PUBLIC health and social policy lecturer Jonathan Hallett has popped up as a second candidate for the vacancy in Vincent’s south ward.
Dr Hallett says Vincent’s doing some pretty good work and he simply wants to continue and expand the agenda of greening the town and creating more liveable suburbs.
“I think a lot of the work that council is doing is really great and part of the motivation to run is I see what the council’s done, particularly under John Carey, and I’ve been really inspired by that work,” he says.
Mr Carey has already endorsed Mai Nguyen for the vacancy.
“There’s things I’d like to expand around the greening strategy, and accountability is important: Those are good stories that we should continue and be a good model for other councils.”
He’d like to see more consideration for aged people around town, including more appropriate seating (older folk can struggle to clamber out of a park bench which doesn’t have arms) and special parking permits to make urban hubs more accessible.
Mr Hallett’s previously run for the Greens at the state and federal level, and while not party-backed has says Greens values underpin much of his platform.
In line with that he’d like to look into the council using its bulk-buy power to purchase solar panels for Vincent businesses and buildings, to drive down the cost of energy for the council.
One of the biggest causes of complaint for Vincent residents over the past few years has been the rollout of density, with those suburbs being some of the most affected by the increase in apartment blocks going up.
Dr Hallett sees benefits in moderate density increases, from housing affordability to improved public transport, but doesn’t support massive blocks overshadowing existing streetscapes.
“I do as a general principle support a medium density increase — two to four storeys along major corridors. I think that’s a good compromise; it lessens the impact on heritage and the streetscape.
“We have an increasing population; we can either push those folks out to suburban sprawl, further away from their jobs, which is terrible for the environment, mental health, and the cost of living, or we can look at how we can sensitively implement density.”
The by-election to replace Laine McDonald (who’s gone up to the upper house representing Labor) is on February 24.
by DAVID BELL