Ward: Myrnong (representing Ascot Vale, Flemington, Travancore, most of Moonee Ponds and part of Essendon)
Portfolio: Community Wellbeing
Phone: 0407 521 432
Myrnong Ward is a special part of Moonee Valley and I appreciate how fortunate I am to
represent its interests on Council. Our summer calendar is full of fun local community, cultural,
theatre and sporting events to suit all ages and tastes. To find out more check our website
mvcc.vic.gov.au/summer, Facebook, or drop into your local library.
Framing of the annual budget is well underway and as always I am available to discuss items
you might like to see included. Recent announcements for the substantial redevelopment of the Flemington and Ascot Vale housing estates is wonderful news for tenants, the neighbourhood
and Moonee Valley generally.
Council is working to ensure our residents have a say in shaping our plans to achieve quality
results and ensure lasting benefits for all the community. To manage the increase in planning applications, Council is now meeting twice monthly. With so many applications for large
developments touted for Myrnong, if you are affected by one of these proposals, it is most
important you get involved in the consultation process.
About Cr Cusack
Tell us about yourself
The Myrnong ward is a special part of Moonee Valley and the larger Melbourne’s community and I appreciate how fortunate I am to be elected to represent residents’ interests on this council.
It’s true I am over sixty but I am an energetic community campaigner. I am married and have twin sons, live in Ascot Vale and share my house with two cats. My working includes stints as a geologist’s field assistant, an employment counsellor in youth justice and prisons, management roles in delivering employment services, policy development to establish the national vocational training system, services to assist problem gamblers, victims of violent crime and reduce crime in our suburbs. I am currently employed by the State Government. I presented the Connolly Association Radio Show for 17 years on 3CR and have held various positions on community organisations like the Celtic Club and The John Pierce Centre (supporting deaf and hearing impaired people).
I enjoy reading and current affairs, listen to a wide range of music, dabble in sketching, playing bowls, performing on stage, I have produced several plays and time in my shed. I hold a Masters in Education (Leadership and Change).
What five words best describe you?
What do you hope to achieve in your term as Councillor?
While all Councillors work within a four year plan there are several high level issues that I want to see this Council address.
Incorporate more detail and evidence in our planning scheme so Council can robustly defend our neighbourhoods against inappropriate development while encouraging good design solutions in developments.
Formulate an integrated plan that responds to the high levels of disadvantage in the Flemington and Ascot Vale areas and a separate "lifestyle" plan for people with disabilities and mental health concerns, their families and carers.
Open up Council planning and decision-making to more community input on strategies for change in our neighbourhoods and environment. Ensure all our advocacy plans are informed by health promotion principles. Develop a twofold plan to participate in major and regional arts and cultural events and create similar events in our own right.
Revise Council's approach in its support local business, the retail strips, social enterprises and start-ups.
What do you think are Moonee Valley's greatest strengths?
Moonee Valley’s greatest asset is its people, their energy, their many cultural backgrounds and diversity of our neighbourhoods. We are the gateway to Melbourne’s northwest but Moonee Valley is markedly different from our neighbours.
When travelling around our city it is obvious that we enjoy many advantages over other parts of Melbourne due to our proximity to the CBD, the airport, the sporting landmarks of the racecourses and Windy Hill, retail strips that survive as well as our natural resources like the Maribyrnong River, parks and recreation reserves which create a unique place to live.
Taken together these are the ingredients that go to making our community an energetic one, that is caring, values the contribution of others, is flexible and adaptable and in many ways is beautiful.