David Risstrom - Greens Melbourne City Councillor 1999-2004
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GREENS CR. DAVID RISSTROM'S SUCCESSFUL ELECTION PLATFORM 1999-2001

I believe it is important for elected officials to be kept honest to their election promises. This page, and editions to follow are an evaluation of whether I have been true to this principle. Election promises are listed with a bullet point, with my self-evaluation below.

MY 1999 ELECTION PLATFORM

AND HOW I HAVE DELIVERED!

* An end to State Government domination of our Council by increasing the assertiveness of Council and its responsiveness to its community.

I initiated the 'Peoples Forums' in the Council Chamber, which allows citizens to sit in the seats normally occupied by Councillors, to raise issues they think are important, and to give people the opportunity to discuss issues with the Councillors as a group. Peoples Forums on issues as diverse as Electoral Reform and Environment have been well supported.

The votes and comments of Councillors are now put on the public record, without the need for a Councillor to request them for each vote.

I successfully argued for Council to dramatically reduce its reliance on confidential sessions for Council decisions, and have used the Notice of Motion procedures to clearly advocate policy positions.

As Chairperson of the Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee, I committed Council to a 12 month open process of information sharing on drug and related social issues.

I have pursued an increased presence and accessibility of information on the MCC website. Now an award winning site, you can see it by clicking the button on this page.

I proposed establishing a public forum called 'Thinking Melbourne' to return the Town Hall to its traditional function as the Village Green for public debate of ethical and social issues. While this theme is now reflected in the draft Municipal Strategic Statement, and its practice displayed in the Deakin Lectures as part of the Melbourne Festival, I will renew my efforts to establish this as an ongoing feature of future Councils.

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* Entrenching Local Government in the Australian Constitution, making it harder for State Governments to ignore local democracy.

As current circumstances demonstrate, the existence of all local government in Victoria remains at the will of the State. While I contributed to the submission to the Constitutional Convention, no substantive confirmation of the role of local government has been achieved, with the City of Melbourne Bill, receiving support of both the ALP and Liberal party in the Legislative Assembly before its removal by the Parliament, mandating conformity of Melbourne City Council policy with State Government policy!

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* A community audit of contracting out so that Local Government activities are not tendered out unless there are demonstrable community benefits.

I have consistently and successfully that retaining in-house service provision provides benefit by maintaining a stronger and more personal relationship with our community. Service, rather than increasing profit, become the drivers.

With the end of the Kennett imposed compulsory competitive tendering, I have successfully argued for bringing more engineering services back in-house, for greater maintenance of staff levels while opposing the very large wage inequality amongst staff.

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* Strengthening the central city experience over the gambling madness by limiting the proliferation of casinos and pokies, mandating a greater return of profits to the local community, and allowing more money to return to retail and community sectors.

As a member of the Victorian Local Government Association's Gambling Working Group, I contributed to the changes bringing greater control to local communities, advances on measures to reduce problem gambling and engaged the City of Melbourne in Melbourne wide research on gambling and its effects.

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* People friendly transport, including free public transport in the City, a dramatic increase in bicycle lanes, racks and secure lockers and facilitating more use of car pooling from outer areas. Increasing traffic calming, including the promotion of public transport and 'Park and Ride'.

As Chair of Metropolitan Transport Forum, I initiated the two public transport forums 'Getting Public Transport on Track' and 'Creating Transport Choices' to bring the community together to push for a better system. The MTF, with very broad local government, State Government representation and community involvement significantly increased its involvement and profile in the last two years.
 
Melbourne City Council has implemented a Green Transport Plan for Council to cut car use by staff and introduce LPG cars. Council is working with Environment Victoria to help other city workplaces do the same.

I am a member of the Victorian Greenhouse Strategy Transport Committee.

I personally initiated and helped negotiate a Council scheme for staff to purchase discounted annual MET tickets, payable over the year by payroll deduction. Over 100 staff and 1 Councillor now use this system, reducing our reliance on on cars.

Combined event and discounted public transport tickets are now a reality for some AFL clubs. Negotiations with the Melbourne Zoo continue.

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* Creating an 'energy demand unit' within Council for use by constituents to cut energy use and costs.

I sponsored the establishment of a $5 million Environment Initiatives Trust Fund to help residents and businesses to improve the sustainability of the City. This fund is of international significance, providing a catalyst for communities to act.

I successfully sponsored the creation of  an 'energy demand unit' within Council for Council to reform its own activities, then provide a service to constituents to cut energy use and costs.

Energy savings in the order of $250,000 are estimated for the next financial year, through energy savings of up to 17% in-house.

As a Director of the Western Regional Waste Management Group, which is responsible for Melbourne's western suburbs, I am promoting the principles of Zero Waste. As a Director of the MAPS purchasing group, I am promoting environmental sustainable alternatives for other Councils to buy. Council now aims to cut energy use by 30%, paper use by 25% and rubbish output by 75%.

Under my advocacy, Council has contracted with Pacific Power to purchase wind power from its Western Victoria generator.

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* Childcare for residents, workers and shoppers, that allow carers to work in, visit and enjoy Melbourne.

I haven't delivered on this promise. I need to do much more about childcare for people in Melbourne. My aim when elected was to make childcare provision a permit condition within the planning scheme, so that parents have real choice while working in or visiting the City, though this has proven to be very difficult. I will pursue this harder when re-elected

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* Returning gardens to the garden-state capital. We need parks for people, not profit.

As Chair of the Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee, the Royal Park Master Plan Implementation Committee, and Convenor of the 'Growing Green' Reference Group I have been working hard to improve our Parks and Gardens.

Work in Royal Park is advancing with more indigenous plantings, planning work on the wetlands underway, an active vegetation working group contributing their energy and community involvement in the Australian Native Gardens strengthening.

Following my request last year for greater water efficiencies, by wiser water use and zerophyte planting, over $100,000 in water savings have been made.

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* Affordable student housing making education a viable choice for everyone, not just the rich.

The newly established Inner City Social Housing Trust that I Chair is committed to build high quality environmentally sustainable housing. With seed funding of $1M from MCC, the Trust will facilitate and partner developments that will reverse the trend for loss of diversity of housing in Inner Melbourne.

I proposed Council require 'whole of life' costing for residential and other developments, so that better design and insulation etc. reduced the running costs of buildings for tenants, without compromising quality. Council subsequently adopted the 'First rate' energy rating system and continues to do ground breaking work in this area.

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* Green architecture and jobs that go beyond public relations and 'cosmetic' jobs to a ground-up inclusion of environmental factors in all buildings and activities.

I gained support for adopting triple bottom line accounting as Council's accounting standard. Triple bottom line accounting takes economic, social and environmental factors into account, so that more informed decisions are made for everyone.

Green building proposals I brought to council has evolved into the Commercial Building Partnership between Melbourne City council, the Property Council and the State Energy Authority.

I sponsored the reporting of environmental impact of Council decisions in council reports.
 
I established a Melbourne-wide Metropolitan Environment Forum, with local government environment and community representatives meeting monthly to increase co-operation between local governments and communities.

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* A genuine reconciliation with the first Australians with more recognition of our joint heritage.

As Chair of MCC's indigenous Consultative Committee, with community support, we have introduced a welcome to country, hosted Reconciliation events, maintained support for the Indigenous Arts program and worked towards establishing a meeting place in the inner City.

It is my aim in the next Council to commence genuine reconciliation by proposing Melbourne commit to negotiating Native Title discussions with local indigenous groups.

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* Making Melbourne a liveable city for everyone by promoting our cultural diversity and by becoming more relevant for women, young people and people of all abilities.

As Chair of Council's Cultural Development Committee I believe Melbourne should be a City for everyone. By pushing fiercely to maintain our stewardship and sponsorship of Arts and Culture, the unique and eclectic and compassionate faces of Melbourne continue to have a place and a voice in our City, irrespective of their age, wealth, gender or ability. I will continue to stand for diversity in our community, and for Council's opportunity to be the community village green.

 

Cool Green Tip Of The Week -

23 April 2017: Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918 -1956.

This site is written, authorised and maintained by David Risstrom , 377 Little Bourke St. Melbourne, Australiaand had more than 1,003,082 visitors and 3,052,017 hits when updated on Sun 23 April 2017.