I don’t have time to read all of this!
With friends like these…
How to Vote Card
Yildiz has preferenced his fellow independents, John Kavanagh and Francesco Timpano, second and third, suggesting a common ground which, as we shall see, is not wholly reciprocated. He has put Liberal first of all the parties, followed by Labor, the Greens, Animal Justice and the Socialists.
It’s almost a perfect mirror of the Socialist ticket. Suffice it to say that Mr Yildiz probably does not lean to the left, politically speaking.
The Body Politic
Policies, Snark, Terrible Theme Songs and Other Observations
Oscar Yildiz is by far the most organised of the Independent candidates in Pascoe Vale, and if I were to go only on the evidence of my letterbox, I would suspect that he was the only candidate. We’ve had a how to vote card from him, a flyer and a leaflet (both delivered in person to my husband, who had a cold and thus sadly did not have the presence of mind to capture and interrogate Yildiz on my behalf), and also an attack ad flyer authorised by the ALP, calling him a Fake Liberal.
(I’m dubious about the last one. I mean, setting aside the fact that attack ads are generally a bit iffy and have the capacity to backfire, surely being a Fake Liberal is a good thing? I mean, doesn’t that imply that he is pretending to be a Liberal but is actually, secretly, Something Else? Like, for example, a Real Labor guy?)
I’m not sure what Yildiz did to piss off the local Labor party, but it must have been something good. Also, I am against attack ads, so I refuse to spend time analysing this one. The ad, and Yildiz’s response, can be found on his Facebook page.
In addition to all that lovely paper, Yildiz has a website, telling us that he is our trusted local and that it is time for action. So we have a lot to do here!
Yildiz is a former Moreland Mayor and a current councillor for North West Ward. His leaflet offers five reasons to vote for him:
- Oscar is a passionate local. He was born and raised here, with deep ties to this community.
- Oscar is hardworking and committed to the highest degree, and he always delivers on his promises.
- Oscar is always accessible, approachable, and proud to serve this community.
- Oscar will actively listen and consult with the community to ensure there is action.
- Oscar is committed to fighting for the issues that matter to the people of Pascoe Vale and his track record of sticking up for the local community is clear.
He’s selling the local angle pretty strongly, and his online biography also stresses the fact that he went to local schools and lives and works in the community rather than having been ‘parachuted in’.
His postcard adds
I was born and raised in Moreland and have served as your Mayor and Councillor for over a decade. This area has been a safe Labor seat for 63 years and it’s time for CHANGE. The political parties are clearly out of touch! This area needs a NEW VOICE, a FRESH FACE, an ENERGETIC and EXPERIENCED representative who will actively listen and take action. I won’t be any parties puppet and will always put you and this community FIRST.”
I wonder how many electorates are feeling neglected by the major parties? It feels as though this has been a big theme for this election. Or is it just that this is the sort of belief that drives someone to become an independent or to start a new political party, and it isn’t actually reflected in the wider electorate at all?
On to the policies!
Better Community Safety
Yildiz wants more police resources, tougher sentencing (especially for people who attack ambos and nurses) and more CCTV monitoring. In other words, he is Tough On Crime, and possibly shouldn’t have posed for a happy snap with someone widely suspected to be an underworld figure. I know, I know, it’s a cheap shot, but it was literally the second thing on Google after Yildiz’s name. I could hardly miss it.
He does want better youth support services to prevent young people falling into crime, though, so that’s nice.
Yildiz wants to remove level crossings and the City Link Gantry at Albion Street (I’m not too sure what the gantry has done to earn his ire…). He wants more road maintenance and an ‘alternative East-West route that will ease traffic and alleviate congestion on our roads’.
He wants to extend the 19 and 58 tram lines, and has an ambitious plan for a train that would follow the route of the Western Ring Road. I would think this would be right up the Andrews government’s alley, so he might get somewhere with that.
Yildiz wants public transport to be free for pensioners and cheaper for people on low incomes, including students. He does not say how this will happen. He also wants better infrastructure for bicycles and pedestrians.
Look, I’m easy. You can always buy me with a new train line and promises of better bike paths. I’m good with this policy.
Cost of Living
Yildiz wants more rebates and concessions for people on pensions, low income families, and parents with disabled children. He also wants lower registration fees, levies, and state taxes.
This is lovely, but a trifle vague.
Planning and Housing
Yildiz also wants people to have safe, affordable and secure housing. Indeed, he is ‘sick of waiting for action on affordable housing’.
Oscar is committed to working to achieve more social housing, he will campaign to strengthen the Residential Tenancies Act with more balance, increase public housing and ensure the government completes the reforms that would make housing more affordable for first home buyers.
There are many international models around the world where they have been able to address these issues more effectively, the time for talking is over and the time for action is here.
This is a bit waffly, to be honest. The only concrete action here is strengthening the Residential Tenancies Act – he doesn’t say how he will increase public housing, or what these reforms are that will make housing affordable.
At the same time, he wants mandatory height controls for new developments, and for locals to have more involvement in development. I’m not sure how you can have it both ways – more housing is likely to mean higher density housing, and most locals don’t want that, at least until we get more infrastructure.
I’m not saying he doesn’t mean it, I’m just saying that I don’t think he’s actually put a lot of thought into the housing part of this policy.
In addition, he wants to build Coburg Square and also the Wheatsheaf Hub in Glenroy. Glenroy has been forgotten, but Yildiz remembers it!
Oscar will campaign for $6 -10 million of state government funding. This funding will establish the Glenroy Library, children’s centre (including maternal, child care and kinder), Merri Health outreach, Glenroy neighbourhood learning centre space, shared meeting and activity rooms and kitchen, exhibition and more open space and a community garden.
Oh wow, Yildiz has been endorsed by Vasili of Vasili’s Garden! I love it!
Apparently, Yildiz works full time for a sustainability company and wants the new government to devise new strategies for recycling. He wants to subsidise recycling bins, solar power and rainwater tanks, and plant more trees.
Oscar will campaign for reverse vending machines (return and earn container deposit scheme) to be introduced and he promises to work with Moreland Council to introduce new rebates for the collection of whitegoods, TV’s, electrical goods, clothing and computers.
Fans of, er, community-driven recycling via Hard Waste Collection Week are going to be sad about this one…
But these are good policies, and I’m beginning to wonder why he is so unpopular with the other parties. (Best guess? Council shenanigans. I mean, he’s been around the political scene long enough for people to have worked with them, and I’m guessing they have formed some Opinions.)
Youth and Education
Apparently in addition to working full time for a sustainability company and being a city councillor, Yildiz is also a school teacher and I’m beginning to wonder if he sleeps.
Anyway. He wants better maintenance of primary and secondary schools, and better training for teachers. And more kindergarten and childcare places.
He also wants better youth services, particularly access to mental health services and non-traditional educational opportunities.
Yildiz wants better aged care services, and the aforementioned discounts to bills, including council rates.
Sport and Recreation
Yildiz wants more funding for sporting facilities, including making them safer for women. Also:
We have state-owned land that could be better used as parks and sporting grounds rather than be sold off to potential developers. Our community deserves better!
Oscar will campaign to ensure Coburg leisure centre becomes a $70 million facility, if those in the eastern suburbs have it, why can’t we? Our parks sadly lack exercise equipment, he commits to providing more funding to ensure families enjoy their local parks with their families.
You can never go wrong in the inner north with a complaint that the Eastern Suburbs have it better.
I’m not quite sure what to make of Yildiz, to be honest. His preferences certainly suggest conservative leanings, but he does seem to be the sort of conservative who thinks the environment needs to be looked after, so that’s something, and he clearly is concerned about people on low incomes (especially families – ‘low income families’ is a phrase that comes up a fair bit). He also comes across as competent and rational, which puts him way ahead of some other parties and candidates I’ve encountered this election.
And he does seem very invested in very local issues, which is a pleasing thing in a local candidate.