George Copeland has lived in Waverley Ward for 30 years, with his family of three calling Waverley home. He was a Waverley councillor for 9 years (two terms) from 1999 to 2008 and won his second term in 2004 with a substantial increase in primary vote.
During this time, George filled leadership roles including Deputy Mayor of Waverley Council, Chair of the Community, Housing, Environmental Services and Public Works Committee, and Chair of the Sydney Coastal Councils Group (representing 15 councils). George is a former IT professional, and has tertiary qualifications in IT and Environmental Studies.
George comes from a farming background. He loves the bush, backcountry skiing, music, languages and surfing.
George’s 6 Point Plan for Lawson Ward
1. Support the Councillor Code of Conduct and live streaming of Council meetings.
In recent times the Councillor Code of Conduct has been abused and the behaviour in the Council Chambers has been appalling. Let’s shine a light on the activities that Council has been trying to hide. Specially in relation to support of Council amalgamations which is aimed at reducing local democracy and increasing secrecy
2. Increase open space and maintain the current zoning of Waverley Bowling Club.
However the Easts Leagues Club is threatening the very existence of the Bowling Club on it’s Birrell St site. Their proposal is about huge development profits for Easts, not about club services, members or the wider community. The proposed loss of open space and community facilities at Waverley Bowlo is deplorable. The redevelopment of the Bowlo as “seniors living” is a trojan horse. Once approved it will be transformed into apartments with greater community impacts. The new development will significantly stress infrastructure and impose on neighbouring residents (traffic, parking, overshadowing, recreational opportunities etc) – even worse if it follows the Benevolent Society model. The North Bondi site is unsuitable for bowls – climate, location. If the Golf Club is failing, let’s turn the golf course into a public park when the lease ends next year, and the clubhouse into a community centre.
3. Improve the village feel of the Bondi Road Transport Corridor and oppose overdevelopment.
Protect heritage buildings. Be wary of the Transport Corridor Plan, which on the face of it, is promoting light rail along Bondi Rd, however reading between the lines it is a ploy to overdevelop along the length of Bondi Rd, remove parking for business customers, and create the destruction and havoc that we are witnessing with the building of the South- East light rail.
4. Increase the proportion of public transport use, walking and cycling, and reduce road speeds.
Transport is about getting from A to B in the most efficient, healthy and environmentally friendly manner. This is not served by bowing to the Car God which congests the road space necessary for bus movements, pollutes the air, causes more accidents and reduces residential environmental amenity by blocking view corridors along streets caused by large vehicles parking in driveways and kerb-side.
5. Promote planning for the community, not for the developers – increase affordable housing.
We will advocate for affordable housing and rights for renters. We will advocate for an Empty Homes Levy on investment homes that have been vacant for 12 months or more – the levy will be used fund affordable community housing. Council strategic planning is based on the one-dimensional Waverley Together 3 (WT3) plan, when it could be based on the multi-dimensional template offered by the NSW Govt. Waverley Council imposed the one-dimensional version without consultation which assumes each issue has only one theme. The multi-dimensional version encourages analysis of each important issue across all four themes of society, economy, environment and civic leadership.
6. Protect our beaches and the community from climate change.
Over the last several years our coastal infrastructure has been pounded by heavy seas. We are still waiting to have the Coastal Walk at the Cemetery repaired. We understand protection by Waverley Council has been insufficient but responding to a new Climate Council report will generate a pledge for local action on climate change. The report shows how Local Governments are able to deliver effective action and are “leading State and Federal governments on tackling climate change and capitalising on opportunities in renewable energy.” The Climate Council has invited local governments to sign up to its Cities Power Partnership pledge.