POLICIES & ME
My name is Vanessa Jones. I live in West Belconnen, and I am running as an Independent Candidate for Ginninderra in the 2016 ACT election.
I started my Facebook page “Kippax Ideas”, over a year ago, in anger at the lack of media coverage of our area. I have lived here since 2001- for 15 years- and I have witnessed our area being ignored, constantly, by ALP & ALP-Greens governments.
I’m normally quite a shy person, so standing for government is not a habit of mine. But, I think that Ginninderra needs a voice for what the community wants.
Running the Kippax Ideas page has been interesting- you have told me what you want in the area- I have told you what I want- we have discussed and debated the issues we find important.
I know this area, Ginninderra, usually goes 2 Liberals and 3 ALP, or 2 Liberals and 3 ALP-Greens. I think we need to make sure that we have some independents in Ginninderra, so we have some voices for the community, not just politicians following Labor’s funding decisions. I have asked the ALP-Greens ACT government to improve our area- they do so very little.
I have 2 children, who have attended schools in the West Belconnen & Belconnen area. It concerns me, how private schools are used so much in Canberra- I prefer quality government schools to private schools. Every child deserves the best public education possible.
I am trained as a teacher, I have also helped run a business and done my own creative work. I have worked as a Visual Art teacher, and also as a teacher of English for Work, for adult migrants. I have always been interested in experiences of migration & displacement- I was born in England, and one of my parents is an immigrant. I worked as a researcher & assistant for the journalist Anne Deveson, after uni, in her Balmain home. My interests have often revolved around art, writing, journalism, design and politics. I was a full time parent for some time- I am the type of person who likes to do “one thing at once”, and I try to do that well.
Over the past 3 years, I have had a heath issue, which has stopped me from driving. The health issue has since improved, but the experience drove me to improve my area. It taught me what it’s like to be bus dependent, to be stuck in the Kippax area, to be dependent on local services only. That is one thing that drove me to talk about my area publicly- I had nothing to lose- my shyness just had to disappear for a while!
You know many of my policy ideas from the Kippax Ideas Facebook page- you have discussed them with me, and taught me what you want. If the ALP-Greens government won’t do them, but they fund the inner city & “the tram” instead, well I’ll give it a go. I have written to many politicians about my ideas, and I’ve met community leaders, to discuss them.
I grew up in Sydney, near the beaches, then I lived in the country, on the Central Coast, north of Sydney, for high school. I attended government schools, in both areas, and then I studied at Sydney College of the Arts and the University of Sydney. In my mid 20s I had my first child, and at the age of 30, I moved to West Belconnen, to buy a first home. No, I haven’t lived in West Belconnen all my life- I have traveled, I have lived in various places, rented many times, and I found my home and stability here. I like it here, it’s a pleasant area, with tall trees and lots of bird life, with nearby open farmland, and I want to make it better, for all of us, with the rates we pay.
I usually vote “to the left”- but I am fed up with West Belconnen being ignored by the ALP-Greens combo.
Here are my general policy ideas below, with my ideas for Kippax added underneath. I have written about my ideas, on the Kippax Ideas page- please remind me if I have forgotten any, below!
I wasn’t planning on running for government when I started the Kippax Ideas page, but when the government did nothing, what’s a girl gotta do? VJ
My achievement so far for our area:
1. Asking Shane Rattenbury to install a MyWay machine at Kippax newsagent for bus ticket recharging. That was achieved.
2. I encouraged the ALP to compete with The Liberals’ rapid bus plan- now we have the 300 rapid bus planning to deliver a bus service every 10 minutes, during the day, extended from Belconnen to Kippax- that is an improvement for us. Better services for our area.
3. Starting & running the “Kippax Ideas” Facebook community page, to give us all a voice, as the Canberra media often ignore our area.
MY IDEAS FOR OUR CITY- CANBERRA:
1. PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Stop the tram line project, from Civic to Gungahlin. The tram line plan is not socially equitable- the outer suburbs of Canberra need infrastructure before this tram line is built. We need to fund all of Canberra first, especially West Belconnen, not just the inner city and the Inner North. Fund the outer suburbs, before a tram line is built. I fully believe in eco, renewable energy projects, but firstly, we must fund Canberra equally, and catch up on the ignored infrastructure needs of the outer suburbs. It is disgraceful that the outer suburbs have been ignored and underfunded for so long, by a Labor-Greens combination of governments. If successive Labor-Greens governments do not fund safe Labor seats like Ginninderra- who will? We need to change this funding lack. Fund the outer suburbs before we build a tram line. Get the order right.
Instead of the tram line, do a rapid bus plan. Do rapid buses to every corner of Canberra, including the airport. Make sure all areas are catered for, before any tram line is built, in the future. Cater for all residents, with rapid buses, wherever they live, before building a tram line.
2. HOUSING SUPPORT
Make sure that all Canberra suburbs have no more than the 7% Canberra average amount of government housing. Why do some suburbs have less than 5% government housing, and some suburbs have over 15%? We must share the percents of government housing equally, so every Canberra suburb has minimum 7% government housing.
Make sure, from now onwards, that public housing contracts are renewed every 5 years, so we make sure each government owned home is used efficiently- if a family with 3 kids needs a 3 bedroom home with a large block, then that family should have access to a large home. Make sure that people on waiting lists are housed, quickly. Use government homes efficiently, and make sure that every suburb has the same percent of public housing. Do not create areas of high disadvantage, ever.
Also, make sure that all government housing homes pay water bills, in the future- apartments and houses.
*AFFORDABLE HOME OWNERSHIP
Create housing projects where people can buy their own affordable homes.
Increase home ownership via affordable housing purchase schemes.
Reduce & avoid homelessness.
3. OVALS & GREENSPACES
Preserve suburban ovals & greenspaces. Make sure average suburbs have the same amount of ovals & greenspaces as wealthy suburbs. How can Yarralumla have so many large open greenspaces, when the ACT Labor-Greens government tried to sell Higgins oval for housing, in 2014? Make sure average areas have their greenspaces preserved 100%, forever. Stop class based allocations of greenspaces.
4. LGBTI ISSUES
Support same sex marriage.
Provide adequate support services for LGBTI youth.
5. GAMBLING & POKIES
Reduce gambling options and poker machines. Who wins with gambling? As the song by The Whitlams says, “Blow Up The Pokies”.
6. RENEWABLE ENERGY
Have maximum renewable energy options, for the whole community.
Provide interest free loans for low income households, for renewable energy options, for household needs.
Have maximum community renewable energy use.
7. RECYCLE & REFUND DRINK CONTAINERS
Recycle drink cans and plastic drink bottles at collection depots, with a money refund incentive. I grew up with that in Sydney in the 1970s. Do it in the ACT, now.
8. GREEN WASTE COLLECTION BINS
Do green garden waste bins every 4 weeks, then every 2 weeks if the program is popular with residents.
9. KERBSIDE RUBBISH-RECYCLING COLLECTION
Have kerbside rubbish collections every 6 months, for household rubbish/recycling. This was happening in Sydney since the 1970s. Catch up, Canberra.
10. CHARITY BINS
Stop charity bins at shopping centres- they make a big mess. Have government recycling collection depots. The charities can pay a lease fee for their donation bins at these government recycling depots. Places like Kippax look trashy with the junk left outside these charity bins.
11. BUILDING HEIGHTS FOR APARTMENTS
Have the same apartment building heights in all major Canberra town centres. If Belconnen has 27 storey apartments, then Dickson, Gungahlin, Civic, Woden and Tuggeranong can have 27 storey apartment buildings too. Share the high levels & high density- don’t just do it in Belconnen. Sharing is caring…. If 27 storeys is too ugly for Dickson, then why should Belconnen have 27 storeys? Let’s be fair & equal in this city.
12. FRONT GARDEN FENCES
Allow people to fence in their front gardens, so they can fully use the land they buy or rent. Canberra land is extremely expensive. Let us make a fence & grow veggies within our front gardens.
13. BUS SHELTERS FOR ALL MAIN STREETS
Make bus shelters at all main road bus stops. If we can afford a tram line, then why not make bus shelters at all main road bus stops? Canberra has extreme temperatures- hot, cold and windy (and wet). Why suffer catching buses? Let’s encourage the use of public transport.
14. ENCOURAGE THE ARTS & ARTISTS
Create affordable studio spaces for artists, to encourage artists to live & work in Canberra. Rent out studios at cost prices, especially in the outer suburbs. Create incentives for artists to migrate to Canberra, to make the art scene here more dynamic. Affordable studio spaces would be a good start for this.
IDEAS TO IMPROVE WEST BELCONNEN
(The Kippax Manifesto)
These ideas were submitted in my submission for the Kippax Group Centre Draft Master Plan.
These ideas below relate specifically to Kippax, the major town centre for West Belconnen. Let’s have an election based on ideas for the outer suburbs, ie Kippax!
15. Create a combination of: children’s bike track, playground, benches & BBQs on the Kippax Ovals (the oval on Moyes Cres & Starke St).
16. A PUBLIC POOL!
Indoor public pool near Kippax. There is no public pool in West Belconnen for approximately 45,000 residents.
17. PARCEL PICK UP
Work with Australia Post for a parcel pick up depot at Kippax, for all local post parcels, so no trips are required to Belconnen for parcel pickups.
18. WATER PLAY
Toddler water fountain play area. Higgins or Kippax oval, or at Charnwood oval.
19. Walk and cycle path through the Kippax Ovals, for pedestrians, prams, bikes, wheelchairs and mobility scooters
Private radiology centre at Kippax or nearby (there are none within West Belconnen). Save people having to drive to Deakin, or getting lifts out of the area.
21. MEDICAL CENTRE
Large “bulk billing” one stop health clinic like Ginninderra Health Centre at Belconnen. Build it near Kippax. To include: chemist, doctors, radiology, dental, mental health, medical specialists, physiotherapy, podiatry and all medical needs. Make it so we can get all basic medical needs within West Belconnen. Make as much as possible bulk billing, for lower income people.
Proper footpaths on all main roads in Belconnen & West Belconnen. Consider wheelchair and pram use, and safe walking. Make sure wheelchair & mobility scooter users have easy footpath access. Minimum one footpath on one side of every main street or main road. Aim to make sure people do not have to go more than 300 metres from their home without a footpath. Consider the elderly and wheelchair users. Many streets currently have no footpaths at all.
23. 3rd supermarket at Kippax ie Coles
24. JAMISON- WEST BELCO BUS
Start a direct bus Charnwood-Kippax-Hawker-Cook-Jamison. Support smaller shopping centres with a direct bus each hour. Currently you need 2 buses to go from Kippax to Jamison. Make it easy & direct.
25. COMMUNITY GARDENS
Community gardens in Belconnen and West Belconnen: publicise what is here now, and build up what we want. Get available funding, for our area. Have a community orchard within West Belconnen.
26. PUBLIC ART
Make sure arts funding is equal for West Belconnen & Belconnen, as other areas of Canberra receive, for public sculpture, public murals & public graffiti art.
27. Make sure our politicians improve our area, rather than try and sell off our ovals and successfully open up an asbestos tip.
28. Preserve our ovals & green space.
Thanks for reading.
Please see my “Kippax Ideas” Facebook page for articles & discussions from the past (see below).
By Vanessa Jones
( The information on this page is for and by Vanessa Jones, Independent candidate for Ginninderra ACT 2016 )
Please see my Canberra community page below:
And please see my 2016 Election page below: