WCC candidate Tracey Togni talks with The Terrier

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What three main skills could you bring to the Warrnambool City Council as a councillor?

I hope to bring business insight to the council. Over the last 26 years I have been operating businesses in Warrnambool, sometimes employing up to 13 people. This gives me an understanding of dealing with a diverse group of people and understanding the needs and wants of others. A real-life understanding of how businesses are affected by COVID19 and what can be done to assist in the rebuilding.

I’m an energetic, positive and creative person with many ideas to contribute for an exciting future for Warrnambool. Not only do these traits help me with forming and implementing new ideas they also give me the ability of abstract problem solving. Looking outside the box for solutions to problems.

I’m open-minded, approachable and happy to talk to anybody and willing to take on board just about any issue or idea brought to me.

I’m also progressive. I want to see positive and innovative ideas, projects and changes implemented in Warrnambool.

 I’m also very determined, in every aspect of my life. That is why I’m running for council.

Do you see any particular issues, projects or problems in Warrnambool that would like to work on as a councillor?

Like all places we have room for improvement in many areas, but we also have wonderful opportunities with our already established assets that l think we can utilise more. Being at the end of the Great Ocean Road is something l think we could leverage.

In line with this, I believe in introducing free parking for seniors and free CBD parking for COVID recovery.

Do you think the council could be more “open” with residents and if so, how?

Yes, this could be achieved with communicating the message of council better or live streaming the council meetings, saying this l think the incumbent council did get a lot done however the message was lost as the public had lost faith in the process. A united council with the support of the community should be able to not only share their points of view we should always be seeking community feedback and engagement, after all community is the reason we stand for council.

The next 12 months is 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?

Covid 19 is challenging all areas of life, and while l do have ideas like free parking for example, l think it’s premature to comment on them as we still don’t have a clear roadmap to what will become “covid normal” however l do look forward to discussing this at a later time, I would also want to consult with business owners on this too.

 Do you have any ideas on where the council could cut costs, if necessary, to keep rates at the state cap?

Without being all over the current finances l don’t think it’s fair to float money saving ideas without proper consultation, in saying that most businesses can find financial relief through efficiencies whether that be employee or purchasing related or through general cost cutting. Cutting services l do not believe would be the way to do this.

Preferences will decide who is elected to council. Are you planning to preference most highly new candidates, current councillors, or you will not be listing your preferences

I will have more to say regarding preferences once l have spoken with more of the other candidates, however l do believe that a new council would benefit with some experienced council being retained.

I honestly don’t think electing a complete new and unexperienced council would be the best way forward.

If you were elected, what ways – if any – would you keep residents and ratepayers informed as an individual councillor?

The use of social media, local news and of course I’m always happy to be available and discuss all things Warrnambool with everyone. Programs such as Zoom now allow for more people to view and interact with council meetings without leaving their homes.

If elected I will be proud to serve the community, I would look at how other good councillors do it best and learn from them.

If you were elected, what would you have liked to have achieved at the end of your four-year term?

I hope to have been a member of a council that our community can be proud of, a united team achieving goals.

Obviously, l would like to see Warrnambool in a better position than where it is today. A bustling CBD, with free parking for seniors and where our tourism industries is thriving and our caravan parks are full.  I want to see tourists from Port Campbell no longer turn right but keep travelling to Warrnambool to experience what truly is one of Victoria’s most liveable cities. Fishing boats driving into Warrnambool rather than heading to Portland (in the post-Covid world).

Increased youth engagement in decisions and more opportunities for youth involvement in art projects around Warrnambool; the CBD, foreshore, railway precinct and other points of interest.

All these people deserve to experience all that is Warrnambool.

Are you a member of any political party? 

I’m not a member of any political party.

In the past two years, have you been a member of any local club, organisation or association?

I was member of the Board on Management of The Warrnambool and District Community Hospice.

Closing thoughts or ask and answer your own question here:

This is an opportunity for me to push for better things for Warrnambool. I am a good fair person with a positive attitude and my heart is in the right place. I want what is best for not only ourselves but for our children and theirs. An exciting future!

You can find Tracey’s candidate Facebook page here.