MICHAEL MURPHY (DEMOCRATIC LABOR PARTY)
What are the top three issues facing Melbourne residents and how would you address them?
1. Loneliness – People are living more socially isolated lives. To reverse this trend, we must assist in and promote any local activity that encourages heightened community participation. (Community gardens, community groups, church groups etc.)
2. Job security. Reduce pressure in labour markets by supporting small businesses and promoting a healthy local economy. Buy local.
3. The gradual decline of our power infrastructure. The cost of power. Victoria’s Power assets need to return to public hands – public utilities.
What is your vision to help the homeless, mentally ill and dispossessed?
Let’s start with strong support for marriage and the family. We all want and need to live in a network of loving and supportive relationships. We must focus on the way we relate to one another.
What will you do about Melbourne’s population growth and high-rise development?
High-rise development is not the answer. People need contact with the great outdoors – sun, fresh air, clean water.
Decentralisation is a key plank in the solution – and not by token efforts. The move of the TAC to Geelong is one move but it is a template for more.
Medium density housing (up to four storeys) will regenerate urban and regional areas alike without the loss of food-producing farmland.
Is heritage being protected adequately in the Melbourne electorate? Will you fix what is broken in heritage protection?
Heritage protection is a balancing act. Private buildings including homes and commercial architecture are community assets and need protection.
Demanding restoration of heritage buildings and transport at the cost of private owners can be burdensome on owners whose means may allow them to retain but not restore our heritage.
Assets listed for protection must be exemplars of a particular element of our heritage, and must be in such a state as will allow their retention without their reconstruction.
If elected, which party would you vote with in state parliament? Would you cross the floor if you believed your chosen party’s position was not in Melbourne’s interests? Conversely, would you vote against the interests of the Melbourne electorate for the greater benefit of Victoria?
In state and federal parliaments, Democratic Labor Party elected representatives vote on the basis of policies and principles rather than personalities or deals. The DLP stands for families, for workers and for life.
If elected, I will work with those of goodwill – found in all parties – for the best outcome for the electors of Melbourne and for the people of Victoria. Legislation will be treated – supported, rejected or improvements sought by way of amendments – on its merits.
I will be guided by the principles and policies of the DLP and the needs and wishes of the electorate.
What shape should the East-West road link project take? Should it be built at all?
Access to and across Greater Melbourne is vital to residents and workers of this state’s capital, and for visitors from Victoria.
Initially, a tunnel from the junction of Flemington Road and CityLink to the Eastern Freeway is required. In the longer term, a further link west to the western end of the Westgate Freeway will best serve inner Melbourne and Melbourne’s western and northern suburbs, as it will draw away much through traffic.
This must be supplemented by progressively extending Melbourne’s underground rail network, particularly where grade separation will intrude on existing community resources and residential or commercial development.
Will you support Moonee Valley Council’s plans for a bike lane on Mt Alexander Road, at the expense of a car lane, even if it results in increased traffic congestion?
Road safety is an obligation shared across the community. Providing safe routes for children and adults to access school, work and community facilities is vital. With Mount Alexander Road divided north of the Junction, focus is needed south of Dean Street.
Existing bike lanes on Mount Alexander Road operate during the morning and evening peaks, when clearways and two lanes of traffic operate. At other times, bike lanes are shared with parked cars.
An alternative is the Moonee Ponds Creek Trail – shared with pedestrians – between Dean Street and Delhi Court, though sections are secluded and need lighting under roadways.
How would you fix traffic congestion at Flemington Showgrounds and racecourse during major events?
Access to such events will be enhanced – for the benefit of patrons, the events and the community – by improved public transport, perhaps where costs (including free transport) can be tailored to suit.
Those operating significant events at these venues should be targeted by the Royal Agricultural Society and Transport Victoria to incorporate arrangements for public transport (at minimal cost, by pre-arrangement with RAS and Transport Victoria) in ticketing prices.
With enhanced public transport and the cooperation of event organisers, the RAS and government, a greater variety and frequency of community events should result.
If elected, would you lobby for the reunification of Carlton (returning Princes Hill/Carlton North to Melbourne City Council)?
The preference of Princes Hill and Carlton North resident is important to the definition of that community. Municipal boundaries should not normally divide communities.
To best gauge residents’ preferences, a plebiscite ought to be conducted with the municipal elections in October. Should residents favour reunification decisively (by greater than two-thirds), the collective will of the community should then be enacted, and Princes Hill and Carlton North should be returned to the City of Melbourne.
What steps if any will you take to restore public confidence and ensure that Melbourne City Council is open and transparent?
Each municipal council is elected by its community to serve the best interests of the community.