Source: Australian Jewish News, October 12, 2012

MICHAEL LIPSHUTZ

“For Michael Lipshutz, who has served two terms on Glen Eira City Council since 2005, this election is an opportunity to continue representing the Jewish and the mainstream community.

The Melbourne lawyer, and father of four, wAnts to further improve infrastructure, which, he said, was in poor condition when he was first elected after the sacking of the council by the state government. “Fixing up our streets, our shopping strips….trying to encourage commerce. There’s a shortage of childcare, particularly in Camden Ward. There’s also a move by some councillors to end aged care. I’m against that.”

Lipshutz described as “laughable” the promises of some candidates for zero rate rises, arguing that rates should be set “to ensure we have a budget that reflects what our needs are”. He also wants to improve consultation with residents and is on the consultation committee.

The former Jewish community Council of Victoria’s presidents told the AJN that synagogues seeking planning permits are a major issue in Glen Eira, whose Jewish population is 22 per cent, while more than 50 per cent of Camden Ward residents are Jewish. “I think I’ve been responsible for most getting through, though not all.”

He said AJAX’s plan to move from Albert Park to Princes Park in Caulfield was “an ongoing issue that I’d like to have looked at and make sure the Jewish sporting clubs are properly looked after”.

Lipshutz, a keen supporter of Chanukah In The Park, wants to ensure the event remains a firm fixture on the Glen Eira calendar, and opposed a move some years ago to cancel it because the Caulfield Park grounds were said to be in poor condition. “I made sure it actually went ahead.”

JAMIE HYAMS

“Mayor Jamie Hyams has vowed to ensure rates in the City of Glen Eira remain among the lowest in metropolitan Melbourne and to deliver on a promise of a 1.5 per cent drop over the next four years.

Hyams said he plans to do this by keeping systems “efficient” and costs down, while continuing to support community organisations and constituents. He singled out development to the Duncan Mackinnon Reserve, Packer Park Pavilion in Carnegie and an “impressive” child and adolescent play area in Murrumbeena Park as important initiatives.

The former senior analyst for the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council said he is sensitive to the “specific needs” of synagogues applying for planning permits, adding that belonging to a minority group has enabled him to identify not just with the Jewish community, but with “people of all sorts of cultures” living in the area.

Boasting nearly seven years with the council, Hyams said resident concerns surrounding overdevelopment and congestion will be addressed by the council’s implementation of new planning zones.

On the huge residential development at Caulfield Racecourse, expected to take up to 15 years to build, Hyams said the new estate is an example of “appropriate development” in the region.

“It is built on a brownfield site, rather than a monstrosity built next to someone’s house.”

Cyclists are also set to benefit from a scheme that Hyams introduced, with the Vibraline – a ribbed buffer between the bike land and moving vehicles, already trialled on Inkerman Road, to be rolled out throughout the electorate.”

MARGARET ESAKOFF

“Former mayor Margaret Esakoff, mother of two and grandmother of two, believes community safety is the most important issue ahead of this month’s council election.

Other areas, such as maintaining roads, ensuring footpaths and drains are in top condition, the provision of services to all sections of the community, including the young and people with disabilities and the aged, are areas “taken very seriously” by Esakoff.

Top priority projects include the new pavilion completed at Duncan Mackinnon Resesrve, the redevelopment of the old Booran Road reservoir and the redevelopment of the Carnegie Pool into a state-of-the-art swim centre and the residential development at the Caulfield Racecourse.

Further priorities include boosting consultation processes such as surveys and forums held as part of the Council/Community Plan program.

Esakoff grew up in Glen Eira and said her Jewish heritage gave her “understanding and knowledge of local values”.

“I am passionate about ensuring that Glen Eira remains the wonderful and safe city that it is, one that provides the community with good services and facilities that the community wants and needs, and one that maintains the peaceful enjoyment that we are lucky to have here in Glen Eira.”

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