1. When Diana and I opened Cactus
Espresso Bar in the heritage listed
Bostock Chambers in
2003 we took care to preserve as much of the original building as we could. In the Top of Town, as elsewhere, it is the preservation of the history of the buildings that gives them their appeal.
We need to encourage the re-purposing of historic buildings to suit our needs without compromising their history.
2. The top down approach, where Council imposes a big new design on everyone whether they like it or not, doesn't work.We need a bottom up approach where the community brings their expertise to bear.
The 'Renew Newcastle' model successful in Parramatta, Geelong, Townsville, and Adelaide - would make a good starting point for our CBD. Small local businesses are encouraged to occupy vacant shops on a rolling monthly basis. This encourages innovation and gives start-up businesses an opportunity to try out their ideas.
A. Employment: We need to support local businesses, which employ more people per dollar of turnover than national and international ones. The money they earn is ploughed back into the local economy.
We need to shift the focus of economic development a bit more towards industry and industrial development and to assist projects that help local businesses realise their ambitions.
B. Urban planning: The continuing destruction of farmland and bushland for an ever widening circle of housing estates has to slow down. We need to be encouraging developers to utilise land that already has existing services, and we need to have planned development with guidelines the community have agreed to.
C. Accountability and transparency: I was the only candidate campaigning for accountability and transparency at the last full Council election. I am pleased our new Mayor has taken this issue seriously. We need councillors with the integrity to call out inappropriate behaviour when they see it.