Cr Stone elected Yarra Mayor for 2016/2017
Thursday 10 November 2016
Yarra City Council has elected long time Langridge Ward Councillor and community advocate Amanda Stone as its new Mayor for 2016/17.
Cr Stone, who is known for her passion and commitment to Yarra’s liveability, environment and heritage, also served as Yarra’s Mayor in 2008/09.
She is one of five women councillors who make up the new Yarra Council, officially sworn-in at a ceremonial meeting at Richmond Town Hall.
An advocate for social justice and a sustainable Yarra, Cr Stone said she was honoured to be re-elected to represent her community for the next four years and to lead the new Council as Mayor for 12 months.
“Our community are telling us they want to see change in the way we do things and stronger action, and they want to have a greater say in the future shape of our city,” Cr Stone said.
“With Yarra experiencing significant growth and change, rather than put up a wall we need to work with our community to manage it and derive the maximum community benefit.”
Cr Stone said she was looking forward to working with the new Council on the urgent need to address climate change, to create quality shared spaces and resources, advocate for improved public transport, provide opportunities for safer cycling and walking, build a greener city with open space and vegetation in areas of new development, and protect and enhance our existing parks and gardens.
“Our services need to support people who most need them and be mindful of the growing income disparity across our city,” she said.
“I’d also like Yarra to continue improving how we involve our community and am pleased we are providing lots of opportunities for people to help us shape the next Council Plan.”
In areas of State Government policy, Cr Stone said Yarra needed a strong voice to advocate for better outcomes particularly in regards to housing affordability, transport, planning, climate change and waste.
“We have a strong, energetic and motivated council, skilled and experienced officers and an engaged and active community that will help Council show great leadership and push for change,” she said.
Cr Stone said she was excited by the makeup of the new Council describing it as diverse and representative of the demographics of Yarra for which the largest resident age group is people aged 20-44 years old.
“The new Council has a balance of experienced long-term Councillors and newly elected Councillors who not only bring with them fresh ideas, energy and skill sets, but also common ground on many issues,” she said.
In her Mayoral acceptance speech Cr Stone referred to the conclusions of the 2015 Liveable Yarra deliberative engagement People’s Panel who were tasked with making recommendations on the rewrite of Yarra’s planning scheme which is currently underway. The Panel concluded: “Whilst willing to accommodate growth and change, the Panel hope Yarra City Council will manage this with the same focus on multiculturalism, political activism and environmental consciousness that they are very proud of. Panel members invite Council to be bold in setting the future course of the city and to continue to set the standards amongst its peers.”
In response Cr Stone said: “We need to be bold but not reckless. We need to be open to new ways of doing things whilst respectful of what has worked in the past. We have to accept change and direct it in the way that best meets community needs and aspirations. We need to harness the strengths of the whole community in setting our direction and as Councillors we have to use each other’s strengths and contributions in the best interests of the community who elected us and the planet which supports our existence.”
Acknowledgement of previous Council
Cr Stone thanked the outgoing Yarra Council for demonstrating leadership in many areas including approving the construction of Bargoonga Nganjin (the new $14million North Fitzroy Library), the Wellington Street bicycle lanes and Yarra’s award winning pop-up parks – just to name a few initiatives!
Of particular note, she said, was Yarra being named the 2016 Victorian Sustainable City of the Year, being the first carbon neutral Council in Victoria and Australia’s first One Planet certified council. The Liveable Yarra deliberative engagement project as part of the ongoing rewrite of the Yarra Planning Scheme was also an achievement she is proud of.
Cr Stone is an education consultant who has previously worked as a teacher, student counsellor and assistant principal. She is currently chairperson on the board of one of Australia's longest-serving aid agencies Partners in Aid, chairperson of Collingwood Headspace Consortium and a member of the Greens Party.
The nine councillors in the Yarra City Council are:
Nicholls Ward: Cr Misha Coleman, Cr Jackie Fristacky, Cr Mike McEvoy
Langridge Ward: Cr Danae Bosler, Cr Stephen Jolly, Cr Amanda Stone
Melba Ward: Cr Mi-Lin Chen Yi Mei, Cr Daniel Nguyen, Cr James Searle
Further information about Yarra’s councillors can be found on Council’s website.
Council is currently talking to the community about the new Council Plan, which will set the agenda for the new Council up until 2021.
We’re asking people to share what they love about Yarra, and what we should focus on over the next four years to make it an even better place to live, work and visit. Please contribute your ideas by visiting the Your Say Yarra website.