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My name is Marija.

I grew up in South Freo and White Gum Valley as the daughter of Croatian immigrants who taught me the values of family and community as the virtues of a good life. I have raised four beautiful children and we cherish our Freo lifestyle together.

I learned traditional homesteading from my parents and my yard is full of vegetables, herbs, fruit trees, ducks, chickens, bees and worm farms. I am currently collaborating with Daisy Field Organics to share my skills and knowledge about edible gardening, herbs and food preservation.

My background is in Education and Human Resources and I am working with Jundalya as a trusted advisor and business mentor for the Thalanyji Traditional Owners.

I am honoured to serve the City on FPOL (Finance, Policy, Operations and Legislation Committee) and previously on the Audit and Risk Committee.



Why are your rates at 9% and increasing?

2012 King's Square Business Plan approved $45M to build a new Civic Centre, financed by the sale of City assets: Queensgate Carpark, Queensgate Centre and the Spicer site for $30M, plus a State government loan of $15M.

After the 2021 OAG Audit confirmed total cost of the unfinished Civic Centre at $63M, the sale of 3 additional income performing carparks was actioned and the loan increased to $20M over 20 years, with a repayment of $1.2M per annum paid by the City.
The 2012 Business Plan predicted a 900K yield in rental income but the income is only around 120K.

The opportunity cost of the overspend on this single project is increased rates, the loss of our CAT Bus service, the sale of 5 revenue earning assets and a lack of maintenance on our roads, parks & heritage buildings.

Until Council addresses this overspend our reliance on increased parking fees and increased rates is bound to continue, as the sold-off income performing assets have not been replaced.
Fremantle's low ratepayer base is often used as a justification for our financial challenges. In my view, this is a deflection from the impact of the additional millions spent on the Civic Centre/Walyalup Koort and the lack of capacity to provide basic service delivery without rate increases to residents and business owners.

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