This is Pauline Lockie, you might know her from the West Connect Action Group, one of the most courageous, down-to-earth and committed community campaigners going. If you live in the inner west or know anyone who does. Please take the 5 minutes to watch this video and listen to what she had to say. To be a good community representative, you put the needs of your community first. It's not about major parties and who 'deserves' a turn or ego, but who is willing to dig in and do the work. Pauline has this in droves and I wholeheartedly endorse her at the person I would vote for in the inner west if given the chance.Posted by Councillor Jess Miller on Saturday, 15 July 2017
Pauline Lockie held her Inner West Council campaign launch event in Newtown on Saturday 15 July. In her campaign launch speech - which was filmed by and posted to Facebook with an amazing endorsement by City of Sydney councillor Jess Miller - Pauline explained why she decided to run for Inner West Council as an Independent. Here's the video and transcript of Pauline's speech, along with Cr Miller's endorsement.
So I thought I'd touch on a couple of things, because I've been out doorknocking last few weeks across all of the different suburbs and streets in the ward and there's been a couple of questions that have come up pretty routinely.
One is: Why are you running? And the other one is: Why you running as an Independent?
And a lot of you here would probably already have a clue about what might have inspired me to run.
But what really motivated me is obviously what Wendy said: Warren, Adia and I did lose our home in St Peters to this project, and through that I became, and through WestCONnex Action Group, I did become quite a public spokesperson against the project and so forth.
But that in itself isn't what inspired me to run.
What really inspired me to run was the sheer number people – because I did have a little bit of a public profile, because our group have a public profile –people have been coming to us for help over the last few years. And that's from everything to do with compulsory acquisitions, of residents being bullied through the process by our government to accept offers that were hundreds of thousands below what they should have received.
It's been people who have been messaging us in the middle of the night saying that they live near the St Peters Interchange site and they're under the doonas, all the windows and doors shut, and they still can't sleep because of the smell. It's making them ill.
It's been people who are having to live through horrific construction that is going on well past the times that WestCONnex have said that they have been told that they have to stop.
It's even people just outside the Inner West in Alexandria, who have been told with virtually no consultation that they will have a 7-lane road 180cm from their front doors – where they're trying to raise their children and just live their normal lives.
And through all of this what has really astounded me is that it hasn't been the major parties coming to stand up for residents here, particularly in the Inner West.
It has been people like us. It has been ordinary residents, it's been community groups.
And while everyone here, I know, is happy to take that role and to represent our communities, I don't think it's good enough that it keeps falling back onto regular residents.
I think it's absolutely time now that we have not have a Council – yet another travesty for the Inner West among many – now that we have not had a Council for well over a year, it is time for people to go in there, to step up and actually represent their communities properly, and be the strong voice. Be the people holding our government to account when they fail us – because they are going to keep doing it – and to actually offer better.
And I do commend - I'm so glad Jess is here, because I do look at the work that Clover [Moore] and her team have done especially as inspiration to what is possible when you don't have a Council that is just there to oppose the really bad stuff that's happening with the government, but to actually put forward a better vision and to make peoples lives' better, and to create communities and villages that people want to be in. From the day-to-day services, all the way through to the big issues around sustainable development.
And that as well is part of what has driven me to – for that other question – why am I running as an Independent?
Because I think, particularly at local Council level, there's got to be a big space in there for people like me, like Vic Pye, like John Lozano, John Stamolis, whose only job is to be there to represent our communities. To represent our residents.
And to not treat it as a stepping stone, because it's – you know, we're a part of a big party and it's our time to run for Council. It's our time to use it as a proving ground for the next step towards state and federal election.
That's fine if you want to do it. I think it's important to have people who come up through their communities.
But there's also got to be people whose number one priority, whose only priority, is the people that they're looking after.
So it really does mean a lot to me as I said to have everyone here tonight.
I think it's absolutely possible to get – it's not going to be easy to get independents in, that's for sure. One thing that the amalgamations has done is made it that much harder for people who don't have the backing of all the volunteers, who don't have the backing of big money, big donors, to actually get in.
But one thing I have found knocking on hundreds of doors in every suburb in the Stanmore ward of the Inner West Council is that there is a real appetite for change. People want an alternative. They want to see independent voices get in there.
They're really inspired that we are just turning up, and coming to their door, and telling them that we're in the running and that we want to be there for them.
So I know you that with continued support that we can absolutely do this. And I'm 100% committed to doing everything I can to get elected.
And if I do, then I'll be 100% committed to continuing to act for our community in the best possible way that I can.