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Southbank Residents Association

08 May 2018

Candidates night success

What a massive success our “meet the candidates” event was two weeks ago.

Our committee felt it was important for the community to have an opportunity to ask the hard questions to the candidates to assist with who to vote for. So, we invited them all to come to Southbank and meet our residents.

Of the 14 candidates, 10 accepted our invitation. The interest from the community was well beyond our expectations. Essentially, once the questions commenced, there was standing room only.

For the first time, we thought we would try to stream the event live on Facebook which also attracted a huge amount of interest and had residents engaged asking many questions online. It was promising to see so many local residents interested in what the prospective lord mayoral candidates were offering to bring to the role.

At the end of the Facebook live streaming we recorded a reach of 420 with about 60 comments and questions during the forum – sorry we were not able to ask them all. Clearly Facebook Live was also a tremendous success and hopefully we can build on this with future events.

If you missed the event, your can still see the recording on our website or Facebook page.

Our event was moderated by Walkley award-winning journalist and ex-CoM councillor, Stephen Mayne. Stephen knew all the candidates well and the issues within the City of Melbourne and as such moderated the event brilliantly treating all candidates fairly. We are most thankful to Stephen for making himself available.

What did frustrate me while listening to the candidates provide their answers, were the ones who seemed out of touch. Some were promising the world on issues that the lord mayor, let alone council, has absolutely no influence over.

I hope the audience could see through this waffle and realise for themselves what was within the reach of council and the lord mayor.

However, I was most pleased to hear that when candidates were asked whom they are preferencing on their how-to-vote card that nearly all of them had mentioned Rohan Leppert as their first or even second preference choice. Even those without how-to-vote cards were still rating Rohan in the first or second position.

As you will recall from my last column, from my dealings with Rohan while he has been a councillor and his interaction with residents in Southbank, I spoke very highly of him. Happy to see so many of the other candidates rate him so highly too.

Voting closes this Friday, May 11, at 6pm, so if you haven’t voted yet, I encourage you to complete your ballot and have it posted before 6pm on Friday.

Also a big shout-out to My Goodness Pizza who were so very generous to provide everyone present with a spread of pizzas after the event. It was certainly welcomed considering the latish hour that we finished.

In fact, talking about meeting candidates, a state election is only around the corner. It is our intention to hold another “meet the candidates” event for the state election in November. We will have a new SRA committee by that time, so watch this space for details, but judging the interest in this event, we may have to find a larger venue.

We will be holding our annual general meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, July 18 at Boyd Community Hub. Please mark this date in your diaries as you are all most welcome.

But more importantly, WE NEED YOU!

Please can I ask you to consider joining our committee. If you are passionate about Southbank and making our suburb a better place to live, then please get in contact and maybe come along to one of our monthly committee meetings before the AGM so you can see what we discuss and get involved with.

If on the other hand, you are interested in becoming a member of SRA, we would also most welcome you.

Without members we don’t have a voice. It is only because we have members that council and governments give us an opportunity to have a say.

Tony Penna - President

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