Wednesday, December 17, 2014

a new era coming

Yesterday marked the end of one chapter and the start of another.

Regular readers will know that I've been running in the Victorian State Election and I'm delighted to announce that I was declared successfully elected as a Member of the Legislative Council for Eastern Metropolitan on Tuesday afternoon.

I'm elated to be the first Greens to be elected to Eastern Metropolitan Region, as I was when I was the first Greens councillor elected in Yarra Ranges. But there is a small tinge of sadness too as I move on from representing the wonderful community that makes up the Lyster Ward and further afield those communities across the 55 townships in Yarra Ranges.

This community has put their faith in me by electing me for three terms in local government, the most recent in 2012 with a primary vote of 58.93%, making me the longest serving woman councillor in Yarra Ranges.

I thank the community for that and I look forward to continuing to participate in the myriad of community activities in the Dandenong Ranges and beyond.
My earliest councillor pic on my blog,
World Environment Day 2006,
people turned out in their thousands to say no to
the logging of old growth forests,
I was there as the Lyster Ward councillor.
I first decided to run for council in 2005 as part of a community campaign to save Long Day Care at Sherbrooke Children's Centre in Upwey, I never expected to get elected , but have enjoyed the experience immensely. In a full circle moment, it is a curious coincidence that my last meeting as the Lyster Ward Councillor was in the newly developed Sherbrooke Family and Children's Centre on Monday night.

My time in local government has seen me take on the roles of Chairperson of the Eastern Transport Coalition from 2009 to 2014, Board member of the Victorian Local Governance Association from 2009 to 2014, including two terms as President and Board member and Chairperson of the Eastern Regional Libraries Corporation.  It's been a great experience and I've loved being an advocate across these sectors.

This is my last blog entry on "Cr Samantha Dunn, the official blog of Greens Councillor Samantha Dunn, Shire of Yarra Ranges".

I thank everybody who's helped me along the way, there's been much laughter, some great community outcomes and I've made friendships that will endure through time.
My most recent councillor pic on my blog,
October 2014 - the launch of the Enough Pokies 
campaign,a Municipal Association of Victoria and Salvation Army
to better protect vulnerable communities from
inappropriate placement of pokies machines,
I was there representing Yarra Ranges Council.
I assure you I will continue to be passionate about the Dandenong Ranges and protecting what's special about this unique part of Melbourne, but it's also time to look forward and be a strong voice for Eastern Metropolitan.

My victory is for all those people who want to see action on climate change and the environment and improvements to our public transport system.

Yesterday's result reaffirms the need for a rail line to Doncaster, improvements to the rail and tram network and better bus services. People want to see a transition to renewables, a reduction in emissions and the establishment of a Great Forest National Park.

As I look forward I will always remember, very fondly, my time as the Lyster Ward councillor.


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