Louise Crawford: Independent candidate for Canal Ward

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I see being a councillor in Port Phillip as an opportunity to combine my love for the local area with my experience in activism and my passion for the arts, climate change action and social justice. This is why I have decided to run in the upcoming election.

I am a professional actor who has mainly worked in television, including shows such as Neighbours, City Homicide, Utopia and Breakers. I have also worked concurrently in hospitality. The St Kilda Pelican restaurant (where I work as a supervisor) is like my second home.

Interestingly, both careers have allowed me to develop skills that I feel will be advantageous in being a councillor. These industries operate on the basis of collaboration and immediacy. They require teamwork, communication and the ability to respond to changing circumstances in a timely manner in order to achieve good outcomes. They also require creativity, which will be invaluable in problem-solving solutions to local issues.

One of the key aspects of being a councillor is advocating for local concerns. This means listening to what residents and businesses have to say, researching issues and making fair and carefully considered decisions based on this combined knowledge. I have been out doorknocking to find out the issues that matter to locals.

In addition to helping address these issues, I have a vision for Port Phillip. It involves reclaiming the area’s reputation as a music and arts hub and celebrating the plethora of great restaurants, bars and cafes that call it home. It’s about giving people even more reasons to visit, providing our artistic and freelance community with affordable spaces to work and exhibit, and giving wider Melbourne and local residents access to innovative, creative experiences. Imagine our own St Kilda bayside version of an event like Sculpture by the Sea.

There are challenges for our area such as sea level rise and flooding in Elwood. We need to work together with all levels of government and the community to mitigate and adapt. This is one issue I intend to bring to the fore if I am elected.

Port Phillip has always been a caring, inclusive community. Providing good services is key council business that should be sustained and extended. I also believe that there is room to improve transparency by having people’s panels through which residents and business owners have a more direct say in budget and policy decisions.

I think that Dr Seuss captures best why I want to be on council: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

Well, I care a whole lot about this area. I see Port Phillip becoming more sustainable, more accessible, and more creative. Most importantly, I am prepared to work hard towards achieving these and more, as well as to maintain the caring, welcoming community that’s at the heart of Port Phillip.

For more information about my policies, visit www.louisecrawford.com.au

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