upgrade – $408K
- Outfall Improvement Works Altona Foreshore – $614K
- GH Ransom Reserve Open Space Improvements – $250K
- Altona Beach Sand Replenishment Works Sarros Street to Apex Park – $1.4M McBain Street Foreshore Pedestrian Ramp – $240K
- Second Avenue Streetscape Works – $680K
- JK Grant Pavilion Upgrade Works – $1.9M
- Road Rehabilitation Buchanan Street, Brooklyn and Chambers Road/Ross Road, Altona North – $400K
- Kororoit Creek Shared Trail – $5.7M
- New Footpaths in Brooklyn Reserve – $115K
- New Footpaths Queen Street, Altona – $158K
- Cresser Reserve Foreshore Improvement Works – $794K
- JT Grey Reserved Sports Ground Development – $1.1M
- Pier Street Revitalisation Works – $833K
I support a vibrant capital works program that provides quality infrastructure across the municipality. Over the next five years the council has the following a number of major projects forecast for our local area including:
- Road Rehabilitation works Ajax Road, Altona, Pinnacle Road, and Altona North – $1.5 M
- Altona Better Places Pier Street Stage 4 and Weaver Reserve – $1.8M
- Altona Tennis Court, Fencing and Pavilion Renewal – $1.2M
- Brooklyn Hall Redevelopment – $1.5M
- Croft Reserve – Sportsgrounds, Floodlighting, Pavilion and Car parking Renewal Works – $4.4M
- HW Lee Reserve, Altona Park upgrade – $224K
- New Footpath on McArthurs Rd Altona North – Chamber Rd & Harris Reserve – $100K
- PA Burns Reserve Seaholme Foreshore Upgrade Stage 2 – $1.7M
- Altona Ford Upgrade – $1.7M
- Altona Life Saving Tower Renewal Works – $400K
- Public Toilet Works The Circle, Altona North – $300K
- WJ Irwin Reserve, Altona North Open Space Upgrade- $410K
- Paisley Park, Newport Sports Ground Floodlighting – $330K
- PJ Lynch Reserve, Altona North Sports Ground Floodlighting – $550K
- Road and Drainage Rehabilitation works, Paw Paw Road, Brooklyn – $400K
- Altona Coastal Boardwalk – $409K
- Webb Street, Altona Foreshore Pedestrian Access Ramp – $680K
- Altona Hockey Club – Sports Pavilion and Training Pitch Major Upgrades – $2.7M Barnes Road, Altona North Road Bridge Renewal – $100K
- Road and Drainage Rehabilitation works, Blyth Street, Altona, Emu Avenue, Linnet Street and Robin Avenue, Altona, and Rymill Court, Altona North – $3.1M
- Cherry Lake All Abilities Playground – $850K
- G.J. Hosken Reserve, Altona North open space upgrade – $500K Harrington Square Streetscape Improvements, Altona – $400K Harris Reserve Open Space Upgrade– $135K
- Road and Drainage Rehabilitation works Ajax Road, Altona and Waters Drive Seaholme – $800K
- Altona Safe Harbour Parking and access reconfiguration – $1M
- HC KIM Reserve Pavilion – Pavilion, Oval and Carpark Renewal, female friendly and storage upgrade – $3.4M
- Truganina Explosives Reserve Masterplan Implementation Works – $450K
- Altona Seawall and Shared Trail- Webb St to Bent St – $1.3M
- Road and Drainage Rehabilitation works, Export Drive, Brooklyn, Horsburgh Drive, Altona North, Ives Road, Altona North, Marigold Ave, Altona North and McIntyre Drive, Altona – $2.2M
- Precinct 15 – Community Hub & Kindergarten Works – $2.3M
Tony’s Policies & Vision
The following is a list of some of my policies which I can thankfully back up with what I have done during my years on the council as Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councillor.
Openness and Transparency
Councillors represent the community and therefore their actions and decisions must be open and transparent. I am pleased to have introduced the following policies to the Hobsons Bay City Council:
- Council meetings are recorded and podcast on the council website within 24 hours;
- Councillor expenses are regularly made publicly available on the council website; and
- Matters are only considered in camera when absolutely necessary, and even then they are to be reviewed and made public once the reason for the confidentiality no longer applies.
As a Councillor I also ensure I regularly consulted with the community and informed the community what I was doing via twitter, facebook, this website and my regular email newsletter “Community Update”. I was also regularly available to meet with local community groups, individuals and business owners/operators.
Providing quality services for our community is one of the main roles of the council. These services vary and include services for childcare (e.g. council supported childcare, family day care, occasional care and school holiday programs), family support, kindergartens, maternal and child health, youth services, public health, multicultural services, services for senior citizens, services for people with a disability, libraries, community hubs and centres, supporting community groups and services for animals. I strongly support the continuation of these services and to ensuring that the council ensures we continue to provide the services our community needs at the quality and level of service that they expect.
Sadly, the current council opposed the retention of the council run childcare centres in Altona and Altona Meadows, with me being one of only two Councillors supporting the continuation of these centres (see https://briffa.org/council-run-childcare-in-hobsons-bay-12-february-2014). The council has also decided to merge the four kindergartens in Altona and Seaholme and move them to a single combined kindergarten “hub”. I opposed this move as a councillor and continue to support our current kindergartens.
As a Councillor I ensured Altona, Altona Meadows, Altona North, Brooklyn and Seaholme received our fair share of funding from council’s annual $100+ million budget. This included significant improvements to the Altona foreshore (such as the beach renourishment project, drainage upgrade, tree plantings, improvements to local reserves, new toilet on Fraser Reserve, upgrades to Apex Park and Doug Grant Reserve, Altona Boat Ramp and Altona Doggy Beach), the Altona Sports Precinct (upgrades to the facilities used by the Altona Football Club, Little Athletics Club, Altona Hockey Club, Altona Cricket Club, Altona City Soccer Club and Dog Obedience School). There is still much to be done. I would like to ensure an Altona and Seaholme Foreshore Strategy and Master Plan is developed in consultation with the community (including the establishment of a Community Advisory Group) and that the plan is funded for implementation. I am also keen to ensure upgrades to our local shopping strips are funded, our playgrounds and local parks improved and local footpaths/shared paths are maintained properly and even constructed in areas where we still don’t have any. Drainage and local roads are also a priority.
It is essential our council responsibly manages our environment and promotes environmental awareness and sustainability. This includes managing our creeks, foreshore, waste and recycling services, managing the use of water and energy at community facilities, protecting our biodiversity and conservation of our flora and fauna.
As we have significant industrial areas within Hobsons Bay, the council must also ensure the health of residents is not adversely impacted by them in terms of noise, dust, odours, chemicals or contamination. While jobs and industry is important, the council must strongly advocate for residents as our health is the highest priority.
I voted in support of the Large Scale Solar Program and to work towards achieving zero net greenhouse gas emissions through direct action.
Services and Support for People with Disabilities & Senior Citizens
It is vital our community provides services and support for senior citizens and people with disabilities. The council also needs to ensure public areas are accessible to people of all disabilities and are included in community programs. I voted in support of council retaining their role in directly providing home care for elderly and disabled residents.
Culture – Arts, Music, Festivals, etc
We live in a wonderfully diverse and vibrant community, and the council must support this via programs for the Arts including performing arts and music, and supporting local festivals. I support funding for local festivals, local arts groups, local music groups (such as the Hobsons Bay City Band), local theatre groups (such as the Altona City Theatre Company) and multicultural, multifaith and GLBTI groups that conduct various community events promoting diversity and inclusion.
Advocating for the local community – Public Transport, Police, Schools, Planning and the Environment
The Council – and Councillors – have a key role in advocating for the local community and lobbying other levels of government for appropriate funding and services. This includes issues with public transport (e.g. restoring services to the Altona Loop and reopening Paisley Station), resources provided for local police, schools (e.g. restoring years 10 to 12 at a public high school in Altona), planning (e.g. ensuring the local planning scheme respects the wishes of the local community) and environment issues under the responsibility of the EPA (such as dust, chemicals, odours, land contamination, etc).
The council has a role to work with the local police and other emergency services to ensure the safety of the community in public and in their homes. As a Councillor I initiated the Altona Summer Police Consultative Group which brought together the police, local traders, the life saving club and other local groups to ensure strategies were in place for the busy summer period. This included strategies about a visible police presence, the consumption of alcohol, use of glass on the beach, signage, lighting, etc.
I am opposed to inappropriate development and have voted against applications for developments that are contrary to the planning scheme, too high, too large, adversely impact the neighbouring residents by reducing their privacy or shadowing or that do not meet acceptable neighbourhood characteristics. This doesn’t mean I oppose town houses – some are tasteful, well built, appropriate and do not impact on the amenity of neighbours.
If re-elected I would like the council to facilitate a community discussion about the planning scheme for Altona and to seek an amendment to it to reflect the wishes of the local community. At present VCAT is overturning many decisions by the council when inappropriate developments are refused.
Rates, Council Budget & Resources
I do not support ongoing increases in council rates just because councils want to increase their revenue. Increases in rates must be justified and must not exceed inflation.
The council has a role in the short term and long term growth of the local economy, which is great for local jobs and builds a more vibrant and sustainable community. As a council this means ensuring industrial land is able to be developed and utilized (i.e. Burns Road), local business is supported and engaged with the local community, that we attract investment and opportunities in the local area (especially away from traditional dirty industry), and that we work with local businesses and business groups to understand their challenges and assist where possible.
Capital Works Program
I support a vibrant capital works program that provides quality infrastructure across the municipality.
With my dear friend, the late Dick Murdoch at the naming of a reserve in his honour.
Tony in the Council Chamber before a council meeting
A sign at the council welcoming over 100 local students to my environmental education activities as part of my Mayoral Program
Supporting local clubs is vital – like the Altona Lions!
An image I took at the plant where all our recycling material is processed. We still need to reduce waste.
I support local industry. Here I am promoting Toyota during my term as Mayor.
A beautiful letter from a local primary school student. I supported a music education program that provided musical instruments to students when I was Mayor.
Another letter from a grateful student.
At the Altona Beach Festival!