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Blue Mountains City Council Election - 10th Sept.
The Blue Mountains Conservation Society presents everything you need to know about the 2016 Council Election from an environmental perspective.
Questionnaire Response - Ward 2

There are 4 "lead" candidates in Ward 2.

The candidates' full response to our questionnaire is listed below. Candidates are listed in the order they will appear on the ballot paper.

Preface

What follows is a tabulation of the candidate's responses to the questionnaire to allow a comparison.

Each question, except Question 13 and “Personal conservation goals”, has an implicit preface of "As a BMCC Councillor I will".

Candidates were asked to answer each question with a "yes" or "no" - there being no assumed answer if left blank.

The last item on the questionnaire - a statement of personal conservation values - is provided first.

Personal conservation values
If elected, what will you do for the environment? Outline one or more projects/issues that you intend to work on ? – limit 100 words.
Brent Hoare  (The Greens)
My prime motivation for standing in Ward 2 is to be a strong and persistent advocate for responding to the climate emergency in the manner demanded by the science, in all the means at the disposal of local government. I will work to promote the acceleration of the energy insurgency, by promoting and facilitating the adoption of renewable energy solutions.

I will be a consistent and vocal advocate on all environmental issues prioritised by my constituents.

I will actively seek out and act faithfully on the best expert and evidence-based advice on all environmental issues that come before council.
Rob Thompson  (Independent)
There were two questions that I could not give a simple yes or no answer. I have explained my reasoning here

World Heritage Area see here
Our World Heritage Area is surrounded by Hawkesbury, Lithgow, Mudgee, Oberon, Wollondilly and Gosford Councils with who we must combine resources, finances and manpower to ensure the Heritage Area has excellent management in the following areas.... Composting and Waste See here
Trucking our green waste hundreds of kilometres to be processed at Blayney in the Central West is environmentally unsound. We must create systems that encourage householders to compost at home.
Romola Hollywood  (Labor)
If elected, the Ward 2 Labor team will continue to oppose the Western Sydney Airport at Badgery’s Creek and its impact on the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

We will fight to maintain our strong planning instruments in order to preserve the character of our towns and villages and protect our environment from overdevelopment.

In Ward 2, we will support initiatives such as the Jamison Creek Catchment Working Group, implementation of recommendations from the north Hazelbrook flood study and ensure the master planning process for the Old Lawson Golf Course takes account of environmental considerations for the surrounding creeks.
Chris Van der Kley  (Liberal)
The Blue Mountains is an area of great beauty and diverse needs. I am committed to preserving the cultural and natural heritage of the region, so that one day our grandchildren will also be able to live in and enjoy an area regarded by many as a unique and pristine.
Natural areas - Bushland protection and restoration
1. Support Council's current funding to Bushcare and Bush regeneration activities:
a) being maintained
Candidate Party Response
Brent HoareGreensYes
Rob ThompsonInd.
Romola HollywoodLaborYes
Chris Van der KleyLiberalYes
b) being increased
Candidate Party Response
Brent HoareGreensYes
Rob ThompsonInd.Yes
Romola HollywoodLaborYes in principle: would consider in light of other service delivery priorities such as footpaths and walking tracks.
Chris Van der KleyLiberal
Postamble:  The 2016-17 budget for bushcare funds 1 full time and 6 part time positions and the bush regeneration budget supports 6 full time positions.

2. Support an increase in the Noxious Weeds program by extending the number of catchments targeted each year, and by providing more private property weed education and advice.
Candidate Party Response
Brent HoareGreensYes
Rob ThompsonInd.Yes
Romola HollywoodLaborYes in principle: would consider in light of other service delivery priorities such as footpaths and walking tracks.
Chris Van der KleyLiberalYes

3. Support Council maintaining its budget for bushwalking track maintenance and development, using Nature Based Recreation Licence Fees for additional work and actively pursuing opportunities for additional Commonwealth and State funding.
Candidate Party Response
Brent HoareGreensYes
Rob ThompsonInd.Yes
Romola HollywoodLaborYes absolutely
Chris Van der KleyLiberalYes
Enforcement of Environmental Regulations
4. Support Council taking a strong and consistent approach to enforcement of breaches of environmental regulations:
a) by taking legal action against illegal clearing of natural bushland
Candidate Party Response
Brent HoareGreensYes
Rob ThompsonInd.Yes
Romola HollywoodLaborYes
Chris Van der KleyLiberalYes
b) by initiating the establishment of a specialist environmental enforcement unit of suitably trained staff
Candidate Party Response
Brent HoareGreensYes
Rob ThompsonInd.Yes
Romola HollywoodLaborYes in principle: would consider in light of other service delivery priorities such as footpaths and walking tracks.
Chris Van der KleyLiberalNo

5. Support the development and implementation of a Council Land Encroachment Policy to address degradation of bushland reserves caused by the use of this land by neighbouring private landholders.
Candidate Party Response
Brent HoareGreensYes
Rob ThompsonInd.Yes
Romola HollywoodLaborYes development of this policy would also need to include strong community consultation
Chris Van der KleyLiberalYes
Postamble:  Currently there are issues of residents degrading Council bushland reserves adjacent to their properties by using the land to park vehicles, stockpile materials, locate trampolines, dispose of garden waste, or mowing etc.
Waste
6. Support
a) the introduction of a financial incentive for residents to compost their own waste
Candidate Party Response
Brent HoareGreensYes
Rob ThompsonInd.Yes Yes Yes !!!
Romola HollywoodLaborYes subject to advice from officers and consideration of statutory obligations on waste charges
Chris Van der KleyLiberalNo

b) the re-introduction of Council educational programs to encourage a range of waste minimisation practices
Candidate Party Response
Brent HoareGreensYes
Rob ThompsonInd.Yes
Romola HollywoodLaborYes subject to advice from officers and consideration of statutory obligations on waste charges
Chris Van der KleyLiberalYes

7. Promote change to the waste collection systems for businesses in order to encourage reuse and re-cycling.
Candidate Party Response
Brent HoareGreensYes
Rob ThompsonInd.Yes
Romola HollywoodLaborYes subject to advice from officers and consideration of statutory obligations on waste charges
Chris Van der KleyLiberalYes
Postamble:  Commercial properties are not provided with the same recycling services as residents, and there is no incentive for businesses to recycle waste.
Planning and development
8. Support ensuring all the existing environmental protection measures currently included in the Blue Mountains Local Environmental Plan 2015 (LEP 2015) are not undermined or removed in future amendments, including retaining:
a) all existing provisions aimed at minimising environmental impacts of new development
Candidate Party Response
Brent HoareGreensYes
Rob ThompsonInd.Yes
Romola HollywoodLaborYes
Chris Van der KleyLiberalYes
b) all areas currently mapped as Protected Areas.
Candidate Party Response
Brent HoareGreensYes
Rob ThompsonInd.Yes
Romola HollywoodLaborYes
Chris Van der KleyLiberalYes
c) all areas currently zoned environmental protection (E2).
Candidate Party Response
Brent HoareGreensYes
Rob ThompsonInd.Yes
Romola HollywoodLaborYes
Chris Van der KleyLiberalYes
Postamble:  The LEP 2015 governs how and where new development can proceed, and what environmental standards new developments must meet. This LEP must be reviewed and updated in the next few years.)

9. Oppose the State Government imposing a new housing target on the Blue Mountains, designed to increase the housing stock in order to accommodate Sydney’s growing population.
Candidate Party Response
Brent HoareGreensYes
Rob ThompsonInd.Yes
Romola HollywoodLaborYes
Chris Van der KleyLiberalYes

10. Oppose any future re-zoning of land aimed at increasing the areas available for medium density housing development.
Candidate Party Response
Brent HoareGreensYes
Rob ThompsonInd.Yes
Romola HollywoodLaborYes
Chris Van der KleyLiberalYes
Postamble:  Some submissions during the development of LEP 2015, mainly from developers, advocated extending the medium density housing zone, R3, by rezoning land adjacent to the village centres. This is despite the Council Residential Strategy 2010 concluding that there is adequate vacant residential lots to meet expected population forecasts, and that current opportunities for medium density development are under-utilised.)

11. Protect the built heritage and large garden and bushland lots of the Blue Mountains townships by supporting the village precinct objectives and proposed R6 Residential Character Conservation Zone in LEP 2015.
Candidate Party Response
Brent HoareGreensYes
Rob ThompsonInd.Response provided here
Romola HollywoodLaborYes
Chris Van der KleyLiberalYes
Postamble:  The Blue Mountains towns are famous for their large lot residential areas featuring older character housing, 'leafy green streets' and display gardens as well as natural bushland. Some submissions during the development of LEP 2015 opposed the introduction of R6.)

12. Oppose the introduction of the SP3 Tourism Zone which will increase the opportunities for large-scale, resort-style tourism development
Candidate Party Response
Brent HoareGreensYes
Rob ThompsonInd.Yes
Romola HollywoodLaborYes subject to advice from officers which would be based on consultation with the community
Chris Van der KleyLiberalNo
Postamble:  Tourism in the Blue Mountains is currently characterised by locally owned and operated small-scale accommodation and nature and heritage-based activities. This ensures that visual and natural amenity, environmental protection and World Heritage values are preserved, and that the tourist dollar stays in the local community.

Will you publicly and strongly support Council’s current position opposing:
13.
a) Coal Seam Gas exploration and extraction in the Local Government Area.
Candidate Party Response
Brent HoareGreensYes
Rob ThompsonInd.Yes
Romola HollywoodLaborYes
Chris Van der KleyLiberalYes
b) The transport of nuclear waste through the Blue Mountains.
Candidate Party Response
Brent HoareGreensYes
Rob ThompsonInd.Yes
Romola HollywoodLaborYes
Chris Van der KleyLiberalYes
c) The building of an airport at Badgerys Creek in Western Sydney.
Candidate Party Response
Brent HoareGreensYes
Rob ThompsonInd.Response provided here
Romola HollywoodLaborYes
Chris Van der KleyLiberalYes


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