COUNCILLOR AND CANDIDATE IN DAREBIN’S NORTH EAST WARD CAUGHT DECEIVING VOTERS IN THIS ELECTION

I am new to politics and I am shocked at what I have witnessed so far. Local Government should just be about the community and this is why I’m standing; because politics needs to change.

We are currently a few weeks into the campaign for the 2020 Darebin North East Ward election. I refer you to the sixth paragraph in the letter below, sent by the Labor Candidate to Darebin residents.

“I was alarmed to see in this election in North East Ward that there are 3 candidates with political and/or business links to the Greens councillors and an independent councillor who voted against saving Strathallan Open Space in the July 2020 Darebin Council Budget meeting.”

Firstly, Tim Lawrence is the only incumbent Councillor contesting the North East Ward vacancy, who was physically able to vote in the July budget meeting mentioned. The rest of us are new, fresh faces. So in every way this is IMPOSSIBLE, INACCURATE and DIVISIVE because you need to be on Council to vote.

Secondly, to clarify my stance, for the residents (which is the only useful part of this piece), if Strathallan Open Space were hypothetically for sale, and there was a vote on the matter, I would push for it to be purchased by Council so that this land could be retained. I would engage regularly with the Council CEO, the Member for Bundoora, Strathallan Golf Club and La Trobe University to ensure there were no surprises for anyone.

I must say I feel sorry for the other Labor candidates in Darebin, who have been tarnished by this man’s attempt at misleading voters, by falsely accusing the competitors in his election of voting against this important matter in 2020.

THE HAND WASH SAGA

In April 2020 the Council introduced a pilot to install hand wash in all the public toilets. It continued to become a permanent feature, funded within the approved operational budget. Pretty standard Council business you would think, given the COVID19 situation. Right? Well not in the eyes of the person who took this photo, while on the zoom chat with the other Councillors, in July’s budget meeting.

At that online meeting, Cr Tim Lawrence decided to conger up a plan to get this particular item onto the agenda. Sensibly, the Councillors who were unfairly shamed all voted against it, as this would be double dipping into the budget. A new line item for hand wash was just not needed and it should not have even been on the agenda. It’s like voting to have ‘light bulbs’ installed in street lamps that were already approved. Most probably this was just a try hard attempt to catch these poor Councillors out, leading up to the elections, to mislead voters.

Subsequently, the video of the vote ends up on Cr Tim Lawrence’s Facebook page See the Soap vote video on Facebook here. I must assume that this mailout has nothing to do with Cr Tim Lawrence and it may just be a coincidence that a screen shot from his video appears to be what was used, by whoever executed this divisive political act. To be clear, it would be wrong to accuse Tim of doing this so let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.

Approximately 40,000 copies of this letter were distributed in Darebin’s Central, West, South Central and South West wards. It was aimed at discrediting Cr Lina Messina, Cr Susanne Newton (Deputy Mayor), Cr Susan Rennie (Mayor) and Cr Trent McCarthy. This is very unfair.

I reiterate, I can’t believe this rubbish has a place in Local Government/Council elections and I wonder how this, an addition to what’s below, can influence the outcome of the elections. Keep in mind, Councillors through their reach to constituents can then help to influence the State elections in two years time. So yes, your vote is important.

I hear you laughing. I know, this is politics. I’m laughing too.

IS LABOR STACKING THE NORTH EAST WARD?

It would appear Cr Tim Lawrence has stacked the North East Ward, with not one, or two, but three feeder candidates*. Wasn’t this practice investigated and exposed recently? Why would a guy with almost 20 years in Local Government, in Darebin, need three feeder candidates* to get re-elected anyway?

You can look up all of our candidate statements on the Victorian Electoral Commission’s website here and what’s going on should seem quite clear.

REPORTING ME TO THE CHIEF HEALTH OFFICER, FOR WHAT?

In another colourful mailout, it was alleged that I displayed corflute boards, at Reservoir Views Primary School, without permission and in breach of stage 4 (first step) restrictions which slightly eased on the 14th September 2020. Furthermore, a petition has commenced against me, flagging this, directed to the Chief Health Office of Victoria, Prof Brett Sutton. It is obvious this person has way too much time on their hands.

Firstly, the rules for that period allowed for political candidates to exercise their right to place boards up and do mail drops around the ward being contested. While we are talking about rules, perhaps we should refer the Labor Candidate to this one; You must not distribute material that is likely to mislead voters into voting incorrectly.

Secondly, I did seek the school’s permission and they authorised this board to be there. I called reception and I have phone log records of the call. The receptionist asked the principal and they agreed it was fine. Given the School is a State owned School, and not Council property, there was no problem whatsoever with this sign being there.

Since this went out to all voters I have received some interesting calls, in my support; even from Labor members. It would appear the residents are fed up with this person’s divisive ways.

HOW DO WE BENEFIT THE COMMUNITY

I look forward to becoming your Councillor and beginning to advocate for the issues that really matter to you, the Darebin community. Please see my policies on this website, including some projects I will fight for. I don’t know how effective I’ll be at eliminating these unnecessary political games from this Council, mainly between Labor and the Greens, but I will certainly try to make it more about you, than what you are currently seeing. I am standing to dedicate my time to working on resolving matters that are actually important to all of us, as an independent. A genuine independent with NO political affiliations, memberships or funding.

Vote 1 Adam Cursio for a positive change in Darebin. Remember when voting, be sure to number the remaining boxes completely to make your vote count.

Adam Cursio for Darebin Council North East Ward

FOR YOU, COMMUNITY AND BUSINESS. BECAUSE POLITICS NEEDS A CHANGE.

* “Feeder or dummy candidate” is my personal opinion and is, in part, determined by preferences on candidate statements lodged with the VEC and on how-to-vote flyers. Feeder candidates do not disclose their political alignment and rarely provide contact details or engage in active campaigning in any way.