Former Casey worker puts his hand up for election race

Tooradin Ward candidate Ali Yaghobi. (Supplied)

By Violet Li

Clyde’s Ali Yaghobi has announced his intention to run for Tooradin Ward in October’s election, ambitious to bring his rich experience in the local government sector to make Casey the most liveable municipality in Melbourne.

Mr Yaghobi has previously worked in aged care services, disability and employment, along with a history of volunteering.

He is a member of the Regional Advisory Council of the Victorian Multicultural Commission and the City of Casey Disability Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee.

He is working for the City of Glen Eira at the moment and used to work for Casey Council between 2021 and 2023 where he was one of the coordinators of the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSB).

He spoke to many community members back then, including vulnerable ones and he found out people were very upset about Operation Sandon, and they lost their trust in the council.

“My priority was to restore Casey Council’s reputation as an organisation,” he said.

“New councillors need to make sure that the essential services are delivered to people. A lot of contractors are not doing their jobs.

“One of the other issues I’ll be fighting is to make sure the budget is spent wisely and distributed fairly based on the interest and the need of the community.

“Casey South, like Cranbourne area and Tooradin, does not get enough share of the budget.”

As part of the Clyde community, Mr Yaghobi will fight to improve mobile connectivity and internet services in the area, an issue that has been troubling residents for a long time.

“Clyde is not a remote area. This is part of the metropolitan. I was chatting to a nurse the other day when I was doorknocking, and she said she couldn’t call Triple 0 because of the mobile reception. If somebody died because of the connectivity, who’s responsible?” he said.

“To me, that’s the council’s responsibility because that’s bad planning. The infrastructure and population need to go hand in hand. When we talk about mobile reception and Internet services, it’s not a luxury item. It’s an essential service.

“I know a lot of people in our area, especially in Clyde and Cranbourne area, they run businesses out of their houses. You cannot run businesses without the internet.”

A diversity and inclusion officer in Glen Eira, Mr Yaghobi aims to set up a Multicultural Advisory Committee if he’s elected.

“In Tooradin Ward, almost half of the population is multicultural,” he said.

“I know many municipalities do have a Multicultural Advisory Committee, like Glen Eira.

“It will help represent the diverse community, basically.”

Coming from a multicultural background himself, he always believes multicultural community members have a responsibility for the country and therefore social cohesion is of great significance.

“When we come to this country, we park the issue at the border,” he said.

“Anything that we do in a multicultural space, we need to make sure that social cohesion is a primary focus of our initiative and activity.

“No matter where you are from, you need to make sure that whatever you do is put the interest of the Australian community and Australian safety first.

“Community safety is actually about social cohesion.”

Visioning big for Casey, Mr Yaghobi has faith in his community.

“If I’m elected, I think we need to change the mission of the vision of the community. To me, Casey can be the most liveable city in Melbourne,” he said.

“It is possible because we have so much infrastructure. We have so much open space that we can build that mission.

“We should appreciate that. We need to be better. This municipality has a lot of potential.

“Unfortunately, we missed opportunities because the previous council put their interest before the interest of the community. That’s something I’ll be advocating; every new councillor needs to have the interest of the community first.”

Mr Yaghobi is a Labor member, and he will be running independently.