SUSAN FOR NEPEAN 2020

IT’S DONE & DUSTED!!

A big thank you to all those who voted for me, your support is really appreciated. I am also very grateful for all your kind words, it has helped me through this sometimes difficult time.

ELECTION FLYER

CAMPAIGN PLATFORM 

 I am a full time resident of Sorrento with my family & have over 25 years experience in the Construction Industry, with senior roles as a Designer, Co-ordinator, Project Manager & Procurement Manager.  I’m up for this & won’t let you down.  It’s election time, from this point forward let’s ensure we have more control to get practical & tangible things done in the Nepean Ward.

THE FOLLOWING POINTS ARE HIGH ON MY AGENDA.

  • Initial appraisal – I would meet with Community Groups (Covid compliant) & individuals to evaluate our townships, break down projects & work out an action plan – finding cost effective solutions to issues.  To keep relevant, these walkthroughs should be a regular event.
  • Infrastructure – we need to upgrade & future proof all our areas including footpaths, bike lanes, roads, shopping areas, beaches etc.
  • Sporting venues – upgrades where needed, reduced Council fees, more freedom for clubs to arrange events using the grounds to make money (markets, parking etc).
  • Inclusivity – on all levels, including infrastructure access works to beaches, clever design practical implementation.
  • Overall character – Improve & optimise the look, feel & function of all areas with simple upgrades making only small changes.
  • Public transport – should be available throughout our ward, it’s not a huge area & we have a lot of people who would really benefit from it.  Efficient public transport would also mean less cars on the road & less pollution.  I have sent Council a proposal on how to reduce diesel emissions by 60% (maybe more) through on board hydrogen generation technology, which also cuts fuel consumption by 25% – perfect for buses.
  • Environment – find the best balance between protecting the environment & ensuring residents basic needs are met & action strategies.
  • Green Wedge – Protect the green wedge & strongly appose inappropriate development
  • Tourism – encourage tourism as it is the heart of our economy, create festivals that consider our environment & residents.
  • Nepean Markets – devise a flexible Market calendar that best suits the Nepean Ward, seperate from the Mornington Peninsula, to cater for locals & the large number of people we have here every weekend.  This needs input from the community, store owners & stall holders to ensure they can co-ordinate promotions & are all able to benefit from this. The Market should not be in main shopping areas, but rather nearby at an oval or park etc.
  • Indigenous History – highlight our history & indigenous heritage with a lot of relevant signage & displays.
  • Relevant historical displays – use local artists to assist with story telling displays in prominent areas.  We have an incredibly rich settlement, wartime & indigenous history & it should be on show everywhere.
  • Wildlife & Marine Wildlife – protect wildlife & marine wildlife (Spider Crabs included), provide information signage to identify what lives in particular areas – we need to encourage a real attachment to our native species.  A small range of our wildlife merchandise could be sold in local stores – initial funding could come from the Council or community groups & money raised could fund small projects for preservation of our local species. We should also have all our townships mentioned so we have a unified, collective identity.
  • Rebuilding local business – using everything at our disposal, including Council funded promotions & advertising, actioning all good ideas
  • Pedestrian Safety Issues – address urgent safety issues with pedestrians, paying particular attention to Pt Nepean Road from Tootgarook down.
  • Community Groups – raise awareness,  provide support & make more accessible our Community groups, including those addressing social injustrice on all levels.
  • Reunite communities – mend rifts that have occurred through Covid restrictions through events, projects, welcoming messages etc – there are many ways to do this.  Our part time residents are an important part of our community & they need to feel included. 
  • Post covid plan – provide a “Nepean specific” complete guide to assist our community cope with Covid once restrictions are lifted. We are a busy tourist area & have a unique set of problems to overcome.
  • Parks, playgrounds & open spaces – make best use of our parks, playgrounds & open spaces for the entire community to share. They need to be functional & attractive.
  • Waste services – increase waste services including hard rubbish pick up & tip tickets. That stuff doesn’t move itself.
  • Council Budget – address the obvious large scale waste of money & inappropriate spending in the recent Council Budget, redistribute savings to best suit our communities needs & provide rate cuts to ratepayers.
  • Council Projects – examine current & scheduled projects to ensure they meet residents requirements, are well prioritised & are  best use of resources.
  • Masterplan process – stop the strange & expensive “Masterplan” process which is in most cases is entirely circular & on repeat.  It should not be a process that makes us think that something is being done when it isn’t. If there is no budget for it , just don’t do it, its a waste of everyone’s time & money & will have to be revised when funding is allocated.
  • Let’s get heard – ensure we are a loud voice in Coucil, making sure everyone knows exactly where the Nepean Ward is, and how important it is to the rest of the Peninsula as a base for holiday makers to visit the rest of the Peninsula.
  • Poor Council performance – examine why all independent surveys consistently rate the performance of the MPSC on their accepted scale as low using very set guidelines, especially when we have almost 700 employees & the highest paid CEO in Victoria.
  • Planning Department – Get the Planning Department working for us, not against us.  It is costing many of us unnecessary grief, money & needless trips to VCAT.  Clean out & remove any belligerent forces, restructure the department so it actually functions. (please note, I could have said so much worse)
  • Project transparency – lets keep our own records (open, transparent & easy to access) of what’s going on in our ward, when its happening & what is being proposed.  We should know what the big trucks are doing.  I would add pages for each township to nepeanvoters.com  keep it updated & make it easy to read.
    With a guarantee that at least 6 out of 11 Councillors will be new, let’s use this opportunity to make real changes to the way the Council operates. 
I know it is a big list that requires collaboration from not only another Councillor in our ward, but from those in other Wards & will take a while to implement, but I’m up for it.  As a successful Project Manager I have never failed to deliver.  If elected I will do my best & I won’t let you down.
Thank you for taking the time to read this & please let me know if you require further information, or have suggestions for your local area. 
Susan Bissinger 0414 305566
susan@nepeanvoters.com

Authorised by Susan Bissinger, PO Box 525 Sorrento VIC 3943.  Candidate for the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council 2020 (Nepean Ward)

QUESTIONS I HAVE BEEN ASKED

WHO ARE YOU?
I am a wife of 30 years & a mother of 2 boys, 24 & almost 28 years old. The younger one has always lived with us & the older one moved in at the beginning of lockdown.  
My husband has always been extremely supportive of me & all my endeavours – you can barely detect the “eye rolls” when I come up with yet another brilliant idea, strange hobby, or have commandeered a bathroom for months as a nursery for an injured baby magpie (his name was Simon & it had a great ending).
We built our house in Sorrento many years ago & have been here every weekend since, finally cutting ties with Melbourne & moving down here a few years ago.   
We have a lot of friends here & feel we are truly part of our local Community.
WHAT POLITICAL PARTY ARE YOU WITH?
I am not & never have been a member of, or affiliated with any political party, nor am I being sponsored by any group or person.  As a result, I am able to focus my attention on doing everything possible to ensure the best outcome for the communities I am looking to represent.  All my decisions will be based entirely on the merit of each particular issue, not an overriding ideology.   I am not obligated to adhere to party guidelines on either side of the political fence, or owe a sponsor, as both these situations would only clip my wings.
WHAT IS YOUR WORK HISTORY?
For the past 25 years, my work life has been centred around the Construction Industry.  After working in our medium sized joinery company (like many in our industry, we closed due to the GFC), I was approached to work for a total of 3 Shopfitting companies as a Project Manager & Procurement Manager.  In between I was also head hunted by a Melbourne based Industrial Construction company to set up their Procurement Department. 
Project highlights of this time were too numerous to mention, but I particularly liked a digital screen runout for a major telco – 543 stores in well  under 3 months – with teams working “out of hours” in every state simultaneously. This project was dead in the water when I got it & yet came in under budget, ahead of time and with a very healthy profit margin.  
More recently I opened my own small business, concentrating mainly on Shopfitting (design & construct) & Project Management of packages for large building companies.
Project highlights of my time on my own was to: 1. Design & construct a large Shopping Centre Food Court in the city, including furniture design & manufacture etc.  2. Manufacture and installation of a full shopfront in Chadstone (completed in 6 days)  3. Complete refit of an ice cream shop on a P&O Cruiser in Sydney whilst it docked (completed in 3 days).  Obviously I can handle a bit of drama.
During my time in the Construction Industry, I have made life long friendships with Suppliers, Sales Reps & Subcontractors, some just call to catch up.  To be honest, during my entire working career, I haven’t burnt any bridges & still get favours.
WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU?  
Honesty, integrity, family, friends, pets (2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 turtles & a multitude of fish), community, environment, wildlife protection, beach erosion, local issues (inc loneliness, depression, violence in the home & Covid fear), global issues inc. famine, oppression, inequality, poverty, violence, lack of opportunity , energy production, dwindling resources.
Over the years I have forwarded proposals which included suggestions to Local, State &/or Federal Government. Topics have included hydrogen technology to reduce emissions from Diesel engines, independent disability housing, ways to increase self worth for disabled people, homelessness & mental health, food production, keeping farming land Australian owned, inclusive raised timber walkway around the Western Sister Sorrento, national & local water management issues, waste processing through Pyrolysis (waste to energy).
WHY ARE YOU RUNNING FOR ELECTION TO COUNCIL?
Honestly, I have always found Councils to be tedious, but also I have a problem with consistently poor decisions & money being wasted at the expense of vital works in our communities. Feeling compelled to do something, I started Nepean Voters Action Group to address smaller issues in & around Sorrento.  It soon became obvious that to make the necessary changes, it had to come from within the Council as a Councillor.  It also became obvious that there were problems throughout the entire Nepean Ward – at that point I decided to become a Council candidate
WHAT ARE YOU HOPING TO ACHIEVE?
Apart from tangible infrastructure upgrades & regrowth of our local businesses, I am hoping to truly represent what is important to our local communities.  I would use my experience in the Construction Industry to ensure best use of resources on Council projects by utilising the limited resources available for maximum benefit – this is something I am really good at. Also I would like to assist our community to learn to live with Covid, heal & mend recent rifts.  As part of the new Council, I would like to ensure better use of ratepayers money & really look at budget cost savings & redistribution those savings.
WHAT  MOTIVATES YOU TO STRIVE FOR A  BETTER COUNCIL?
Ah..the things I hate & would hope to change.  Money wasting by Council by those only interested in photo opportunities, money wasting & inappropriate spending in Council budgets, lack of inclusivity, people gaining significant advantage at the expense of others, poor planning on all levels, clueless people in positions that they are not equipped for, convoluted Council processes (in some cases circular), lack of true community representation, poor design decisions (they hurt my eyes), no consideration given by Council for how important Nepean Ward is for tourism as a draw card for the rest of the Peninsula.
HOW WOULD YOU FIT INTO THE ROLE OF COUNCILLOR?
Can I do it, absolutely – when I commit to something, I’m all in!  Sitting on Council was really never something I considered or had on my agenda. To be honest, I may be a cat among the pigeons – but given the current situation & the desperate need for change, is that a bad thing?