Mel Van Dyk: Independent candidate for Lake Ward

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My name is Mel Van Dyk and I am standing as an independent candidate in Port Phillip’s Lake Ward.

I feel a strong connection to this particular area of our community and I believe that the decisions made by Council should aim to positively impact everyone.

Having worked in local government for over eight years I have experienced first-hand representatives who claim to be acting in the best interests of their community fail to live up to expectations.

Too often greed, ego and the need for notoriety overshadow their initial goals, and in the end the people that suffer the most are those who elected them in the first place – their communities.

As a truly independent candidate I am not driven by personal or political gain, nor do I care for notoriety, what motivates me is people. Having the chance to help others and influence positive change is what I am all about.

Local business

I will advocate for funding opportunities for small businesses and improved access to training support and grants programs that offer local traders the opportunity to not only keep trading, but flourish in a competitive market. I will also work with traders to initiate further incentives for residents to buy local and support local businesses.

Support for the vulnerable

I will focus on improving services for our community’s most vulnerable residents including greater access to affordable housing and meals support, support for our LGBTQI community and look at ways to enhance opportunities for our young people through education, services and mentor programs.

I believe it is also crucial that we ensure our older residents are heard, assisted and not forgotten. After all, they are ones who helped shape this incredible place we are fortunate to call home.

Accountable financial management

I will ensure Council is financially responsible, transparent, consultative and accessible. Council must respect ratepayers and be accountable for the way they spend money. Waste and irresponsible spending needs to stop.

Core service delivery

The delivery of core services is essential and I believe there are process improvements and service standards that can be implemented to streamline delivery and save money. I will work to improve waste management, road and footpath maintenance and the care of our open spaces so that in the future we are working efficiently and to best practice.

Sustainability and community safety

I will push for enhanced community safety initiatives so that all residents have peace of mind and feel secure in their city, and with the help of experts investigate ways to further reduce negative environmental impacts.

Preserving our historical integrity

Inappropriate planning and development approvals that degrade our city’s historical appeal must stop otherwise we are at risk of losing our local identity. Port Phillip has a rich architectural and cultural heritage that must be preserved.

Greater community consultation needs to take place before development approvals are issued. We must plan beyond today in order to achieve a brighter tomorrow.

Access to sport and recreation

Having competed at an elite level I have witnessed the positive affect that sport can have on improving lives and connecting people. I will work to see that participation opportunities are available to any person who wants to get involved and advocate for further state and federal government funding so that all people have the chance to get take part in the sport and recreation activities that they love.

Our local clubs need more support and assistance with facilities maintenance and/or upgrades, and planning for growth and growth opportunities.

Arts and culture

As a musician and actor the arts are high on my agenda. Live music and performance is a crucial ingredient to a thriving community and essential in attracting visitors to our area. I will work hard to offer greater opportunities and access for performers to showcase their talents, along with ensuring council is acting fairly to its residents and business owners alike.

I don’t come from a privileged background nor was I raised in an environment where opportunities were handed to me on a silver platter – I had to work hardand fight for them.

If you choose me as your representative I will work for you everyday to create a better City of Port Phillip. I will listen, I will act and I will be a formidable voice for you in Council.

Positive results are produced from hard work and I am not afraid to get my hands dirty and stand up for needs and rights of my community – we are a team and we must work together to achieve great things.

To learn more about me, my policies or to contact me for a chat – visit my Facebook page, I would love to hear from you: www.facebook.com/mvd4copp

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