WCC candidate Vicki Jellie chats with The Terrier

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CANDIDATE VICKI JELLIE:

10 QUESTIONS FROM THE TERRIER:

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

I have proven and strong advocacy, resulting in benefits for all stakeholders. I am able to build strong relationships which would encourage people to make their views known and engage with me. I have excellent communication and community engagement skills.

Community leadership must be at the heart of local government, and I have achieved this through my work with Peter’s Project. I have a background of working in partnership with local communities and organisations – including the government, voluntary, community and private sectors – and have developed  and worked collaboratively with these groups to achieve great results.

I am a critical thinker. I have the ability to think clearly and rationally and rigorously question ideas and assumptions rather than accepting them on face value. I would seek to determine whether the ideas or proposal represent the entire picture and would further investigate if they do not.

Today’s problems often come from yesterday’s solutions. Elected officials should consider how to best limit shifting a problem into the future by maintaining a long-term perspective and considering the potential impact of decisions.

I am not afraid to ask questions and will provide representation without fear or favour.

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

Covid19 recovery is one of the biggest current issues we face as a community. There will be many factors getting the economy back on track. One part of this will require carefully reviewing the Council’s current 4 year budget plans, and where necessary, changing some existing priorities to effect necessary budget savings, by seeking operational efficiencies. Strong leadership to enable the restoration of our economy will be crucial.

As a new councillor I would aim to advocate and provide whatever support South West Healthcare needs to advance the quest of their desperately needed hospital redevelopment. This is a vitally important project which would provide a new Emergency Department, new theatres and new ward capacity. I know that a strong healthcare facility attracts people to live and work in our region and this is a great example where Warrnambool needs a collectively strong voice, of which I would intend to lead.

I would like to look at a refreshed regional collaboration strategy, particularly in conjunction with Moyne and Corangamite shires. WCC is looked upon as a pivotal municipality in our region for many reasons, so our council must show leadership and foster these important relationships and gain new respect, for the benefit of all.

We are privileged to have an incredible indigenous history, an outstanding natural environment and our vibrant arts community that are true points of difference in our region. In collaboration with the community I would love to support the idea of a new cultural centre encompassing all of these things. Having such a centre would bring multiple benefits including tourism, education, employment and pride of who we are.

I would like to be part of the advocacy group to further investigate the recently discussed (WCC meeting 7 Sept 2020) scenario of Warrnambool being included in the Victorian Fast Regional Commuter Train Alliance. This program would reshape rail travel efficiencies and the settlement plan not only for Warrnambool, but the state.

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

Absolutely.

We need to bring the council back to the community by rebuilding trust and giving our community confidence that their elected representatives will always act with integrity, not disregard their obligations and not be afraid to speak up.

I want to be an effective local advocate and ensure that the representative views of our community are heard and we don’t lose touch with those we are elected to serve.

A continuation of live streaming and recording of council meetings, and a proposal to have an Auslan interpreter at all meetings. Live streamed council meetings have been very helpful for transparency for all.

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?

Support businesses by relaxing permit and licencing fees wherever possible: eg: outdoor dining permits, footpath advertising.

Low or no cost parking in designated areas of CBD carparks. The first 2 hours free in all off-street CBD car parks.

Propose the idea for WCC to provide all ratepayers with a $100 voucher, or a similar discount concept, to be redeemable at businesses within the Warrnambool City area to stimulate spending and support of all businesses.

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

Councils should focus on achieving more with current staffing levels before considering hiring more. Rationalise the number of council departments and managers. The incentive to give staff ‘manager’ titles means that unnecessary departments can emerge.

Require end of year reports from groups which councils fund. How have ratepayers benefited from what the group used the money for? Too much money is given to groups by habit or because “they get money every year.”

Review tenancies annually. Check the list of those outside bodies being given free or subsidised space by the council. Ensure these buildings are being properly utilised for purpose and – if not – they could be sold.

Don’t outsource training. Instead of having external training for staff, hold internal training events which are filmed and put on the internal internet site so that staff can view at any time. For example having their own internal Traffic Management Trainer.

Make every manager who re-signs a contract justify to councillors why it hasn’t been re-tendered to demonstrate absolute transparency. Seek operational efficiencies to prevent extraordinarily high project costs.

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 have struggled with the idea of preferencing and under normal circumstances I would decline to do so………but……..because of the unsustainable turmoil in the current council, and so much community angst as to how to vote to make change, I have preferenced candidates with an expectation to form a new diverse, transparent and trustworthy council.

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

As a new councillor, I would have to be made aware of the confidentiality protocols (which I am not currently versed in) so I fully understood what I am able to openly share with the community.

I would utilise appropriate social media use to relay suitable non confidential information to community, which could also be delivered by a monthly newsletter.

I would make the ratepayers and community well aware that I would be open to discussion, either with individuals or groups to talk about any concerns or suggestions as requested. I would be accessible to all. 

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 been a part of a council that is respected and trusted by the community.

I would hope to have been able to keep rates and budgetary overspending regulated and have always made decisions in the very best interests for those I serve.

I would, I am sure, understand that you will never make everyone happy with so many diverse opinions and needs, but I would ensure that I would have made every decision with the absolute best interests of the community in mind.

I would hope that I have been part of a cohesive team who have achieved various projects and positive outcomes for the city, which have allowed our city and region to grow and prosper.

Are you a member of any political party? If so, which one?

Definitely not.

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

I am and continue to be the Chair/Director of the Peter’s Project Foundation.

A mentor of Standing Tall in Warrnambool program.

A former board member of Realise Enterprises / Tasty Plate.

I feel that being a member of only a couple of local organisations is actually an advantage, because I have minimal or no conflict of interest when it comes to making a wide range of decisions. I would therefor show transparency, critical thinking and non-favouritism in my decisions.

Closing thoughts or ask and answer your own question here:

I am a lifelong Warrnambool resident and I am passionate about our local Warrnambool community.

I am ready to take on this commitment with eyes open because I love our city and the great things we can achieve.  I care about support in many areas including aged care, education, and the legacy for our youth, retaining and attracting young professionals to the city is essential.

I am committed to delivering the change that Warrnambool residents want and need.

I want to be part of a cohesive, respectful and progressive team, open to listening to other’s ideas and working for the future of the city, and ensuring the decision making process of our council are timely, fair and understandable for all.

You can find Vicki’s candidate Facebook page here.

 

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