Monday, 5 September 2011

Q & A

This post will be devoted to answering questions I've received about my stance on certain issues confronting Fremantle.  Thanks, Jason, for your email, and the very pertinent questions.

What do you stand for?

I stand for many things.  If there's one thing I'm not, it's a single issue candidate. 

In brief, if elected I will focus my energy on the following objectives:
·         Revitalising Fremantle by having more people living, working and shopping in the city centre.
·         Ensuring developers build up to a standard and not down to a price, so that the outcome is high quality development that fits the Fremantle character.
·         Promoting respect of heritage.
·         Cutting red tape.
·         Creating better, safer places for everyone to enjoy.
·         Addressing Fremantle's parking problems.
·         Reducing anti-social behaviour.

I also stand for local government run by councillors who are serving the community that elected them, exclusively - not career politicians also serving their party, nor those who want to use the City of Fremantle to trampoline into a state or federal political career. 

I have no bigger or better fish to fry than making the place that is my home, and that my daughter will grow up in, live up to all its promise.

Where do you stand on parking?

Fremantle definitely has a parking problem, and one thing in the parking debate is certain - Perth motorists perceive there to be a lack of parking in Fremantle, and that can make them reluctant to visit.

Unfortunately, anyone who tells you they've got an easy way to fix this problem is sitting on an idea that's going to make him or her a millionaire.  It's a complicated issue that can't be solved with a single silver bullet.  It requires a creative, multi-faceted approach that takes into account Fremantle's unique circumstances and is based on evidential research, not false promises.

This is an issue that requires a piece all of its own, which I will post tomorrow.

Are you aligned with any political party or business association?

No, I'm not.  I'm aligned with the community I hope to serve, and that's it.

What's your background?

I grew up in Karratha.  I'm 34 years old.  My first tertiary degree was in history - I graduated with first class honours from Curtin in 2002, the same year I met my wife.  I worked as a high school teacher before deciding to make urban planning my profession. Since I qualified with a masters degree in urban and regional planning, I haven't looked back - this is where my passion lies, especially in place making.  I've worked in both the state and local governments and, as such, have an excellent, practical understanding of how to really get things done in a local government setting.  I also have a post graduate diploma in project management, which similarly has given me vital experience in how to effect real change as a Councillor.

I live in the city ward on Cantonment Street with my wife and we'll shortly be welcoming our first child into the world.  I'm interested in cooking, politics, history, sport and, most recently, shopping for baby stuff. 

What's the key to making change happen?

My experience in local government has taught me that it all starts (and ends) with the budget.  It's vital that Councillors play an active role prior to the budget being initially drafted and are engaged with how funds are allocated from the earliest stages.

Another key is to have your finger on the pulse in terms of what the community needs.  To be effective, a Councillor must first and foremost be a good listener and a good observer with an open mind.  And preferably independent from the complication of party politicking or economic self interest.

Thirdly, it's imperative that Council focuses on both short and long term projects.  Too often, big picture thinking is conducted at the expense of smaller, easy-to-implement projects that collectively have the potential to make huge impacts - and in the space of one or two years, not twenty. 

And Council must make sure the conditions are right for progress to occur - think back to the eighties when Fremantle led the way in introducing alfresco dining.  In today's environment of strangulating red tape, innovation like that is stifled.  I want to reestablish that culture of innovation to the City of Fremantle.

That’s it for now.  I’ll be answering more questions in future posts throughout the campaign.  Be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss out!  And if there’s any issue you’d like to know my stance on, please post it in the comments or email me at:   

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