Monday, October 3, 2022

Clarence City Council Candidate Guide And Preview 2022

All candidates are directed to the note for candidates at the bottom of this page. 

Introductory Waffle

To see how it goes this year I've decided to expand my detailed coverage of Tasmanian council elections from just one to two, adding Clarence to Hobart.  If it is successful and I have far more time on my hands in 2026 than in this mess of a year I may do even more councils next time.  This guide is similar to my Hobart guide but, partly for time reasons and partly because I don't live there, will be a lot less detailed.  My core aim here is to ensure voters who want to be aware of the past party involvements of candidates have that awareness.  

During the campaign period voters will get official statements by the candidates, with photos supplied by them.  The online version includes web links for those candidates who have submitted them, but surprisingly that's only 17 out of 27.  At the start of this guide I will be including an official web link where a candidate has given one in their TEC statement, and failing that a social media or other web link if I can find one.  Unlike my Hobart guide, I will start with only one link for each candidate, but may add others.

This is a big election for Clarence.  As well as the arrival of compulsory voting, Doug Chipman (Mayor since 2011 and a councillor since 2000), is retiring.  The incumbent Deputy, Heather Chong, is running for Mayor.  Clarence will have a new Mayor, a new Deputy, and at least three new Councillors.  With two of the three departing Councillors coming from the right end of its voting pattern spectrum, Clarence council could be significantly reshaped.  

As a prelude to this article, I have compiled an assessment of Clarence council voting patterns in the current term.  Again, enormous thanks to Thomas Chick who did a huge amount of work entering data from the minutes, saving me time it has turned out that I wouldn't have had.  I think the results have been very interesting.  

Donations to cover my time in writing this guide are very welcome - but not from CCC candidates or their direct connections during the campaign period.  There's a PayPal button on the sidebar or you can email me (click "About Me" link in sidebar for my address) for bank account details. Please only donate if you are sure you can afford to.

Vote Formally, Vote Well

This section is copied from my Hobart guide, with minor changes.

After excessive rates of unintended informal voting marred the 2014 and 2018 elections for many of the city councils, the State Government has reduced the number of boxes you need to number on the Councillor ballot to 5 (meaning that any Councillor vote with at least the numbers 1 to 5 once and once only is valid even if it stops at 5 or contains numbering errors.)  The most important thing is to check you have the numbers 1 to 5 each once and once only on your Councillor vote.  

However, the more boxes you number the more effective your vote will become.  You can never harm your most preferred candidates by continuing to number more boxes.  There's a view out there that it's best to stop once you've numbered all the candidates you like, but it is generally better to keep going and put those you are lukewarm about ahead of those you might mildly oppose or feel like you know nothing about, and those ahead of any who you really cannot stand.   

For Lord Mayor and Deputy preferencing is optional.  I recommend numbering all the boxes (or leaving only your least preferred candidate blank is the same thing.) 

Candidates for Mayor and Deputy

The following are declared candidates for Mayor, all of whom are listed in the councillor guide.   A candidate cannot run for both Mayor and Deputy, and the winner of each position needs to also be elected as a councillor to serve.  Candidate names appear on ballot papers in rotated order.

Mayor candidates (4)

Blomeley, Brendan (incumbent councillor)
Chong, Heather (incumbent councillor and Deputy Mayor)
Mulder, Tony (incumbent councillor)
Warren, Beth (incumbent councillor)

Deputy Mayor candidates (11)

Figg, Mike
Hulme, Daniel
Hunter, Bree
James, Richard
(incumbent councillor)
Kennedy, Wendy (incumbent councillor)
Peers, John (incumbent councillor)
Ritchie, Allison
Tilley, Dave
von Bertouch, Sharyn (incumbent councillor)
Walker, James (incumbent councillor)
Willink, Hans Jurriaan

Candidates (27)

The following are the candidates.  There are three vacancies following the retirements of Doug Chipman and Dean Ewington and the election of Luke Edmunds to the Legislative Council.

Each candidate's name is a link that goes to what I deem to be their main web presence, if I can find one.  Where a candidate currently serves or has previously served on the council their years of service are given after their name.

Note that candidate Simon Walker was initially inadvertently omitted from this list on its release on 3 Oct - the error was rectified at 10:30 pm 4 Oct.

Bateman, Anna - television producer including formerly for ABC, formerly communications manager for Australia Institute and media advisor to Jacqui Lambie.  Local Party candidate for Franklin (federal) 2022.

Blomeley, Brendan (2000-8, 2018-present) CEO of Tasmanian Racing Club Inc and Racing Clubs Tasmania, Chairman of Parents Beyond Breakup, former David Bushby staffer and former long-term Federal Group business manager.  Prominent Liberal and golliwog fan.  

Chong, Heather (2009-present, Deputy Mayor 2018-present) Rotary director and long-term member, recently retired orchard CEO, former Treasurer of Asthma Foundation, various other past board involvements, Labor state candidate for Franklin 2014 and 2018

Collins, Jimmy - has Diploma of Business Administration and is completing studies in Antarctic & Climate Science at IMAS

Combey, Matt - vocational trainer specialising in management, communication, finance, and governance training, former finance industry planner/strategist, member of Human Research Ethics Committee (UTAS), 

Darko, Jade (Tasmanian Greens) - software engineer, environmental and social justice advocate and volunteer, Greens federal candidate for Franklin 2019 and 2022

Figg, Mike - runs small business mentoring service, former Australian Federal Police officer, member of Apex, Jaycees, Rotary, Toastmasters, Advance Lauderdale Association, TAFE teacher  2014 Palmer United Party candidate

Goyne, Emma - horse and mountainbike rider, recreational shooter, archer and four wheel driver, One Nation candidate for Lyons (federal) 2022

Harb, Noelle (link goes to ticket page) - "master energy healer" and business organiser, has been Traffic Offender Program Coordinator at PCYC Sutherland (Sydney)

Hulme, Daniel (2014-8) - former student union and Young Labor president, Labor MP for Franklin 2009-10 and 2022 minor Labor Senate candidate, taxation and computing background, ALP staffer 

Hunter, Bree - bushland manager and planner at Hobart City Council, has worked in invasive species management in New Zealand and on Macquarie Island, volunteer on residents and sporting committees

James, Anthony (link goes to brochure on ticket page) - self-employed providing disability services, background in business management, social science research, organisation etc 

James, Richard (1984-89, 1994-present) - veteran councillor, returned serviceman, former deputy chair Southern Waste Strategy Authority, distant past candidate for Liberals (1979) and Democrats (1996), frequent Legislative Council independent candidate

Jenner, Andrew - former magistrate and head of Chamber of Commerce in UK, former "Mayor of the Royal Borough Windsor and Maidenhead including Windsor Castle also Chairman of Planning"  Currently self-employed in catering and leisure

Kennedy, Wendy (2018-present) - former high-profile TV newsreader, Director of Tasmanian Racing Appeals Board, Executive Officer Tas Mens Sheds Association, Director Marketbiz and Bigchair Production & Public Relations

McPherson, Kaye (link goes to ticket page) - historical geographer and archaeologist, well-known writer on Tasmanian Aboriginal issues, President of Manuta Tunapee Puggaluggalia Historical and Cultural Association; Cultural Custodian and Spokesperson for the Lia Pootah Aboriginal Community

Mulder, Tony (2005-2011, 2018-present) - former Tasmania Police commander and "Independent Liberal" MLC for Rumney 2011-7.  Liberal state candidate 2010 but ran against party as an independent in 2018 and 2019 LegCo seats, no longer a member

Peers, John (1999-present) - veteran councillor, 2014 Palmer United state candidate, described at the time as "managing a successful business"

Rainbird, Kate - graphic designer (Bluekat) specialising in corporate communications, investor relations and publications,  Masters in Politics and Policy student, #3 Labor candidate for Senate 2022

Ritchie, Allison - Labor MLC for Pembroke 2001-9, Minister for Planning and Workplace Relations 2008, director of Tasmanian Nationals party 2014, President Boxing Tasmania, General Manager Hobart PCYC, President of lobby group “People Protecting Children”, operates family farm

Tilley, Dave - lawyer, Director with Department of Justice, former police officer and investigator on Glenorchy Board of Inquiry, Chairperson of Mental Health Council Tasmania

von Bertouch, Sharyn (2007-present) - "law, education, counselling, company directors qualifications; community sector/government management experience"

Walker, BJ - "self employed business owner in the Building, Construction and Renewable Energy Sector for 19 years.", Public Officer of Rokeby Hills Landcare Inc, creator/admin of Concerned Citizens of Clarence City Council Facebook page

Walker, James (2012-present) - local podiatrist who has also worked in practice management and health workforce planning.  Liberal candidate for Pembroke 2017 and Franklin (state) 2022.  

Walker, Simon - compliance professional of 15 years with 10 years internal financial audit experience, involved in campaigns for open space especially in Mornington area.

Warren, Beth (Tasmanian Greens) (2018-present) has worked in COVID operations (Dept of Health), in Consumer, Building and Occupational Services (Dept of Justice), as advisor to former Greens Minister Nick McKim, teacher, software engineer, trainer, business analyst. TSO chorus singer and writer.

Willink, Hans Jurriann -  IT consultant, former army bomb disposal officer, has also worked for the police, the public service and the HEC and as an advisor to Tony Mulder. Tasmania's first ever Uber driver.  Past candidate for Liberal Party (1990s) and Science Party (2016), many independent runs.  

Form Guide

This section includes a summary of past election performances (where any known) and histories of any known party or quasi-party involvements, and also assessments of past voting patterns.  This one is again in reverse alphabetical order.  Many new candidates have no previous known electoral form, but this section isn't about saying that more or less electoral form is good.  It is mainly for the purpose of saying how people have gone in the past for those interested in trying to guess how they'll go in the future - and also for knowing about party connections.  That said, as my voting pattern assessment shows, party connections are a rather weak predictor of how Clarence councillors vote.  

Note that for the 2014 election the number of seats elected at a time was increased from (usually) six to twelve, resulting in large drops in the primary votes for several incumbent councillors.

Bateman, Anna - contested Franklin at the 2022 federal election for the Local Party; was endorsed by Andrew Wilkie leading to some interest in her prospects, eventually polled 4.96%.  

Blomeley, Brendan -  Elected sixth of six to Council in 2000, polling 7.9% and defeating Kim Peart by 98 votes.  Increased vote to 9% in 2005 and elected fourth of seven.   Resigned mid-2008.  Returned to council at the 2018 election but only just - elected twelfth of twelve with 3.1%, beating Kay Macfarlane by 43 votes.  Frequently mentioned in dispatches as a possible Liberal Party candidate for state or federal politics without ever actually running,  In the current Council Blomeley was the most right-leaning Councillor, often voting together with Dean Ewington and Chipman.  

Chong, Heather - Elected sixth of six to Council in 2009, polling 3.9% and defeating incumbent Beverley Evans by eight votes.  In 2014 polled 4.6% in the larger field and elected 6th of 12, also finished a distant second to Jock Campbell in the Deputy Mayor contest.  In 2018 polled 4.5% and elected 7th out of 12, but more importantly defeated James Walker by just 80 votes to win an 11-candidate Deputy Mayor contest.  Ran for Labor in Franklin (state) 2014 and 2018 polling 760 and 2136 votes.  In the last term of Council I have assessed Chong's voting pattern as centre-right.

Darko, Jade - Greens candidate for Franklin at the 2019 and 2022 federal elections polling 16.3% and 17.4%.  Polled 671 votes as minor Greens candidate for Franklin at 2021 state election.

Figg, Mike - Previous candidate in 2005 (2%) and 2018 (1.1%).  Also Palmer United candidate for Franklin 2014 (state) polling 413 votes.  Criticised PUP campaign saying it was too much about Clive and not enough about the party (duh!)

Goyne, Emma - One Nation candidate for Lyons at 2022 federal election polling 5.4%.  

Hulme, Daniel - former President of student union at Launceston 2002-3.  Support candidate for Labor in Franklin at 2006 state election polling 620 votes, but then became a state MP on a recount after Paula Wriedt resigned in 2009.  Polled 2055 votes in 2010 but lost seat.  Got 5.8% at first run for Clarence council in 2011, finishing 8th in race for 6 seats.  At second attempt got 4.2% in 2014 and elected 10th out of 12, but vote slumped to 2.1% in 2018 and was defeated after not submitting a candidate statement.  #4 Labor candidate for Senate 2022 polling 1175 votes.

James, Richard - Councillor from 1984 to 1989 and 1994 onwards and has run in more elections than I have room to list.  Candidate for the Liberal Party in the 1979 state election and the Democrats in 1996, unaware of any party memberships since.  Contested Pembroke for the Legislative Council six times between 1989 and 2017, including three distant second places, with most recent result (2017) the weakest at 7.4%.  A strong vote getter at recent Council elections, first elected at the 2007 and 2011 half-elections, then elected second with quota (8%) in 2014, but dropped a little to 5.8% and elected fourth in 2018.  In the last term of Clarence council I have assessed his voting as the most left-wing of the current councillors, with a strong tendency towards lone dissents and often being on the losing side of motions.

Kennedy, Wendy - Elected at the first attempt in 2018 polling 5.7% and crossing the line 5th out of 12. In the last term of Clarence council I have assessed her voting as centre-left.

Mulder, Tony - Elected 6th of 7 with 6.8% in 2005.  Re-elected 5th of 6 with 7.0% in 2009.  Liberal candidate for Franklin at 2010 state election polling 1,986 votes, ultimately losing a fairly close contest for the final seat to Jacquie Petrusma.  Ran for Rumney 2011 as an "independent liberal" and unseated trouble-plagued Labor incumbent Lin Thorp (about 53-47 two-candidate preferred).  However then lost the seat to Labor's Sarah Lovell in 2017 by a similar margin after one term.  Recovered Council seat easily in 2018 coming second with 11.4%, losing the mayoral race to Chipman around 44-56.  Has also had Legislative Council runs for Prosser 2018 and Pembroke 2019 finishing 4th and 3rd respectively.  As a Legislative Councillor Mulder tended to vote on the right, but not very predictably.  In the last term of Clarence council I have assessed his voting as centrist and slightly left-leaning. 

Peers, John - First elected in 1999 with 6.9% rising to 11.3% (second) in the 2005 half-election but modest results in 2014 (4.4%, 8th of 12 elected) and 2018 (4.0%, 11th of 12).  Palmer United candidate at 2014 state election in Franklin polling 613 votes.  Ran for Pembroke 2007 polling 9.3%, and 2009 polling 9.6%.  In the last term of Clarence council I have assessed his voting pattern as centrist.

Rainbird, Kate - #3 Labor Senate candidate for Tasmania 2022 polling 2106 votes.  

Ritchie, Allison - Elected as Labor MLC for Pembroke in 2001, the youngest MLC ever elected, defeating incumbent and former Mayor Cathy Edwards 53.8-46.2.  Re-elected easily in 2007 polling 42.9% in a field of six.  Briefly Minister for Planning and Workplace Relations but resigned from the ministry in 2008 for health reasons, then quit parliament entirely in 2009 following controversy over the appointment of family members to her office.  Challenged her successor Vanessa Goodwin in 2013, this time as an independent, but Goodwin beat her by 15% on primary votes (which would have closed somewhat on Greens preferences).  In 2014 became state director (but not a candidate) for the Tasmanian Nationals, a weird outfit that was at times connected to the federal National Party before having its affiliation cancelled, and that polled a ridiculously small tally of votes.

von Bertouch, Sharyn - Elected as a Greens candidate in 2007 with 8.8% (5th elected of 6).  Ran as an independent in 2011 and was elected 2nd with 9.1%, then 4th in the 2014 full election with 6.1% before slipping to 4.1% (8th) in 2018.  In the current term of council I have assessed von Bertouch's voting pattern as centre-right, albeit with a fairly high tendency to have a different opinion to other councillors.

Walker, James - Thereabouts but unsuccessful in 2009 (4.1%, 9th) and 2011 (4.7%, 8th) but then got elected on the recount when Mulder moved to the Legislative Council.  Retained (4.3%, 9th of 12) in 2014 and again retained in 2018 (3.6%, 10th of 12), the year in which he just missed out to Chong as Deputy.  Liberal candidate for Pembroke at the 2017 by-election where he just shaded Chipman for second but Chipman's preferences were unhelpful and Labor were much too far ahead anyway.  (In this campaign Liberal operatives targeted Chipman over his age and lifestyle, and were widely condemned for doing so).  Also ran as a replacement Liberal candidate for Franklin at the 2021 state election, polling 2468 votes.  In the last term of council I have assessed Walker's voting pattern as basically centrist and just a whisker to the right.  

Warren, Beth - Elected third in 2018 with 6.9% as endorsed Greens candidate.  In the last term of council I have assessed her voting pattern as left, but considerably less left/prone to vote against a lot of things than James'.

Willink, Hans Jurriaan - Among the state's best-known serial candidates with twelve previous unsuccessful runs (six Clarence, three LegCo, two House of Assembly and one Senate), all of these as an independent bar running for the Liberal Party in 1996 and the Science Party in the 2016 Senate race.  In the very distant past a Liberal branch president.  Has had some colourful scrapes including being heavied by the Liberal Party with a ludicrous cease and desist letter after running as an "independent liberal" for Nelson in 2013, and also not making Andrew Wilkie's Christmas card list with a "Like Wilkie? Try Willink" state campaign in 2014.  But he might be finally getting closer - in 2018 Willink missed a Clarence seat by just 120 votes, and his Pembroke 2022 LegCo vote of 9.3% was far from shabby.  

Issues - Under Construction

Issues to be added as time permits.

1 . Kangaroo Bay Development: A large hotel and hospitality school development at Kangaroo Bay was approved by the council in 2017 after a high-profile debate but building on the site has not commenced.  In December 2020 the council voted 7-5 to grant a two-year extension (James, Kennedy, Peers and Warren against and Edmunds abstaining and counted as against).  The company involved, Chambroad, now intends to build a hotel only and a deadline for substantial commencement is about to expire.  The company is seeking a further extension; both the Greens and the Blomeley/Ritchie "Better Clarence" ticket are supporting returning the land to public ownership.  In a Facebook comment in what appears to be a reference to Blomeley's stance, Mulder writes "By then [Chambroad] have to apply for extension. If they do we must consider there reasons (contract) and can only reject if we disagree with reasons, otherwise we will get shafted by the courts.some aldertypes have backflipped which is pleasing but they've come out in the media without an application being made and without seeing the reasons, let alone assessing them."

Campaign - Under Construction

Comments on notable campaigning issues to be added as campaign develops.

1. Sign silliness: in a bit of a change to the usual story about signs being ripped down by rivals, an old poster for Beth Warren has somehow ended up on the fence of Dean Ewington's business, probably as a joke at Ewington's expense.  

Teams and Tickets

Some candidates choose to run on tickets with other candidates.  Tickets are not necessarily parties - they are alliances of convenience that may have an ideological basis but that are not always good at predicting future voting patterns.  The following tickets have been detected (others if detected will be added, as will notes on cross-endorsements that fall below ticket level):

Tasmanian Greens - Warren, Darko

Better Clarence - Blomeley, Ritchie, Harb, Anthony James, McPherson

Chong/Walker Mayor/Deputy ticket (a Labor/Liberal member ticket which is not as unusual as it sounds - in fact Chong has voted somewhat to the right of Walker on the current council)

Figg has endorsed Jenner as a preferred #2 preference.

Prospects - Mayor

The Mayoral race is a good one because the candidates each represent a recognisable slice of the council's voting patterns over the last four years - Blomeley has been on the right, Chong in the centre-right, Mulder slightly left of centre and Warren on the left.  Also they are all serious candidates and there are no tryhards cluttering the mayoral ballot paper.  It is hard to read too much into Chong and Mulder's respective forms from 2018 because Mulder was running for Mayor while Chong was not, and candidates for Deputy often seem not to do too well on Councillor ballots under the new system.   Also Chong has been the established Deputy over the past four years.  I would think either of the more central candidates would have an advantage over Blomeley or Warren on preferences if they were to make the final two against one of those two, but there's a fair chance that won't happen and the final two will be Mulder and Chong.  Here from both sides there are interesting preference dynamics because Chong has a Labor past and Mulder has a Liberal past, yet in voting pattern terms Mulder has been left of Chong in this term of council.  Gender voting dynamics could also play a role in preferencing here.  

Prospects - Deputy Mayor

Urgh I'm sorry, but 11 candidates for Deputy Mayor is a bit messy and I really think there should be deposits for running for city councillor and extra deposits for running for leadership positions.  Anyway this field has five incumbents in it (James, Kennedy, Peers, von Bertouch and Walker).  Most of these didn't set the world on fire electorally in 2018 but that didn't stop Walker nearly winning this position anyway.  The interesting one here is Kennedy because 2018 was her first election, so has she built support?   On the outside we have Ritchie who is a very well-known name (which might help under compulsory voting) even if not all of the knowledge is positive.  I don't know enough to say none of the others are in this either, though if either Figg or Willink win I will be suitably astonished.

Prospects - Councillor

Here I really don't know enough about the field to say which new candidates are going to get up from the start - some of the new ones appear very well credentialled - so I'll make this very general.  This is far from a "bases loaded" election  - there are a cushy three vacancies and so incumbents whose councillor performances looked a bit fragile in 2018 (eg Peers, von Bertouch, Walker) may well be lifted.  That said there is enough quality and profile in the challengers, and compulsory voting to affect the picture as well, that I'm not sure all the incumbents are safe.  The mayoral contenders should all be fine - while Blomeley's return last time was far from emphatic, he should benefit from the departures of two councillors with similar voting habits.   Clarence should be a place where party cues have some benefit in harnessing votes under compulsory voting so Labor connections might stand Rainbird, Hulme (and maybe Ritchie too, see above) in good stead.  It will be interesting to see how James holds up and whether his support base translates to compulsory voting given the surge in support for the Greens at recent elections and competition from new non-Greens environmentally focussed independents and teal-style candidates  More comments may be added.

Note For Candidates

I haven't covered Clarence council before so I don't know if Clarence candidates can be as annoying as a small minority of Hobart ones.  In general in covering elections, I find that most candidates are sensible but there are always a few who seem to think that because I am voluntarily covering the election they are running in that makes me their slave.  Almost as annoying are those who think that if they fail to put information somewhere where I'd find it, that's my fault.  

The rules for my Clarence guide are slightly different to Hobart.

Candidates or their connections may contact me via email or on Twitter at any time to seek corrections of anything in this guide that is clearly factually incorrect or clearly misleading.  Please do not stretch the concept of factual error to include differences of opinion, interpretation or emphasis.  

Candidates or their connections may contact me once only for the following purposes:

1. To have their link changed or a link added in the event that there is not one already (this is the link that the candidate's name goes to.)

2. To supply extra links to bio material that is publicly available online or in brochure form to the voters and that I may find of interest for the candidate list sections.  (Do not email me material for inclusion or suggestions for edits/changes to bios, I am only interested in using publicly available material and will use it as I see fit.)  Note that I strictly limit my bio section to three lines per candidate.  

3. To request that their name not carry any link at all.

Requests that blame me for not unearthing information, or are in any way disrespectful or threatening will result in that candidate getting no links at all!  

Where candidates or their connections fail to read the instructions and send me emails showing they do not understand that their name is a clickable link, such candidates may be criticised publicly by name for wasting my time.

Any comments about this guide that I become aware of by any means including indirect hearsay are on the public record, especially if stated otherwise.  
Candidates are welcome to whinge about alleged bias etc in comments.

1 comment:

  1. My thanks to you and your helpers for doing this, it really helps.