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Southbank Residents’ Association

11 Nov 2020

Ending the year on a brighter note

By Tony Penna - President

We enter November on a positive note with COVID-19, with the first week being zero new cases and zero deaths.

This great result is now allowing for an easing of restrictions which has started to bring some life back to Southbank. It is promising to also see our building’s gyms and swimming pools reopening. 

Well done to our community for their efforts. Living in a high-rise environment presents challenges many others don’t endure. Let’s hope this will last.

We have a new council and what a mixed make-up it is. Last month, Southbank Residents’ Association (SRA) held an online “Meet the Candidates” event to assist our community with their efforts to work out what the leadership teams and Southbank resident candidates stood for in hope it would assist with deciding who to vote for. By all accounts from the post-event feedback, we concluded it was a resounding success.

There were nearly 200 registrations with a peak of around 120 online at one time. I tried my best to ask the hard-hitting questions and hold the candidates to account for their responses. It wasn’t an easy feat for some candidates and I felt they might have come a little under-prepared. It was certainly different to the format of the other community forums they had participated in which might have got them a little off-guard. It seems the concept of attending events from the comfort of our homes has been embraced by our community, so we have decided to try to find other opportunities to hold more of these type of events – watch this space.

Congratulations to Sally Capp for her success in securing the Lord Mayorship, ultimately winning 53 per cent of the vote after preferences but was significantly ahead after first preferences anyhow. Sally Capp’s previous deputy, Arron Wood, was a relatively close second, but The Greens were only around 1300 votes from taking the second position after preferences. However, The Greens were certainly second based on primary votes.

The days of a large or majority voting bloc seem to now be behind us, although Sally’s team will have four of the 11 councillors and The Greens two, with the remaining being individual candidates from across five other teams. Fortunately, council has retained some experience as five of the 11 councillors have served on the previous council. Sadly, there are still a number of councillors that don’t live in the municipality and once again none from Southbank. Southbank Residents’ Association (SRA) will be looking forward to reaching out to all the new councillors to remind them that Southbank is part of the municipality and the second largest revenue contributor to council budget, therefore we hope for their concern and attention for Southbank’s ongoing issues.

To all the unsuccessful candidates. Thank you for your participation in our local democracy and bringing to light a number of issues throughout our municipality. I send a special commiseration to Artemis Pattichi and her effort for election. Artemis would have been a great voice for Southbank. Hopefully her work with the Southbank Sustainability Group that she co-founded will continue. Artemis is doing great things in that space.

SRA is your local community lobbying voice. Our committee is made up of local volunteers who are passionate about Southbank. However, without the support of members, our voice is merely a whisper. If you would like to support our good work, we encourage you to join via our website southbankresidents.org.au and follow us on Facebook – Southbank Residents.•

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