Saturday, October 18, 2008

Independent to run in Darebin elections

Last Wednesday (15/10) I made a decision to run in the 2008 Darebin Council elections. It will be interesting to see what kind of balance there is over the coming weeks in reporting by local media, who were sent this media release the same day.

Local independent to run in Darebin elections

Community campaigner and long-time Northcote resident, Darren Lewin-Hill, will run as an independent candidate for Rucker ward in November's Darebin Council elections.

'This election will bring sweeping changes to Darebin Council, and independent, progressive candidates can help bring about a renewed Council that's better at listening to local residents, more open in its decision-making, and more accountable for its actions.

'Residents should feel free to question their Council, and they deserve answers – including at Council meetings. They should also ask themselves just how easily they can get hold of their current Councillor, and what sort of attention they receive for their concerns.' Mr Lewin-Hill said.

'We don't need invisible Councillors we only hear from at election time with grand claims about the role they played in every Council achievement,' he said.

Key issues for Rucker ward and Darebin included pedestrian safety and speed limits on local roads; true consultation on development; global warming and the environment; the protection of public open space; services promoting community well-being; advocacy for low-cost housing; cuts to gaming machines; the promotion of local businesses and local shopping; and community participation in decision-making. A full statement of policy positions would be available soon at, he said today.

'The public interest will be the main focus in decisions I take, and I will work with any Councillor – Labor, Green or independent – who has that same goal in mind,' Mr Lewin-Hill said.

Changes to the electoral system in Darebin – in which three Councillors would be elected to a much larger Rucker ward – offered the chance for new faces on Council, Mr Lewin-Hill said.

'The changes put a hard question to many current Councillors, who would require substantially more support this time around than was needed to elect them under the old system. It's not surprising that many won't contest this election,' Mr Lewin-Hill commented.

He campaigned for the new fairer system during last year's representation review by the Victorian Electoral Commission. Another of his recent campaigns focused on asbestos safety in a major public housing redevelopment at Roberts Street, Northcote.

Mr Lewin-Hill previously ran as a Council candidate for planning group, Save Westgarth Village, in 2004. In 2006, he ran as an independent for Northcote in the Victorian State election.

Married to a social worker, and a father of two children in primary school, he works in the communications field, mainly in the education and training sector.

Darren Lewin-Hill mobile: 0404 526 555 email:

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Comments are most welcome on any of the posts at Northcote Independent. I encourage feedback - positive or negative. Feel free to disagree, but remember that posts are moderated to ensure they are on the topic and in the spirit of open debate, as outlined in my editorial policy.