Brighton Council candidates have their say

BRIGHTON Community News has provided space for candidates vying for election in the 2018 Local Government elections for Brighton municipality. This is to allow candidates to say why they are standing for election and why you should consider them in your vote.  Remember, it is important to vote – ballot papers will be sent out early this month (October 8) and you must return your ballot to the Tasmanian Electoral Office by 10am, October 30. Remember this is your opportunity to have your say.

Below are the candidates’ statements (that were provided to the newspaper), set out in alphabetical order:

BARBARA CURRAN, Brighton’s deputy mayor and councillor is seeking re-election for both positions

ELECTED to Brighton Council in 1996 and then as both councillor and Deputy Mayor in 2014, I have been very proud and privileged to have served as a representative of this municipality.

Once again I am seeking your support in my bid to run for the position of Councillor and Deputy Mayor in this month’s local government elections

As an owner and operator of a small business I support local business and community groups either financially or by being a member of an organisation.

My objectives, if re-elected would be to focus on:

  • Supporting Education, from Early Learning (playgroups) through to High School and the proposal to build a high school to year twelve in Brighton.
  • Continuing improvements to the streetscape in Brighton township.
  • Supporting community groups.
  • Community Consultation, especially around providing services and facilities for our youth.
  • Improving our sporting facilities with a focus on facilities for girls (netball courts, multipurpose courts for basketball and tennis for both male and female and all ages)
  • Ensuring we have a safe and healthy environment by improving our parks and walking tracks, making them safe for all users. Brighton is a progressive and financially stable Council providing the lowest rating system in the State.  The future is exciting for Brighton Municipality and I would be very proud, with your support, to take an active role in supporting our future growth.

Authorised by Barbara Curran 1 Daniel Place Brighton 7030

TONY FOSTER is seeking re-election as Brighton mayor and councillor

IT has been a great privilege to serve as your Mayor since 1993 and lead a progressive, financially responsible, and efficient Council. We have achieved much over this period and I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the growth and development of our municipality and community.

In recent years we have seen the Brighton Municipality continue to develop, underpinned by our Fair Rating Policy that sees Brighton with the lowest household rates and regarded as the most cost-efficient council in the State.

We are now poised to take the next step forward with the planned new Brighton High School that will provide additional education opportunities for our young people. I have taken a leadership role in negotiations with the Tasmanian Government to achieve this and look forward to seeing this project through to completion.

I am also proud to have played a key role in initiatives in our municipality including:

  • Government commitments for the replacement of the Bridgewater Bridge
  • The Brighton By-pass
  • The Transport Hub and expansion of the Brighton Industrial Estate
  • The Jordan River Learning Centre and School Farm
  • Improved medical, dental and allied health services
  • Expansion of affordable housing
  • Brighton Streetscape plan, new playgrounds, walking tracks and cycle paths
  • Enhanced sporting facilities
  • Supporting Brighton Eagles’ entry into Tasmanian Premier League cricket
  • The Brighton Bowls and Community Club
  • Rebuilding Old Beach Jetty
  • Key road and bridge infrastructure.

While we have made great progress, there is still work to be done so I am seeking your support as Mayor and Councillor to enable me to continue my efforts on behalf of our community.

Authorised by N Foster, 2 Kimberley St Pontville 7030

WAYNE GARLICK is seeking re-election as Brighton councillor

I HAVE lived in Brighton community for the past 38 years and have seen the Brighton area grow to what it is today – one great place to live and I have been privileged to serve you as Councillor approximately 19 years. I am always out and about speaking to members of the public every day giving updates on what is happening around our community.

I am asking for your support in running for councillor to continue in Council’s hard work, as we have achieved our goals over the past and kept our rates the lowest in Tasmania. I hope that you will continue to support me in the role of Councillor as there still a lot to do within our community. If voted back in I will endeavour at all times to fill my roles as I have done over the past 19 years.

In my time as councillor, I have seen big changes, including the new shopping centre, Transport Hub and new business within that area, upgrades to many of our parks, the fast expansion of building blocks within Brighton.  Brighton is one of the fastest growing areas in the south, with the best Rating System in the state. Community and Council have achieved great things. Let us keep this momentum going forward. I am proud to be a part of such a forward-thinking Council.

Authorised by Lyn Garlick, 46 Upton Drive Honeywood 7017

PETER GEARD is a Brighton councillor and also seeking election for deputy mayor

I AM presently serving as councillor and I again ask for your vote plus a chance to serve you as Deputy Mayor. It’s time for a change.

Currently, I serve as Chairman on Parks and Recreation committee, Pontville Users Group, Senior Citizens, Executive Emergency, Planning, Heritage and Environment, Waste Management, Civic Pride, Remembrance Park Complex committees, as well as representing Brighton Council on the Fire Management Area, Regional Emergency Management and Recovery committees.  I also volunteer with the Brighton SES Unit (Unit Manager), Brighton Fire Brigade, Tas Fire Service and SES as a Regional Volunteer Training instructor/assessor.

I diligently serve the community working hard for all.  I understand the problems people face and the need to secure value for money.  My commitment is to support continued extensions and upgrading of walking/footpaths, recreational facilities and ongoing roadworks.  I aim to ensure community consultation and ensure we receive value for money on all Council projects.

Please consider and vote 1 for Peter Geard, Councillor and Deputy Mayor.

Authorised by Peter Geard, 269 Elderslie Road Brighton 7030 

LEIGH GRAY is seeking re-election as councillor and is standing for Mayor

 I AM married to Prue (nee Taylor) and have four children. I have lived in Brighton for most of my life. My parents moved to Bridgewater in the late 70s and I spent most of my childhood in Bridgewater.

Since I was first elected to Council in 2005 I have represented the community with integrity, accessibility, honesty and have worked extremely hard as an advocate for our Community. I believe our Community has unlimited potential and with strong Leadership and vision our Council will be second to none. Therefore, with encouragement, support and insistence of many community members, I am seeking your consideration to be elected as your new Mayor and returned as a councillor. I am extremely proud of our municipality, but it is time for real change and renewal of leadership.

I see the Brighton of the future a proud municipality with a plan for our own future and with our community owning the plan and together building an even better Brighton. This means we work together to identify the needs of our families, our youth, our older citizens and make our community safe, welcoming and enjoyable. A vision needs to be created and worked on by all of us to make a better place for us all to live, work, play and raise our families. We are seeing great growth within our municipality and with the promise of new educational facilities and upgrades to others, we will see further growth. For this, we need a plan.

Authorised by Leigh Gray, 295 Elderslie Road Brighton 7030

MICHAEL GORDON is standing for councillor

Nominating as Councillor a second time demonstrates my commitment and genuine interest in Council. Mum was born and grew up in Tea Tree and dad worked in Tea Tree until they married and moved to Cambridge. I moved to Tea Tree 42 years ago when we bought the farm. For mum and dad it was like coming back home. I have been an active member of the Tea Tree community association for over 20 years, including President for the past 3 years. We have worked hard and been successful in improving the community hall and bringing people together.  Being awarded the Australia Day Volunteer of the Year Award for Brighton municipality in 2018 was a proud moment – although it was uncomfortable being singled out of a group of wonderful contributors to the community. After 14 years as a Fire Service District Officer and State Fire Service Training Manager, I have owned and managed a number of successful businesses. For the past 20 years I have part-owned a management consulting business which operates in Victoria and Tasmania.  If elected, I will listen to your issues and needs and do my best to contribute to good Council decisions.

My diverse business and management experience along with active involvement in leadership roles in a number of community organisations provide an ideal background to contribute as a councillor.

I ask for your support. Please vote 1, 2 or 3 Michael Gordon.

For more information about my background and experience please visit

Authorised by Michael Gordon 847 Middle Tea Tree Road Tea Tree 7017

KEVIN HIGGINS, Brighton councillor is seeking re-election

I SEEK your support in our local government election as a councillor. Four generations of my family are living in the municipality and are involved in community activities.

My previous experience is as follows: Warden of the Waratah municipality, Elected as West Coast Rep (Local Government.), employed by Brighton Council as community centre manager, Member of the Friends of the School Farm, and have sat for two years on Brighton Council

I will always stand for transparency, honesty and equality (THE). Remember THE when casting your vote. I wish to thank all those residents who encourage me to never give up, and look forward to representing you into the future.  I will always avail myself to you. Phone 6263 6319.

Authorised by Keith Higgins. 4 Jordan Place Bridgewater 7030

MOYA JEFFRIES is a Brighton councillor and is also standing for Deputy Mayor

OUR Council has achieved some great milestones in the past four years thanks to the intelligence, diligence, and hard work of our wonderful staff (both inside and outside workers). We now have recreation parks in all major suburbs, and the groundwork for a Youth Hub which is a great start to improving the lifestyle of our youth. I am a strong supporter of the Jordan River Learning Federation and the School Farm in Brighton. It has been wonderful seeing students from both entities receiving statewide and national recognition.

My involvement with Bridgewater PCYC has been most enjoyable. Its work with children and young adults through to providing free transport for seniors has inspired a real sense of community and hope for the future. We now have PCYC and local agencies combining cooperatively to help our youth gain confidence and self-respect, as well as preparing them for interviews in order to facilitate procuring jobs.

Rest assured that I will work hard for everyone, but will continue to fight against development that is detrimental to your lifestyle. It’s been a pleasure helping everyone with their queries. Being retired means I have the time, and being a pensioner means I can empathise with your day-to-day struggles.

A vote for me as Deputy Mayor and as Councillor would ensure leadership of an approachable, accountable, and transparent Council that respects you, your rights and your lifestyle.

I am at your service on 6268 1530 and 0419 394 139.

Authorised by Moya Jeffries, 37 Seymour Street, Brighton 7030

TENNILLE LEONARD is seeking election for councillor and deputy mayor

I’M a sixth generation Tasmanian raised and educated locally. I’m a sole parent of five sons and resident or the municipality for 36 years with a thorough understanding of our communities and the challenges and hardships that many face. I was awarded Brighton Citizen of the Year for my dedication to community and have been part of the establishment of many projects including Community Blitz – Small Business Enterprise, Jordan River Learning Federation Parents and Friends, tagari-lia Child and Family Centre, Bridgewater Memorial Garden and Breaking the Silence Advocacy group. I’m passionate about protecting the people’s rights and ensuring everyone gets a fair go, often helping people with their queries not because I have to but because I want to. I stand for serving the public interest, listening to individuals, taking action, making a difference to our communities by contributing to social benefit. Change won’t happen if we continue to vote for the same people so this is your chance to change our future for the better. If you want a different result – vote a different choice. You want your fair share of local government spending and a representative who is committed to the community, dedicated to progress, transparent, and will protect your rights, ensuring you get a fair go. Vote 1 Tennille Murtagh for councillor and Deputy Mayor – Keeping the public in public service. Phone 0488 623 955.

Authorised by Tennille Murtagh 8 Munnings Place Bridgewater 7030.

PHIL OWEN is a Brighton councillor and is also seeking election for mayor

INFORM, consult, listen. Have you noticed when media talk about Hobart, only four urban councils get a mention and Brighton doesn’t? Why? Surely there are benefits from being included in the conversation on Bridgewater Bridge, light rail, public transport, education and other issues?  As Mayor, I will put Brighton back in the picture.  A Mayor who engages with residents from all areas of our diverse municipality. A Mayor with passion and the time. A Mayor totally independent, without political party allegiances thus affording the freedom to comment on government decisions and fight for the best deals for Brighton.

Inform, Consult, Listen. My vision is for a safe, cohesive, vibrant community and I will work towards achieving that. I will ensure that youth are the primary focus of attention as the current circumstances are neither acceptable nor fair on our younger residents. A Youth Advisory Group and Youth Support Officer are urgently needed.

Inform, Consult, Listen. I have attended a wide range of meetings and events to gain insight into what is important to you. I hear a need for more local police, anti-crime strategies, safer communities, off-lead dog areas, improved playgrounds; your concerns about the Jordan River Learning Federation school farm. As a father of adult children and loving Gramps to Lily, I am mindful of and understand pressures on family and community, My long-time community involvement includes volunteer firefighting and cricket club secretary.

Inform, Consult, Listen – Vote 1 – Phil Owen – Councillor and Mayor. Thank you. Phone 0419 333 252 Facebook #philowentas

Authorised by Phil Owen 9 Compton Road Old Beach 7017

ELAINE SCOTT is standing for councillor

MY belief is the silent majority deserve to have a voice in local council.

I have lived in Bridgewater over the past 29 years. I am proud of its community and their achievement, and I am willing to listen to what my community has to say.

I have spent a lot of time advocating for disability friendly parks and pathways in and around the Bridgewater and Gagebrook area.

Through my efforts with TAG I am able to advocate for tenants that often struggle with systems and processes, as well as issues with articulating their concerns.

As an active member of Brighton Neighbourhood Leadership Program, I am involved in implementing a format that brings together existing and emerging volunteer leaders to develop relationships, capacity development, and identify the common issues. This work opens up the opportunities to make a positive change within the community at a local level.

I am here to listen, assist and represent your objectives and opinions with a strong passion for the School Farm, disability independence and breaking down the stigma around our wonderful community.

Authorised by Elaine Scott 67 Walker Crescent Bridgewater 7030

JESSICA WHELAN is standing for councillor

I AM a local mother of two and have lived in Brighton for the past 23 years. I have worked for various State Government departments in human resources, I am a company director, property developer and the founder of Twelve Stones restaurant in Pontville.

My focus is on core local government services such as roads, garbage, and improved parks and amenities. I have a sound knowledge of strategic planning and its importance to the future coordinated development of Brighton. I am committed to sensible progress through community consultation and honest and transparent decision-making. I’m passionate about improving housing affordability, education, community infrastructure and local employment opportunities.

If elected, I will provide a fresh approach to your council with a strong focus on ensuring our community is a safe and inclusive environment for everyone.

Authorised by Jessica Whelan, 17 Volcanic Drive Brighton 7030

SONYA WILLIAMS is seeking re-election as a Brighton councillor

MY name is Sonya Williams and I have lived in Gagebrook for 36 years. I have three children, three foster children and three grandchildren. I’m also known as Gagebrook’s unofficial ‘grandmother’. I have proudly represented this municipality for 13 years.

I presently serve on the Planning, Environment and Heritage, and Parks and Recreation committees.

I am the founder of  ‘Under One Rainbow. We are all part of the same community. Be proud of who you are’ We promote acceptance and diversity, and in 2015 we were awarded the Human Rights LGBTI award for promoting LGBTI cultural awareness in schools and at community events.

I am a member of Gagebrook Primary School Parents’ and Friends’ and Gagebrook Matters. Gagebrook Matters consists of a group of community members interested in making improvements to and lifting the image of, the community. As part of Gagebrook Matters I assisted in obtaining grants to commence the upgrading of Cris Fitzpatrick Park.

A dedicated youth space is something this community is lacking. The space would be where youth can feel safe and access the services they require supported by qualified youth workers. The youth have said this is important to them, and I will work with them and other service providers to progress this.

To me it is important for all residents to have representation on the council by someone who lives in and understand the needs of the community.

If I am re-elected, I will always be available to listen to the residents.

I look forward to continuing to work with such a progressive council.

Authorised by Sonya Williams 14 Barwick Place Gagebrook 7030