Councillor John Sipek - Mayor

Ward: Rose Hill (representing Airport West, Avondale Heights, Keilor East, Niddrie, most of Essendon West and part of Strathmore Heights)

Portfolio: Sports and Community Organisations

Phone: 0423 776 740

Email: jsipek@mvcc.vic.gov.au 

February/March update

My first few months as Mayor have been busy as we work to see some of the major capital works projects outlined in our Council Plan come to fruition.

After many years of hard work, we are getting closer to seeing the redevelopment of East Keilor Leisure Centre. Council appointed Peddle Thorp Architects to lead the design of the centre and the project plan proposes that construction will start in 2019.

The Moonee Valley Festival is our largest community celebration, and a great opportunity for us to come together and enjoy delicious food, live music and fun activities. This year, we are committed to reducing single-use plastic and waste within Council and at all of our events.

As part this commitment, we took Zoos Victoria’s pledge to blow bubbles not balloons at all outdoor Council-run events, including the festival. When balloons are used outdoors, they can get into our waterways and oceans, posing a serious threat to our wildlife, which is why you won’t see any balloons at the festival. I encourage you help us be single-use plastic free by bringing reusable bags and your own keep cup, water bottle, plates and cutlery.

Our Moonee Valley Bees program is going well, with the first harvest of honey from the hives on our buildings ready just in time for the festival. You’ll be able to buy this locally sourced and sustainable honey at the festival, so stop by if you’d like to try a taste of Moonee Valley! With bee population in decline around the world, Council is working to protect our local bees. We made a commitment that, wherever possible, bee hives found on Council land which need removal will be rehomed, either in our own hives or to a local apiary.

I want to remind you to be safe around water. As well as making sure the barrier around your pool or spa is checked regularly and meets regulations, it’s important that kids are educated about how to be safe around water. Why not take them for lessons at one of our leisure centres? There are programs to suit whatever level they’re at, and can start from six months old.

This time of year often brings periods of extreme heat and I encourage you to look out for the health and safety of yourself and others. When it’s hot, check on your neighbours and relatives to make sure they’re okay. If you need medical assistance, call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 606 024, or in an emergency, call an ambulance on 000.

If you have been out and about in our parks or on walking or cycling paths, you may have seen a snake or two enjoying the sunshine. Please continue to be vigilant and if you do see a snake, walk away slowly and leave it alone. If it is on your property, bring your children and pets inside and contact a professional snake catcher for advice. A reminder that it is illegal and dangerous to kill, catch or keep wild snakes in Victoria unless you are licensed to do so.

I look forward to seeing you at some of our free summer events.

About Cr Sipek

Tell us about yourself

I live in East Keilor, with my wife and two adult sons. I am an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer by profession and also a professional Company Director. Currently, I am a Director of the Qantas Superannuation Fund, a Justice of the Peace; and a long time member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. I enjoy all forms of sporting activities and support many local clubs. 

What five words best describe you?

  1. Patient
  2. Listener
  3. Realist
  4. Persistent
  5. Dedicated

What do you hope to achieve in your term as Councillor?

In 2010-11 when I was Mayor I introduced a tradition of fiscal responsibility aligned with Council strategies. Some measures that Council applied were a long term strategy to keep rates at record lows, continuous budgetary reviews, and streamlining services and functions - just doing things smarter not harder. This has placed us in a strong position with the introduction of rate capping.

We have proposed real, long-term savings instead of relying on short-term actions to enable us to plan well for the future. Projects that these savings have contributed to are major upgrades to sporting fields and pavilions throughout the city, the Milleara Integrated Learning and Development Centre and the Avondale Heights Library and Learning Centre.

Over the next four years I would like to introduce netball courts to football or soccer clubs, explore introducing a Men’s Shed in the Rose Hill Ward, upgrade our pavillions to include lights for night sports, and see the redevelopment of the East Keilor Leisure Centre. These projects and more will ensure our children and future generations enjoy our wonderful city.

What do you think are Moonee Valley's greatest strengths?

Moonee Valley is a wonderful boutique city. It is located close to the Melbourne CBD, Melbourne Airport, major arterial roads and diverse environmentally significant open space and waterways. It is a well known fact that Victoria is the place to be, and I say "Moonee Valley is the place to live in Victoria." Our greatest strength is you, our residents who live, work or contribute to our city.

Last updated: Sunday, 25 February 2018, 2:30 AM