同路人語 620

墨爾本市政府選舉改制大混戰將開始

周偉文

                維州各巿政府將於10月24日進行選舉,9月22日中午已截止提名。

                今次選舉的一個特色,是各選區進行單議席選舉, 選區比之前的雙議席或三議席選舉縮小了一半或三分之二。候選人由很小的社區選出,選舉結果預期很難預測。在墨爾本華人聚居的東區,早幾個月已我們見到大量華人表達要成為候選人,爭取選民支持。有華人早在數月前已經在車站等公眾地方拉票。在博士山巿中心商業區的選區, 有六位華人參選,其中多位從事地產行業。

                在這些候選人中,不少人都是沒有很多社區服務經驗,但卻多是從事服務行業或從商。在未來一個月,這些人都會爭取在社區中出現,要廣為人認識。我想起多年前一位參選墨爾本巿長的一位來自中國的地產經紀,在各大中文刊物中刊登頭版廣告,說自己獲得各社區領袖的支持參選,卻從不向選民宣傳及拉票,結果是她的廣告在中國報刊大事報導她是如何成功的經紀,卻沒有在選舉中得到多少張選票。華人向來是懂得自己宣傳的。

                參選是每一個合乎資格選民的權利,不應用來作為自己宣傳的機會。要說服選民支持,就要拿出一些成績及誠意出來。從候選人過去在社區事務的參與及取得對社區發展的成果,就能分別出誰人是真正盡心為社區服務。墨爾本東區華人居住者真的不少,我們就更要小心運用手上的選票,選出有經驗及用心服事社區的,來管理巿政府。

                在兩週前州長安德魯斯推出餐館加強戶外進餐,在疫症期間保持安全的政策,這對華人從事餐飲業者在隔離政策下確是大有幫助,不過困難亦多,尤其是巿政府條例多多,增加業界困難。我曾經分別接觸在萬年興巿、白馬巿及蒙納殊巿的三位華人巿議員,討論巿政府該如何協助華人餐館在這政策中可以接待更多客人。這些現任巿議員確是熱心,有一些即時向巿政府的總經理反映,並要求他們盡力協助巿內飲食業。

                我盼望在這次選舉中,一直盡心盡力協助社區的議員能順利連任,不要給一些機會主義的華人,混水摸魚及互相勾結,互相交換得票而勝出。當然這只能繫於手上持有選票的選民,盡上本份去細心認識各候選人的經驗,從而用選票選出最適合的人。

An uncertain change in local council election

Victorian Council Election will start on 24 October and all nominations were in by 22 September noon.

One special feature of this election is the single-member seat meaning a half of two-third reduction compared to previous 2-member seat and 3-member seat system. Candidates representing small electorates will make outcome more unpredictable. Months ago I have noticed many Chinese candidates came out for election campaign in the Eastern suburbs with high Chinese population. Just in Boxhill central commercial area there are six candidates with several from the real estates industry.

Many of this lot of candidates, mainly from hospitality and commerce sectors, do not really possess community serving experience. In the coming month they will swamp out for their public appearance. I remember years ago there was a Melbourne city mayor candidate, a Chinese real estate agent, who used extensive advertising coverage in Chinese publication to promote her support from local community leaders. This exaggerated propaganda only painted her as a successful real estate agent rather than a popular politician.

To enrol as an election candidate is the right for any qualified person but not as an opportunity for personal propaganda. Voters need to see a candidate’s track record, commitment and achievement in community serving. We Chinese living in the Eastern suburbs must use our discerning voting power in selecting the right and candid candidate for our local government.

Two weeks ago Premier Andrew proposed outdoor dining as a way out amid pandemic social restrictions. This is a good news for Chinese catering industry but there could be difficulties under various local Council regulations. I have been in touch with three Chinese Councillors from Manningham, Whitehorse and Monash to see how the Councils can facilitate Chinese eatery outlets in this process for higher business turnover. These serving Councillors have been very keen in approaching the Council CEOs for support in the interest of our Chinese business communities.

I hope in this election those with track record of serving the community could succeed in retaining their seats, rather than for some opportunists to prevail through joint hands. This hinges on the voters’ informed and careful exercising of their voting right in hand.

Raymond Chow, Publisher

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