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Ben Ramcharan

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve included a list of frequently asked questions below. I love hearing from my community so if you have any questions or comments or if you would like to discuss what matters to you, please get in touch. My contact details can be found at the top of this page.

What impact will COVID-19 have on the election?

In April, the Local Government Minister was called upon to postpone this year’s Council Election. He did not do so and the election will go ahead as planned. This will have an impact on all candidates, as we will not be able to run fundraising events. We also won’t be able to knock on your door to say hi or stand outside your local shop to have a conversation with you. This makes it difficult for candidates to share their message and for the community to participate in local democracy and learn about their local candidates.

This year, I am committing to running a COVID-safe campaign. In the interest of keeping my community safe, I will follow all advice from the Chief Health Officer and the Local Government Minister throughout my campaign.

When is the Council Election and how do I vote?

The council election will take place this October by postal ballot and voting is compulsory. If you are registered to vote in Nillumbik, you will receive a ballot paper in the mail on 7 or 8 October. Follow all instructions on the ballot paper and make sure you number every box. You must post your ballot back by 23 October to avoid a fine.

The deadline for registering to vote in Nillumbik is 4pm on 28 August. You must register to vote by this date to avoid a fine. You can check your enrolment and enrol to vote at https://enrolment.vec.vic.gov.au/.

What is Sugarloaf Ward?

Sugarloaf Ward is an electorate in Nillumbik Council. It covers Research, North Warrandyte, Kangaroo Ground, St Andrews, Smiths Gully, Christmas Hills, Bend of Islands and Watsons Creek and is named after Sugarloaf Reservoir in Christmas Hills. The voters of Sugarloaf elect one person to Nillumbik Council every four years.

Being a representative of Sugarloaf Ward means listening to voters in urban areas such as Research and North Warrandyte as well as rural voters in other townships. It requires a broad understanding of rural, urban and semi-urban living as well as a strong sense of what is needed and wanted in different areas.

Are you a member of a political party?

My first priority is to be a strong representative for my community. I am a member of the Greens and I choose to be open and transparent about this. Out of the seven current councillors, two are Liberal party members and one is a Labor party member however most don’t disclose their party membership.

I have been appalled to see certain members of Council using their position to further the interests of their own party and to attack other parties. A councillor is there to represent the community. This should always come first.

As a councillor, I will never use my position to unfairly benefit my party. My plan is that if I’m elected to Council this October, I can demonstrate that when Greens are elected, they listen and they do good work for the community. You cannot achieve this by playing silly political games and sniping at other council members and local MPs from other parties and I hope to be able to show other councillors that this kind of behaviour is not the way to go.

We all need to work together and as a councillor, I will work with all councillors and local MPs no matter which party they do or don’t belong to. It’s about working hard for the community and that’s what I plan to do.

What is your position on C101 and C81?

C101 and C81 were proposals put together by the previous Council in 2016. They are both gone and I will not bring them back. While both proposals contained some good policy including measures to discourage barbed wire fencing, they were poorly executed and the community was not properly consulted.