CANDIDATE BRUCE CAMPBELL
10 QUESTIONS FROM THE TERRIER:
What three main skills could you bring to the Warrnambool City Council as a councillor?
I have governance, management and community engagement skills that can assist the Council. I have been on the boards of two landcare networks for six and nine years respectively and been the chairman of one for nine years.
I have worked as a manager of programs and organisations for many years, including in roles where I advised and assisted elected committees to fulfill their governance obligations. I am not a governance expert but I have a good general understanding of governance issues.
As a manager I have overseen the finance, staff and activities of a large number of programs and projects for decades, including construction, waste management, housing, arts and recreation, environment, community education and more. I have a Master of International & Community Development that has effective community engagement at its core.
Most of my work since I started out working in local government in the 1980s has been in or focussed on the community sector. As such I understand the importance of community engagement and the importance of doing it well.
Do you see any particular issues, projects or problems in Warrnambool that you would like to work on as a councillor?
I was involved in the Warrnambool 2040 plan and I support its goals under the broad headings of People, Place, Economy and Environment. ]
The 2040 plan drew on the thoughts of more than 1000 residents and that amount of community involvement should be respected. Of course all plans must be reviewed and renewed and I think the new council should be briefed on progress towards the W2040 goals and, with senior staff, ensure the plan maintains currency.
Having said that, the Covid pandemic has turned our world upside down, so the largest concern of the new council must be to have community recovery as its overarching goal.
Do you think the council could be more “open” with residents and if so, how?
The council could certainly be more ‘open’ and engaged with the community. One idea might be to hold community forums in various parts of the municipality several times per year. Senior staff and councillors could attend to directly answer questions from residents. It would be great if these meetings could be held in Woodford/Bushfield, Allansford, Merrivale/South Warrnambool, Dennington, etc.
Ideally these meetings would be designed and facilitated by skilled and independent community engagement facilitators.
Council has a community engagement strategy and legislative requirements around this. I would like to see this strategy improved and implemented uniformly and effectively across council’s operations.
The next 12 months are going to be challenging due to the impact of Covid-19 – do you have one or two key idea/s for how WCC could support residents and/or businesses?
I haven’t had a chance to study council’s rates system yet, but there may be the ability to alter some of the rates differentials relating to vacant land, industrial land, retail premises, etc. and offer some relief.
Our most vulnerable residents are likely to be suffering the most through this pandemic. Elderly, disabled, those suffering mental health issues: working with the various relevant organisations and agencies we can help these residents get through to the other side.
Do you have any ideas on where the council could cut costs, if necessary, to keep rates at the state cap?
I’d like to be fully briefed on the council budget before looking at where savings could be made. I know that council always has more demands for spending than there is money for. I also know that there is pressure from other levels of government such as cost shifting and unreliability of grant programs that makes budgeting difficult.
Preferences will decide who is elected to the council. Are you planning to preference most highly new candidates, exisiting candidates or you won’t be putting forward preferences:
I am planning to preference new candidates most highly.
If you were elected, what ways – if any – would you keep residents and ratepayers informed as an individual councillor?
I would be available for residents to contact me about anything. I would be happy to discuss anything with residents when I see them at the various events I attend.
If you were elected, what would you have liked to have achieved at the end of your four-year term?
I would like to have supported our community to become more resilient, cohesive, self-sufficient and sustainable. By ‘resilient’ I mean able to weather whatever storms come our way, whether they are a pandemic, a drought, economic instability or the impacts of climate change.
By ‘cohesive’ I mean that we understand that we are all in this together and despite our differences, we all have things to offer that will make us greater as a whole. If we cannot bring the most vulnerable of us along on our city’s journey then we are failing as a community.
By ‘self-sufficient’ I mean that we have as many of the human, infrastructure, economic and environmental assets as possible within our reach. We have an education system producing skilled, knowledgeable, talented citizens. We have health and social support systems that create a thriving community. We have the range of facilities to support our needs. We have an environment that supports the native flora and fauna we share our municipality with as well as providing for our recreational and economic needs.
By ‘sustainable’ I mean all of the above does not deplete our human, infrastructure, economic or environmental assets.
Are you a member of any political party? If so, which one?
In the past two years, have you been a member of any local club, organisation or association?
Warrnambool Coastcare Landcare Network (chairman).
Warrnambool Community Garden.
The F Project.
Closing thoughts or ask and answer your own question here:
We can’t change the past but we can make sure the future is a better place. That’s what I will work for if elected.
You can find Bruce’s candidate Facebook page here.
Note: Bruce is yet to decide if he will be publishing a preference list but if he does, it will be published on The Terrier before voting opens on 6 October. Candidates can, of course, leave it purely up to the voter to decide how to list the candidates from 1 to 24.