Meet your Independent Candidates - RCC

Dear Randwick City Council Residents,


I’m Noel D’Souza and I am co-ordinating the efforts of the independent councillors running for Randwick Council on the 4th of September. They include a La Perouse Elder, a former rugby league great and others with deep community ties. I hope you will support my team and help us build a better and financially stronger Randwick. Here’s a bit of information about each of us and the important issues facing the community.

SOUTH WARD:

NOEL D’SOUZA has now retired from running his two pharmacies in Matraville after 35 years. He still remains passionate about local politics. “I wanted to build a better South Ward and so I became your Councillor, then Mayor for two years. I’m proud that the South Ward of today is a better place to live in work and play. I will work hard on further improvements for South Ward while protecting it from threats like the cogeneration incinerator at Matraville, the Meriton overdevelopment at Little Bay and the cruise terminal at Yarra Bay.”

CARLOS DA ROCHA is a vocal champion of the community who last year blew the whistle on a noise pollution issue in the port area. A councillor since 2017, he takes an anti-development stance. “I want to preserve the unspoiled nature of Matraville and surrounding suburbs,” he says. Issues at the top of his agenda include stopping the building of an incinerator at Matraville and a cruise terminal at Yarra Bay. Carlos has fought hard to ensure Mental Health care is prioritised in future council budgets and that SES members and other volunteers are recognised for their unselfish and tireless service.

SEMONE JACKSON is an indigenous woman who was brought up on the mission at La Perouse. She is the daughter of Alan (Jacko) Jackson and Gloria Jackson, community Elders now living in Queensland. She wants to make a difference and protect her Aboriginal culture and customs. “I’m passionate about the environment and will fight to save Yarra Bay for our community.” she says.

 

CENTRAL WARD:

ANTHONY ANDREWS has lived in Randwick for 43 years and has been a councillor since 2000. He has led a community campaign for the protection of the Malabar Headland. “We need to protect it as community parkland and assess what the plans are for the rifle range,” he says.  “The site would be worth a fortune as a residential development for the privileged few.”

CENTRAL WARD:

ANTHONY ANDREWS has lived in Randwick for 43 years and has been a councillor since 2000. He has led a community campaign for the protection of the Malabar Headland. “We need to protect it as community parkland and assess what the plans are for the rifle range,” he says.  “The site would be worth a fortune as a residential development for the privileged few.”

EAST WARD:

RUSSELL FAIRFAX is fighting to save and upgrade the gymnastics centre on Bunnerong Road, Matraville. He and his daughter Nadia, a member there, believe the current facilities are not good enough and want to see greater resources provided for the centre. Russell knows a thing or two about sport – he was a star player with Easts in the 1970s and played rugby for Australia. He is long-time local and will fight to retain the shark nets currently protecting beachgoers. “I will respectfully ask the council to stop lobbying to remove nets until technology provides a similar barrier and safety.”
 

PAUL COOPER has been deeply involved in the redevelopment of Heffron Park and has been an advocate for local sporting groups. Like Russell, he believes Bunnerong Gymnastics “inadequately services the young gymnasts of this area.”  He would like to see a better, more functional gymnastics centre built at Heffron Park which will service the needs of many young women athletes. Paul is also a very good fisherman who champions the rights of fishermen and women in NSW. He says he will bring "honesty and transparency" to council.

BRUCE PICKETT lived in the Coogee area for over 40 years and runs a local business. He is a former Rugby League player with Easts and Newtown Jets.  “I would like to contribute fresh ideas and vision to the council,” he says.

NORTH WARD:

BARBARA SIMMS was one of the ‘Stolen Generation.’ At the age of three, she and four siblings were forcibly removed from their mother’s home in La Perouse. If elected she’ll press the council to create a promised Stolen Generation memorial at La Perouse. “I have been a community advocate and an Aboriginal Elder for many years lobbying governments and people to give indigenous people equal rights and opportunities,” says ‘Auntie’ Barbara. “My core beliefs are ‘Equity, social justice and a fair go for all. I am a strong believer in decreasing our carbon footprint through programs such as subsidised solar panels for schools and residents and more funds invested in cycleways to decrease the use of cars.”

ANNICK ANTOINE was born in France and has lived in Australia for 20 years, most of that time in the Randwick LGA. A French teacher at Cranbrook and The Lycee Condorcet in Maroubra, Annick is an environmentalist with an interest in alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power. “I support programs that will lead to zero carbon emissions by 2030,” she says.

GARY DI PAOLA is running for Council on a platform of protecting local bus services. "Cutting bus routes to service the Light Rail is really ridiculous," he says. He is a small business owner who has suffered and survived the economic devastation of COVID.

Ours is a strong partnership, one based on shared values and a shared vision for building an even stronger Randwick.

CREATING A BETTER RANDWICK AND SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY

Noel D’Souza established his first pharmacy at the northern end of Bunnerong Road in 1984 and in 1987 shifted to the centre of Matraville, where he opened a second shop alongside The Commonwealth Bank. In 2012 he opened his pharmacy in the Woolworths shopping complex in Matraville.

As many locals will tell you, Noel is a pillar of support who has always gone that extra mile to help people, particularly the elderly and disadvantaged. His good works have extended way beyond the pharmacy counter. For the past six years he has been a Randwick City Councillor and was Mayor of Randwick from 2015 to 2017. He was recently honoured by France, which has appointed him a Knight in the National Order of Légion d’Honneur for his work on securing the La Perouse Museum for the Randwick community and creating a place where French, Australian and Indigenous culture can be celebrated.

During his time as mayor, Noel notched up many other achievements of great benefit to the community, including:

  • Giving booze-swilling beach hoons their marching orders by banning alcohol consumption on beaches and reserves in Coogee.

  • Building of an all-inclusive playground and skate park at Chifley.

  • The underground Coogee Beach facilities.

  • Community centre in Day Street Kensington.


Now there are fresh challenges looming which Noel and his fellow-independents want to tackle. “We are all against the incinerator being built at Matraville, overdevelopment at Little Bay and the proposed cruise ship terminal at Yarra Bay. Fighting the attack on our bus services is also top of our agenda. Another issue we will look at is helping businesses to bounce back post-pandemic. We will give urgent attention to helping businesses in Coogee Bay Road and other parts of East Ward bounce back with strategies that will help them get good business year-round, not just seasonally.”

Other priorities include bringing back the post office to Matraville, and reviewing Council rates and charges for the structuring of a rebate to help struggling families.

Plus there are crucial environmental goals. Noel says: “We will introduce strong environmental policies and use the Environmental Levy to protect the natural fauna and flora. We also need to invest more in stormwater harvesting systems with emphasis on recycling and reuse systems to protect our aquatic and marine life and their ecosystem.”