Leticia Laing

Hello, my name is Leticia and I’m running for Bass Coast Shire Council in the Bunurong Ward: Wonthaggi, Inverloch, Cape Paterson and Harmers Haven.

Our regional centre – Wonthaggi will have vibrant business, strong cultural and creative energy with a new cultural and education hub. Our love for natural spaces across the Shire will be enhanced with stronger protections, sustainable and compliant planning.

Post-COVID we will recover quickly with upgrades and community facility projects that boost local jobs and local business.

Children will play on well-thought out playgrounds that enrich the play experience. Young adults will be connected to educational and employment opportunities within the Shire. A housing strategy will be developed to support affordable housing and people who are vulnerable. Social housing construction will boost local jobs.

Ratepayers will see better value in their rates.

The community will be ready for the impacts of climate change by implementing the Climate Action Plan and supporting grassroots groups to enhance it. The plan will expand our economy, food security and create job growth.

Council will be responsive, accessible and transparent.

I will work hard for this community and keep the communication lines open.

Questions 1 thru 15 are from BCRRA and 16 thru 34 are collated from the community questions received. Candidates were asked to respond to all 34

  1. Why do you believe the community should vote for you?
    This is the next step in my community involvement so I can achieve the best facilities and long-term solutions for our growing shire. Women represent about half the population yet only two out of the nine councillors in the Bass Coast are women so this is a chance to offer a different perspective that needs a stronger voice. The demographic in council needs greater diversity and I am confident I can offer that as well as having the skills and experience to do so. I have a law/arts degree, am community minded and growing up a young family on the Bass Coast, I understand the pressures a young family can experience in the community. My parents live on the Bass Coast so I closely understand and witness the challenges that elders in our community can experience as well.
  2. What are your strengths in working with people?
    As a journalist I had a lot of experience actively listening and learning more deeply about issues to then be able to share them with the broader community. I am involved in local community groups often on the communications level so I value getting out there and talking with people as well as putting the information together in an accessible way to get a wider audience and gain more feedback. A good example of this is the survey I am conducting on the Wonthaggi Cultural Hub which can be accessed at www.leticialaing.com.au
  3. If elected, how will you demonstrate that you stand at the front of the community rather than standing beside the bureaucracy?
    Council staff and officers are there to serve the community and to be used for the expertise and knowledge on a variety of issues. My priority is listening to the community and providing what is best for the community
  4. What considerations, inclusions or deletions will you take when forming your new Council Plan?
  5. How will you demonstrate that you remain focused on financial discipline at Council
  6. Is Council’s 4 year Strategic Resource Plan together with the 10 year financial plan appropriate to meet the future needs of The Bass Coast Shire Council and its Ratepayers?
  7. Will you be prepared to challenge the system (council officers and fellow councillors) to keep your constituents well informed
    I am prepared to do what is best for the community.
  8. Will you take action to investigate the 10 year Waste Contract details in the first 12 months of your term as a councillor? Will you review the contract model settings and make findings publicly available?
    Yes and maybe.
  9. Will you support continued live streaming of open Council Meetings and availability of a publicly available video archive?
    Subject to the review made by council, initial reception of the livestreaming has been positively received by the community and an asset during Covid restrictions.
  10. Will you take action to review the Governance Rules Policy in the first 12 months of your term as a councillor including community consultation?
    There was significant consultation undertaken by the State Government: https://engage.vic.gov.au/local-government-act-2020/public-transparency-workshop-feedback-themes
  11. Will you take action to Review the Media Engagement Policy in the first 12 months of your term as a councillor including community consultation?
    I’m not sure, it is something definitely worth looking at in depth. Given I have never been a councillor before, I think it would be remiss of me to put a timeline on something I don’t have a great deal of experience in.
  12. If elected, what commitment will you make to improve Council engagement with the wider community and build community engagement with your local ward?
    Unlike any of the incumbent Bunurong Councillors, I have a website, Facebook and Instagram page. I would like to release a bi-monthly newsletter as well as continued social media engagement. I would also like to coordinate a monthly coffee catch-up with six other community members but that would also depend on my commitments and community engagement already as a councillor. At the moment I endeavour to return calls or emails within 24 hours. My goal is not to delay responses to inquiries by more than 48 hours.
  13. How will you ensure that the CEO and officers genuinely and respectfully answer all public questions with a sincere response that address the core of each question?
  14. Do you believe that keeping any increases to rates, fees and charges within the State Government Rate Cap or below the CPI increase is paramount for Council?
  15. Would you be in favour of regular virtual community connection sessions in lieu of the previous model used by Council?
    I think that this is a great idea. The Bass Coast Shire is a big electorate and it would be a great way to create more accessibility.
  16. Why are you standing as a Councillor?
  17. Do you live in the ward you seek to represent, and why should we vote for you?
  18. Council recently commenced Live Streaming meetings (for a trial period). They also recently adopted policies defining Council engagement with social and other media. How do you feel about these?
  19. How would you improve Council engagement with the wider community and build community engagement with your local ward?
  20. Public Transparency and good Governance are at the core of BCRRA’s purpose. Council has recently adopted new policies covering Governance Rules and Public Transparency.
  21. Do you feel there is a need to review these policies, and if so when should this be done?
  22. What role do you feel community consultation has in reviewing these policies?
  23. What measures would you put in place to demonstrate honesty and transparency in your decisions and spending of ratepayers’ money?
  24. Do you think ‘The Fair Go’ rate cap is better or worse than limiting rate rises to CPI?
  25. Bass Coast Shire has budgeted for a significant amount of Capital Works in the coming years. How do you feel about the level of borrowing necessary to deliver these?
  26. What is your opinion of Council’s current financial position? And of the outlook projected in the Long Term Financial Plan?
  27. What is your opinion of the 10-year waste contract agreed by the last Council late in 2016?
  28. And what do you think of the (uncapped) charge for waste services being separate to the general rate charge?
  29. What is important for you about township boundaries and character within the shire?
  30. What is your feeling about the condition of council owned roads and footpaths and bike paths?
  31. What are your views on the level of importance of art, culture, and indigenous recognition in the Council framework?
  32. Statistically, one in four Bass Coast Residences has a dog. How do you feel about existing restrictions in place? What, if anything would you change?
  33. What would you like to see BCSC do to address Climate Change?
  34. How do you rank the importance of tourism against local amenity?

Questions 35 thru 88 are ALL community questions exactly as we received them.
Candidates were given the option to reply to as many or as few as they wished.
(Questions 16 – 34 above were collated from these)

No responses to these questions have been supplied at this time.
27 February 2021

Letitia has asked us to refer you to her website for her profile – https://www.leticialaing.com.au/

Phone ContactEmail Address
0475 757 953leticia4bccouncil@gmail.com

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