WelcomeWelcome to my special preselection information page, where you can find out more about what I stand for, how I will work tirelessly to further progressive Greens policy and engage with the community to ensure outcomes for the City Of Sydney.
If you have any questions at all, please feel free to email me directly.
200 Word Candidate StatementI’ve been a Sydney-sider for over 21 years and have lived in the suburbs of Darlinghurst and Surry Hills for the great majority of that time.
I have forged life-long connections with community, business and organisations, and have a strong background in campaigning across council and federal elections for the Greens.
I have been on the 2012 ticket for the City of Sydney Council, volunteered for the former Deputy Lord Mayor, the late Irene Doutney's office, and increased our vote as the candidate for Wentworth in the 2016 Federal election.
I understand what it’s like to campaign in an election where there are not only big personality candidates and big egos, but also big opportunities.
With the unfolding dual crises of covid19 and global heating, we need everyone who is part of the city to come on a journey to a better, kinder and healthier city for us all. I’m invested in this community and would relish the chance to stand for the Greens as a Councillor for the City of Sydney.
Expanded Candidate Statement
ABOUT DEJAYMy name is Dejay Toborek and I have nominated to be your lead candidate for the City of Sydney Council elections.
I’ve been a Sydney-sider for over 21 years and have lived in the suburbs of Darlinghurst and Surry Hills for the great majority of that time.
I currently work administering grants and organising events and training for the non-government Alcohol and Other Drugs workforce in NSW. Previously I have worked for many years in the theatre and performing arts sector, both on and off the stage.
I live with my partner of 18 years and my two dogs in a small apartment in Darlinghurst near Kings Cross, where I’ve seen dramatic changes to the area by both state and council decisions over the last two decades.
Local government has been a passion of mine and I have always believed that the Greens can make massive, tangible improvements for the community, the local economy and the environment at this level of government.
EXPERIENCEI joined the NSW Greens in 2011 and a year later represented the Greens on the 2012 City of Sydney Council ticket.
I’ve volunteered in the office of our much loved Greens Councillor and Deputy Lord Mayor, the late Irene Doutney, and among various other tasks, assisted in her office’s response to the WestConnex project.
Through the Greens I’ve become a passionate campaigner and activist on many issues across all our four pillars.
I really got to exercise the campaigner in me when in late 2015, I was preselected to run as the Greens candidate for Wentworth in the 2016 double-dissolution election.
While winning the seat from the then Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull was not likely, I had a lofty personal goal of passing the Labor candidate to come second, which we almost did! We executed a strong local campaign and I was thrilled to be the only candidate of a major party to increase its vote in the electorate, with both Labor and Prime Minister Turnbull suffering swings against them.
As a candidate, I am and energetic and bold, a tireless worker and have a sharp focus on achieving outcomes - and thats something I intend to bring to the campaign and council.
I understand what its like to campaign in an election where there are not only big personality candidates and big egos, but also big opportunities. I know that, with the right strategy, we can absolutely return a Greens councillor to the City of Sydney next election, and go on to build on that in coming years.
GREENS FOR THE CITY OF SYDNEYFor more than two decades, inner-city Sydney has been my home, where I’ve worked, where I’ve made life-long connections with the community, businesses and organisations.
I’m invested in this community and would relish the chance to stand for the Greens and my community as a Councillor for the City of Sydney.
With the unfolding dual crises of covid19 and global heating, we need the Council and everyone who is part of the city to come on a journey to a better, kinder and healthier city for us all.
I’m really so excited to get cracking and get things done, so I hope that you share that vision and drive also and trust me with your number 1 vote for this preselection.
First of the two meet the candidates forums
EMAILS TO MEMBERSCandidates are permitted by the rules to send two campaign emails to voting members. Here ere you can find the transcript and downloadable versions of the emails I have have sent.
EMAIL #1 of 2I am Dejay Toborek and I have nominated to be your lead candidate for the upcoming City of Sydney Council elections. Below I have collated 10 local priorities that I believe will resonate strongly with the voters of Sydney and win enough support to put the Greens back on Council.
1. Actual Emissions Reductions - No offsets!
While the City has been under progressive leadership since 2004, it is clear that it has missed the voice of true environmental champions on Council. The recent sustainability report is sober reading, with much of the low-hanging fruit for emission reductions already completed, and a stubborn stagnation of real emission reductions in the last 5 years. The City needs to be not just bold with ambition, but bold in action to reduce emissions without resorting to the carbon-accounting ‘trick’ that is offsets. Greens on Council will lead the way.
2. More Social & Affordable Housing
Housing is a human right, and the Greens will always work hard to create more social and affordable housing. The covid19 pandemic has highlighted the precarious nature of housing for so many people in our community, and by providing housing to those in most need, we can also ensure that the inner city does not become the home to only the wealthy and privileged. I believe that housing cooperatives are one of a number of real game-changers that can solve the housing crisis.
3. Participatory Democracy & Budgeting
Inspired by the work of Greens Councillor for the Gabba on Brisbane City Council, Jonathon Sri, I proposed to the City’s 2050 Citizen Jury that the future of our Council would include participatory governance - thats real Greens-styled grassroots democracy embedded in its decision-making; and I stewarded the idea through the jury process. It is now the first of eight recommended concepts for the City to adopt in its 2050 plan. If I’m on Council, I won’t want to let our community wait until 2050 for grassroots democracy (and the other concepts from the Citizen Jury) to be implemented. The Queensland experience shows that community engagement in the budgeting and decision-making of Council can make for much better outcomes.
4. Natural Gas Elimination Plan
Since 2016, the City’s natural gas energy consumption has increased a staggering 279%. This is absolutely unforgivable. The use of this fossil fuel, which increases pressure on domestic supply and gives legitimacy to the Coal Seam Gas proponents, needs to end. Greenwashing gas as ‘low carbon’ is not acceptable. I would work very hard on Council towards the elimination of diesel and gas dependency, whether that's for residential or commercial use, at festivals or events.
5. More Trees and Community Gardens
After a recent survey commissioned by the City of Sydney, the most common request by far was for more trees. The Council, while certainly doing some good work to increase canopy cover over the City, has fallen behind in its goals. And while it acknowledges it needs to pick up the pace on these plantings, I was gobsmacked when I was told during the 2050 Citizen Jury Plan deliberations that Council had run out of places to plant trees! The cooling effect, the habitat, the air cleaning benefits, the health benefits of trees and the popularity of the policy are all crystal clear, and if there are systemic or policy impediments to planting more of them, we need someone who is determined to remove those barriers, rather than raise their hands in surrender. Further, community gardens have had a welcomed renaissance after the initial covid19 food shocks, and aside from producing fantastic food for your dinner plate, they provide a sense of community and ensure better health and wellbeing for those involved. There are even waiting lists to get a plot at some community gardens, demonstrating the popularity of the program. Lets roll out more!
6. Climate Resilient Development
Buildings should be built to last 100 years or more, and with a climate predicted to be very different by that time, we need to ensure that not only are new buildings designed and constructed to be sustainable, but that older buildings are able to be retrofitted. Effective changes to Local Environment Plans that direct development into cleaner, greener and more resilient buildings is vital, particularly given the escalating climate crisis.
7. Removing Synthetic Playing Fields
Recently the Lord Mayor Clover Moore has proudly boasted about covering 6 playing fields with synthetic grass. Sometimes it’s hard to strike the right balance between maintaining community facilities year-round and the environment, but we absolutely cannot be covering our land in plastic. (Or all that grey slate paving!) Grass playing fields allow for the land to absorb rain, is a habitat to organisms in and above the soil, will not shed microplastics into the environment as it degrades in the sun, and can be played on at any temperature (which is not the case with synthetic playing fields). We need our natural playing fields restored.
8. Covid Business & Jobs Plan
Business, particularly SME, need support as the economy recovers from the covid lockdowns. What the situation will be in a year’s time is anyone’s guess, but what we do know is that many people will still be out of work. While big business is better able to absorb the economic shock, the Council can provide rental and rate relief to help assist locals to get back on their feet. Using the principles of a Green New Deal in a Council context, we can invest in community infrastructure and employ locals for a range of programs that create a better, healthier and resilient community.
9. More Childcare and Community Facilities
Childcare is vitally important for working families, particularly in the inner city. Working with developers to create dedicated childcare locations within developments will allow the City to assist households with local and convenient childcare. Likewise, community spaces can be negotiated with developers to create vital cultural development and exhibition spaces, education and fitness areas.
10. 100% Local Renewable Energy
On the first of July 2020, the City of Sydney announced it would be moving to a green power purchase agreement. Households have been able to buy Green energy for years. This is just not enough. The City of Sydney Council can and must move to 100% local renewable energy but needs environmental champions to push for it. This is where Greens on Council can make a difference.
As a long-time local resident, I have developed a strong local profile over the past 20 years, have a genuine and sizeable social media presence, and have the experience in working and delivering for the community. Sydney absolutely needs a bold, energetic and tireless Greens candidate to take on the Clover Moore political machine and the other big personalities that will be vying for voters in 2021. Without a doubt, your number 1 vote will shape our chances of success in 2021 and I hope I can count on your vote in this preselection.
In solidarity, #Dejay4Sydney
EMAIL #2 of 2Dear fellow Greens member,
The preselection for the City of Sydney ticket is about to close and your chance to select the best-placed candidate to put Greens back on Council, is resting in your hands!
If you have not yet voted, I am asking you to VOTE 1 DEJAY TOBOREK today.
Can’t find your voting email? Click here to request your link be resent! I have spoken to many of you throughout this voting period and have felt heartened by your supportive comments.
I entered this preselection nomination race with a clear purpose; to demonstrate to you that you can trust your #1 vote with me, not only based on my extensive Greens campaigning experience, but also my energy and OUR vision for Greens on the City of Sydney Council.
You can view my candidate statement, video and campaign email on my website.
If you have watched or participated in the meet-the-candidate forums (which you can view here), you will have noticed the difference in approaches by the two candidates.
That, I think, is the crucial point to consider when choosing your lead candidate.
I know for many of you, the articulation of local issues was important to your vote.
I have been proud to stand for the 10 local initiatives that I think will resonate with voters and that the Greens can deliver for the community. I have many more ideas, as I know you will too, and look forward to working with every Green member and supporter to ensure we cover all bases. I’m really glad to have started some wonderful discussions with many of you!
Others have commended me on my energy and enthusiasm.
We need to make sure our lead candidate can stand up to the big personalities (Clover Moore, Kerryn Phelps, Christine Forster, Angela Vithoulkas) that will suck the air out of our campaign. As the lead candidate, I will be bright and bold to ensure our message does not fade into the background, and will absolutely dedicate my every spare minute to the campaign.
Others referenced my extensive connections to the community and my experience in a big campaign on a small budget.
I have lived in the inner city for over 20 years. I know many, many residents and business owners, and many are like a second family to me. I have a local, personal profile that will absolutely translate into votes from traditional Clover Moore voters, and I am already engaged in high profile work with the City of Sydney, participating in the development of the City’s 2050 Strategy as part of the Citizen Jury. Finally, I have the experience of running a successful local campaign against a sitting Prime Minister and getting a swing to the Greens on a small budget.
Our party and its processes of participatory democracy mean more to me than anything - this preselection is not a popularity contest, it's about who can best represent our values, policies & platforms to the entire community, to gain more votes than ever before.
We need to have strong Greens voices on Council to counter the massive budgets of vested interests and fossil fuel backed candidates. We cannot rely on so-called ‘progressives’ such as Clover Moore’s ‘Independent’ Party to deliver on real zero-carbon emissions, when under their watch, natural gas use has skyrocketed by 279%.
I articulated more than just one or two issues that I would like to see addressed by the Greens for a good reason - we need a candidate and future councillor who themselves can see opportunities to improve the local infrastructure, amenity, and environment, while also willing to consult with members and the community.
We have a wide-reaching family of supporters, who would LOVE to vote for us - let's give them a Greens ticket that they can joyfully place as their #1 preference for Council.
I would be incredibly honoured to be YOUR representative on Council and to help our community transition to a truly zero-carbon, healthy, vibrant and diverse City.
It now rests with you.
I am asking you to VOTE 1 DEJAY TOBOREK, today.
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