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The first alliance of ward candidates has emerged for October’s council elections, with three contenders for Windemere confirming their mutual support.
Lara mother Kylie Grzybek and former Geelong councillor Anthony Aitken announced their candidacy this week after ex-Bisinella Developments spokesman David Withington revealed his in last Friday’s Indy.
The three confirmed they would campaign in co-operation, with Mr Withington describing the arrangement as “in support” of each other rather than a ticket.
“Let’s just say that if two of us were elected, we’d be able to work very well together for the ward,” he said.
The trio will take on former multiple-term councillor Tony Ansett, the only other contender so far for the northern ward’s two seats on council.
Mr Ansett was on the previous council, which the Andrews Government sacked largely for an alleged “culture of bullying” at City Hall.
Ms Grzybek, a 41-year-old mother of two, planned to campaign on community safety, lower rates, and a “fair share for the north”.
She described herself as a “passionate member” of her community after living in Lara for 38 years, during which time she had served on several community groups.
“Just like everyone living in the north, I believe we owe our children a safer and healthier future,” she said.
“I want my boys and every other child living in the north to grow up in a positive community that looks after them, that keeps them away from crime and that lets them reach their potential.
“We can improve lighting in public spaces, we can look at CCTV in problem areas, we can work more closely with Neighbourhood Watch and youth organisations and we can give the kids something productive to do with their time.”
Ms Grzybek who unsuccessfully stood for election to council in 2012, also wanted more sports facilities and “better-utilised public open space” across the ward.
Mr Aitken said he would “strongly advocate” for Windemere, using his experience as a councillor with the former Shire of Corio and for the first City of Greater Geelong council after municipal amalgamations in 1996.
“The north has a lot of good things in it and good people who call it home,” he said.
“However, it needs strong voices that can highlight the significant disadvantage being experienced by many in the northern suburbs and the pressures that population growth has brought to Lara.”
Now working at Lara, Mr Aitken described himself as “born and raised in Corio”.
“I know the north, and we deserve a fair share from the Geelong council.
“Council is not just the CBD.”
Mr Aitken echoed one of Ms Grzybek’s campaign priorities, saying the next council must work in a “professional manner”.
He wanted council leadership that worked collaboratively with state and federal governments “to ensure all who live in Geelong experience a better Geelong”.
Voters will elect 11 councillors across four wards after State Government restructured Geelong’s council. Windermere, covering Lara and parts of northern Geelong, will be the only ward with two councillors, the others having three each.

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