No. 1 – Merrill Halkerston Witt

Merrill is a founding member of the Vaucluse West Residents’ Association and has worked closely with the residents’ associations of Rose Bay, Double Bay and Darling Point to fight overdevelopment and lobby for better protections for local character, green space and heritage. Merrill is also on the Leadership Group of the Better Planning Network, an umbrella organisation for community groups across NSW that advocates for genuine community consultation and better planning outcomes. She campaigns for Save Sydney’s Koalas, a group dedicated to saving Campbelltown’s 500+ koala population – the last healthy and expanding koala population in NSW.
Merrill is not beholden to any particular political party and genuinely believes she can make a difference by listening to residents’ concerns and helping them find solutions. Over the past few years, she has really enjoyed working with the Independent Residents First Councillors on a range of initiatives including increasing the minimum lot size for dual occupancy attached developments to protect views, green space, tree canopy and local neighbourhood character; the establishment of an advisory committee to provide Council with strategic advice on heritage-related issues; and the identification of suitable sites that can be purchased for community purposes. 
If elected, Merrill will advocate for the Local Housing Strategy to be revised to acknowledge that Woollahra Council’s has already exceeded its 2016 -2026 net additional dwelling target and to identify how the pressures of absorbing 889 additional dwellings in just over five years will be adequately addressed before Council considers any uplift in the development capacity of Edgecliff.

No. 2 – Maria Judd

Maria is a committee member of the Rose Bay Residents’ Association. She has been working to redress the gaps created by increased population in Rose Bay including pollution on Rose Bay Beach from stormwater runoff, the need for more public infrastructure such as a new car park and a replacement community hall caused by the loss of the Rose Bay Uniting Church site, which Maria fought hard to heritage list. Maria has also campaigned against overdevelopment and its detrimental impact on traffic congestion, local character and heritage, particularly in Rose Bay. If elected she will focus on making improvements in all of these areas.

No. 3 – Claudia Cullen

Claudia’s record as the Residents First Councillor for Vaucluse is impressive. She instigated significant stormwater drainage improvements in Watsons Bay and Vaucluse and worked closely with the state government to stop raw untreated sewerage from being released into the ocean. Under her watch, residents have seen a remarkable improvement in the water quality of Camp Cove Beach. Claudia has also consistently advocated for better management of tourist numbers in Vaucluse and Watsons Bay, working closely with the local community to stop plans for a huge function centre at South Head. Claudia has always led the fight against overdevelopment and is strongly opposed to the draft Edgecliff Commerical Centre Urban Design and Planning Strategy, which proposes a significant uplift in development capacity that is not sustainable and is not supported by adequate new infrastructure.