Greens’ candidate for Ward 3 address to Lambton resident’s forum

Presentation to Lambton Residents Group

Monday 16th February 6pm at Lambton Bowling club

Good evening fellow candidates, residents of ward 3, and other visitors

Firstly I would like to acknowledge the land on which we are meeting is Awabakal land, and I would like to pay my respect to Elders past and present.

Thankyou to the Lambton Residents group for organising this forum tonight to give me an opportunity to let the community members know more about me and what I stand for.

My name is Nevenka Bareham and I am standing as a Ward 3 candidate for the Greens in the by-election next Saturday.

Firstly, a bit about me. I have lived in ward 3 of Newcastle for almost 30years in North Lambton; I am married, and have raised my 2 daughters here. Through them I have had association with the Jesmond Community preschool, Waratah West Primary School, and Lambton High school. Both daughters and myself all played netball with Waratah Leagues Netball club, with my husband involved also in coaching the girls’ teams. I have been actively involved with my daughters’ schooling and sporting activities, holding various committee positions over many years.

I have worked here for over 30 years as a Social Worker in the fields of aged care, disability and mental health. I currently work as a Social Work manager for Hunter New England Health.

If elected to Newcastle City Council these are the things I stand for.

I believe the Council should be providing services to the community.

In ward 3 in some places we have no footpaths at all and some places are quite hilly, so this makes it hard for a lot of residents to get around. This is doubly hard for mothers pushing strollers, children safely getting to school and impossible for people with a walking aid or in a wheelchair.

With the Greens, I also support providing more cycleways around our city, cycleways that are separated as much as possible from traffic.

We need to ensure people can safely get around the city, and with better paths and more cycleways these would produce many benefits such as: encouraging more exercise for a healthier lifestyle, promoting an alternative to cars and thereby reducing congestion on our roads.  Newcastle has a great Cycling Strategy and Action Plan, that we need to progress with. This is good for everyone: motorists, cyclists and families.

I value the open green spaces we have in our local government area; places where people can relax, kids can kick a ball or play on the swings.  There are studies that show that people who have access to gardens or parks are healthier than those who don’t.

Four of the six parks on Newcastle Council’s most recent hit list late in 2014 were in ward 3. Many residents are still unaware of Council’s plans.  Some of these parks are near blocks of public housing and private rentals, where many people have children and no yards of their own. Due to cost cutting by the previous Council many of our parks have been neglected.  I will work to ensure these spaces don’t get sold but are kept for the benefit of the community. I believe we need to improve the attractiveness of these parks, keep them maintained, provide quality play equipment, plant more trees, and provide seating for picnic areas.

We need more for our young people in ward 3. I will push to return the skateboard park in Jesmond that was removed some time back.

The Loft was a Council-run facility for Newcastle youth, providing specialised activities that were popular with young people; this has also been taken away in recent times. This has to be returned. Council needs to do more for its youth! When looking at Council website there is only one listing under “youth?” a plan written in 1996! That’s not good enough.

Over recent years Council has moved toward a more secretive style of government, where certain meetings were closed to the public and community forums were curtailed. Last year the ALP and The Greens agreed to an Open Government Reform Package for the Newcastle City Council.  This agreement proposes opening up all council meetings, workshops and briefings to the community (except those needed in confidence), supports expanding the number of Council committees and inviting more community and expert representation; it also increases opportunities for people to address Council, and more. Today Declan and myself signed our commitment to continue this direction towards increased transparency.

Shopping strips. The Greens also support jobs creation in our city as well as protecting small business from large commercial centres. Our shopping strips are the hearts of our community. This is where we support local business, we chat with our neighbours and we create the sense of a village with a unique atmosphere. Every time a business closes locally the other businesses are affected. If elected I will do everything I can to stop the slide towards the loss of these shopping villages (like your Elder Street village).

Newcastle is the second biggest city in NSW and its city centre is expected to accommodate an additional 10,000 jobs and 6,000 additional homes in the next 2 decades according to Council estimates. …it has the potential to be a vibrant economic, residential and tourist hub, as stated in their Urban Renewal Strategy. I too share this vision of a progressive and vibrant city, meeting a variety of resident needs.  I believe we need to do this by keeping the heavy rail line to ensure we continue to bring people into the city, for the growing numbers of workers, visitors and residents alike.  We also need to limit the height of our buildings, to keep the amenity of the city.

I will work for more infrastructure not less, maintenance programs to be rolled forward, retention of our Council owned facilities and assets, and improvements in the cultural, sporting and recreational activities our city offers, and supporting safer and better public and active transport.

I want to work towards a city we can all be proud to live in and call home, where our Council supports ventures that promote health and well-being, and increased community connections.

Nevenka Bareham

For more information:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/nevenkabarehamgreens

Phone:        04 3121 1586

Email:        nevenkab@internode.on.net

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