Home' The Great Southern Star : August 9th 2016 Contents “THE STAR” Tuesday, August 9, 2016 - PAG E 11
New council candidates continue to nominate for local government elections in South
Gippsland and Bass Coast shires this October. Here are some of the latest.
TOORA’s Ray Argento is well known
for his work as a Country Fire Authority
volunteer will run for South Gippsland
Mr Argento will contest the Coastal Promontory
The former dairy farmer and Gippsland Community
Leadership Program graduate has promised to represent
farmers and smaller communities.
“As a recently retired dairy farmer with past industry
representative experience and skills, l believe I will be
best placed to ensure the farmers in our region will be
well represented on council,” Mr Argento said.
“I will also ensure the smaller communities on the
outer fringes of our shire will have an adequate voice, so
as not to miss out on vital services and possible grants to
enable our region to grow.
“The constant funding battle for our share of road
maintenance will be high on the minds of many within
the shire, with accountability of recent political prom-
ises a priority on my list.”
Mr Argento wants to grow the shire’s tourism, indus-
try and population to enable communities to grow and
prosper, thereby attracting more families to the shire.
“This will in turn increase employment, whilst en-
suring our senior people, who have given so much, are
taken care of and their needs not forgotten,” he said.
Mr Argento said his experience as a family man, self
employed farmer and as a former captain of the Too-
ra CFA, he believes he has improved himself through
learning and community involvement.
“Participating in the 2015 Gippsland Community
Leadership Program has enabled me to broaden my
horizon, and given me the necessary skills to chart and
enhance my leadership qualities within my own com-
munity,” he said.
“The program gave me the opportunity to meet and
speak to various influential speakers, leaders in both com-
munity, industry, commerce and politics. These various
contacts will enable me to ensure our council ‘hits the
Many experiences: Ray Argento, a former
dairy farmer and captain of the Toora CFA,
will contest the Coastal Promontory Ward at
the South Gippsland Shire Council election
Ray promises to serve
WONTHAGGI resident Les Larke is
the latest candidate to put his hand up to
contest the Bunurong ward in the Bass
Coast Shire elections in October, encom-
passing Wonthaggi, Wonthaggi North,
South Dudley, Cape Paterson, Inverloch
and Pound Creek.
Mr Larke said there are three pillars he is standing
for: strong financial leadership, listening and engage-
ment with the community, and a fair representation of
Hand up: Wonthaggi’s Les Larke is putting
his hand up for the Bass Coast council elec-
tions, running in the Bunurong ward.
Bunurong to be
“I see a lot which can be improved with the expenses
on the corporate side; they have a huge executive and
administration staff which takes a lot of the budget. That
doesn’t leave a lot of money for services and capital
works,” he said.
“The community and the council are constantly at
“The performance of this council is reflected in the
poor rating in the Community Satisfaction Survey.”
Mr Larke is a CPA Australia accountant and a for-
mer general manager of State Trustees.
He said his experience gave him a balance between lead-
ership, strategic and financial capabilities.
Mr Larke was a strong voice working to obtain fund-
ing for the Wonthaggi cemetery which has resulted in a
master plan being prepared. Significant drainage works
are now underway.
“The cemetery issue was a case in point where the
Bass Coast lacked financial management and gover-
nance,” he said.
“I see this as systemic of the broader problems in
Mr Larke also negotiated a pedestrian crossing for
Rose Lodge, a Wonthaggi Aged Care facility. This also
services pedestrians crossing to and from the hospital
to Guide Park.
“I see the role of any new council to change the
culture and use a bottom up approach instead of a top
down,” he said.
“It shouldn’t be the sole responsibility of the CEO;
council very much has a role to play, especially in the
strategic direction and preparation of the council plan.
“There’s just no trust or respect at the moment with
this current council and you can’t operate effectively on
Mr Larke has already been on the hustings, and is
going door to door to understand the issues which peo-
ple are most passionate about.
“I am not going into this as a one issue candidate
but very much wanting to change the culture going for-
ward,” he said.
Giving back to the community: a former
CEO of Surfing Victoria, Max Wells is stand-
ing as a candidate for the Bunurong Ward.
Former CEO to stand
WITH Bass Coast Shire Council experi-
encing one of the lowest satisfaction rat-
ings in the state, Inverloch resident Max
Wells thinks he can help.
As a candidate for the Bunurong Ward, Mr Wells is
betting his previous experience as CEO of Surfing Vic-
toria will make him an asset to council.
“I’m just concerned the decision making process
that’s currently in place with the current councillors is
not to the level of community consultation that should
be there,” he said.
“I’m sure they believe they consult, but I just don’t
know if they’re broadly consulting with the community.”
Mr Wells said the key to improving council’s cur-
rent decision making process lies with a concept known
as the triple bottom line – a framework that strives to
obtain a balance among social, economic and environ-
“Those three facets of community make up a good
decision making process – social being the people, eco-
nomic being the financial drivers and environmental ob-
viously being the natural environment,” he said.
Mr Wells decided to run for council after retiring from
Surfing Victoria in February this year, where he spent
more than 15 years managing multi-million dollar bud-
gets, running one of Victoria’s hallmark sporting events
(Bells Beach surfing contest), and working with all levels
of government and local communities across the state.
“Because of my background, I really believe I’ve
got some good strong connections to community and I
want to take that experience in stakeholder relations I’ve
picked up over 15 years in that CEO role and bring it to
the table here for this community,” he said.
Prior to his time with Surfing Victoria, Mr Wells worked
as a teacher at Wonthaggi Tech and Wonthaggi Secondary
College. He moved to the Bass Coast in the early 1980s,
where he met his wife and raised two children.
In 2014, he was awarded an Order of Australia med-
al for his services to surfing and to the community.
Walking the talk: Julian Brown of Inverloch
will advocate for walking and cycling paths
if elected to Bass Coast Shire Council.
Brown to fight for tip
BUNURONG Ward candidate Julian
Brown wants to re-open the Wonthaggi
Visitor Information Centre and keep the
Inverloch transfer station open.
The martial arts instructor and Inverloch resident
will contest the Bass Coast Shire Council election.
“I think there have been some examples of poor in-
frastructure design and implementation in the last four
years,” he said.
“Most notably the chicanes on Surf Parade in Inver-
loch where they should have been speed humps and the
‘back-to-front’ bus shelter on Sandy Mount Avenue.
“I support construction of the path along Surf Parade
but think the use of consultants in the process has been
a waste of money.”
An opponent of expensive special charge schemes,
Mr Brown backs the completion of missing sections in
the walking and cycling network, with the most notable
gap now being at San Remo.
“The network will be a great asset for tourism, espe-
cially in spring and summer when the good weather will
best allow for its use,” he said.
“In December 2015 and January 2016 I walked the
1200 kilometres of the Shikoku Buddhist pilgrimage in
Japan. Having done that walk, I can say the overall natu-
ral beauty of the Bass Coast walk is better than that of
the world famous Shikoku route.
“I support looking at the feasibility of linking Wont-
haggi to Inverloch via a walking and cycling path”.
Mr Brown wants council to undertake more work
in-house and rely less on consultants.
“We need to ensure rates are as low as possible so
they are affordable for ratepayers and sustainable into
the future,” he said.
“I believe as a general principle people should be
able to walk their dogs on the beach responsibly.
“Finally, we need to ensure as much money as pos-
sible goes into capital works.”
He can be contacted on email@example.com
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