Cr Jane Touzeau: independent candidate for Canal Ward

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I am standing for re-election after eight years on our Council because I take community governance seriously. I am proud of my contribution over the past two terms of Council which have seen positive reforms within the council itself, and positive progress in the community. Achievements include improvements to street and beach cleaning, South Melbourne Market, public toilets, and better planning for future residents of Fishermans Bend. Five thousand trees planted in last four years including on Elwood Foreshore, restoration of Point Ormond Beacon, increased stormwater irrigation, installation of a large solar panel array on St Kilda Town Hall, and with support from the State Government, saving the Palais. Every day I am grateful for the years I spent studying Community Development and my history of participation in community groups and campaigns including community arts, singing, environment, human rights, democracy and education, which attune me to the many different voices and processes that are part and parcel of the councillor representation role.

I am standing in the newly created Canal ward which comprises Elwood, Ripponlea, Balaclava, East St Kilda and part of St Kilda. I am an independent councillor, I am not a member of a political party and nor am I a ‘factional’ person – I seek to understand the many and various issues that come before Council, and the process of which they are part, to gain clarity and perspective as a necessary step working towards decision making in the best long term interests of the community.

I respect others – we all share the human experience and, in the end, each other is all we have. This is the fundamental importance of community, the basis of democracy, and peace itself. After all, if we do not govern ourselves, who will? I don’t have any delusions of power or grandeur, I am happy to do what I can to contribute to the current and future society, in recognition of the legacy all of us have received from previous generations. My children grew up in Elwood, and it is an absolute pleasure to see today’s children and families also involved, learning, active and generous in their school and community life, knowing how valuable a community-based childhood and family experience is.

Council has to make good and careful decisions now as together we all build a pathway to an uncertain future, in view of climate change, growth and other broader factors. I am keen to strengthen and ‘future proof’ our beautiful city through responsible management, sustainable environmental enhancement, community and cultural development, and support for lifelong learning. Voting matters, goodwill on council matters, and a mindset of good governance has seen the two terms of council of which I have been a part, work towards better communication, better management, better accountability and better services. Please see my website www.janetouzeau.com

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