THE Liberal party has endorsed a Jewish candidate for the upcoming Waverley by-election.
Leon Goltsman, a former Emanuel School student and small business owner, will stand for Hunter Ward at the by-election on June 6. He previously ran in 2008 as an independent in Waverley Ward.
Goltsman will compete against Labor’s Di Smith and the Greens’ Virginia Milson.
The Liberal candidate told The AJN he will be focusing on the key issues of safety, street cleanliness and community inclusion.
“I understand that at the moment people are feeling unsafe,” he said. “I want to make sure that people are more informed of what they can do, and introduce a system where people can come together and share ideas.”
He said reducing the red tape when people wish to aesthetically improve the look of their homes is also on his agenda.
“If they want to improve their own home, they should be given more power to do that as long as it doesn’t interfere with other people,” he said.
“I want to make sure that any communication that happens between council and the residents, they get responded to in a prompt manner rather than having to wait weeks or months.”
He said he was wary of what might happen should a fourth Greens councillor be elected in Waverley.
“What’s been happening in Marrickville could very well happen to our area if the Greens are allowed to have more power,” he said.
Goltsman’s family immigrated to Australia from the Ukraine when he was five years old.
A keen sportsman, he holds a 4th Dan black belt in karate. While representing Australia at the Maccabiah Games in Israel in 1997, he dived in to the Yarkon River to help fellow athletes following the infamous bridge collapse.
The by-election is being held due to the resignation of Jewish councillor, Yvonne Coburn, who is moving to Melbourne.