Your Questions, Answered.
Here are some of the Questions from Coastal Ward Ratepayers and Residents and my responses.
If you'd like more information or have a question you'd like to ask, please get in touch.
Can you provide a list of 3-4 community activities that you have driven that have had a positive community impact and what those impacts were?
I was elected South Ward Councillor October 2019.
2020 – Lobbied against the defunding of the CAT Bus – able to sway Councillors to defer the defunding for 3 years. We had an additional 3 years of the CAT.
2020 – South Fremantle Festival of Lights – Sid from Saroor and myself set up the South Fremantle Community Association to host the festival post Covid to help the Freo community and businesses emerging from the lock downs. The festival was a huge success, it was a free event that brought about 25,000 people into Sth Freo. The businesses contributed financially towards the cost of the festival, I put in $10,000 to keep the finances positive during a gap when bills needed to be paid (was reimbursed after the event). The committee of volunteers and the festival performers were not paid. A really big and positive impact on the mental health of our community, the businesses were able to financial recoup losses suffered during the lock down.
2020 – My son Nik kept his kitchen staff on at the SBH and Federal for an extra week to cook all the food in the freezes and lauder and I organised 700 meals to be transported to Fiona Stanley Hospital for the medical staff who had worked so tirelessly during the that week of the pandemic. It was cheaper to have thrown the food into the skip bin. Proud of Nik and my role in no waste and community service.
2022 – Voted against the continued Massage Parlour on South Tce. There was evidence that “other” services were being performed. Worked with the community to lobby the Councillors and to point out the legal implications of granting a long lease. The business owner gave up and moved his business elsewhere. There is now a Trave business in the building. Such a business would have brought a certain type of cliental down to what is still a residential area.
2021 – Excessive noise from Percy Flint – Worked with the residents of Ada and Rose Streets to have PF comply with the terms of their lease and council conditions. This took about 12 months. Has improved. Giving the residents peace of mind to live in their homes.
2023 – Supported the community when Ginger Morris applied for a small bar licence – I do support business, but this one was in the wrong spot due to the sharing of common walls with the residential housing. A good outcome when the application was withdrawn.
2022 – Supported the community consultation on the Fremantle Bridge issue. I can see merit in the retention of the old bridge or part of it. Did not support the Beach Street plan as it would not be in the best interests of the environment and community. Yes, we do need a new bridge.
2022 – worked on the City’s financials – The city reported the cost to be $47m – proved that the cost was $63m plus. Supported by the Audit – Impact on community – transparency – have better optics on why our rates keep increasing. The City sold off income performing assets – carparks and took on $20m loan to pay for the building – big opportunity cost – CAT Bus, lack of maintenance on heritage buildings, and basic services.
What do you regard as key Fremantle values – and what have you specifically done (locally) to demonstrate them?
Values – Diversity (Listening to ALL ratepayers and residents and representing individuals on issues important to them – supported Clinton Clarke on his parking issues when no other councillor would support him – issue was resolved. For doing my job, I got a breach from the Mayor and the matter is now referred to the State Administrative Tribunal.)
Inclusiveness (have supported indigenous families in Davies Street via food/Clothing, accepted invitations to meet with individual ratepayers over their issues of; parking, noise, flooding etc – We have a policy on inclusion, and this means we listen and communicate on individual concerns. Don’t support a tick and flick approach.
Heritage and History (proud of all our history and not just indigenous, there is room for us all because we have all contributed in a positive and negative way over time to Fremantle. In my second term, I will lobby for 10% of building permit fees to be quarantined for Heritage maintenance. Potential to raise $1m per year.
Local Economy – we need to encourage diversity of businesses in the City otherwise we will be a mono business of alcohol. We should have learned from Covid. I worked with John da Silva, the Portuguese Council, on European Day a couple of years ago. Learned that we have about 16 Consulates scattered around the metro area. I would approach them and offer the top floor in the Civic Centre with a shared administration service. Image the European flags flying around the building (UN style) and the visitors it would attract from their constituents coming into Fremantle to do business. We need to work harder to attract Retail and other businesses that will generate local jobs and people will want to come and live in Fremantle. When we get the economic multiplier effect turning, we can expect better days for Fremantle.
Resilience, my family came to Fremantle in the 1950s from the old Yugoslavia – now Croatia. Both my parents came from impoverished villages and believed in the Australian system of a fair go, democratic rights enshrined in our governance and freedom of speech. We are going through a rough patch culturally and politically, but we will come through because of our demonstrated historical resilience. I believe in Fremantle.
What demonstratable skills can you bring to the councillor role should you be elected?
Financial acumen, roll up my sleeves approach to engaging with our community, perseverance to move beyond the current tick and flick approach to communication and governance, Uphold my Oath of Office to “the people of the district ….honesty….integrity….”
Are you self-funding your campaign – if not can you advise who is assisting with funding?
About 90% is self-funded. Have disclosed $1,000 from a donor. Due to mail outs and the size of the new Coastal Ward, this election will cost about $9,000.00.
What is your view on housing affordability, and do you support rental caps?
As a Council we do not do enough of state and federal government lobbying on issues such as housing. Housing affordability is directly linked to the Federal government immigration policy. The Federal government has allowed over the past couple of decades millions of immigrants into Australia without providing the necessary infrastructure such as housing, roads, hospitals, school etc. This strategy supports economic growth in the short term, however without infrastructure investment the long term will produce a supply and demand crises. The federal government could seriously improve housing affordability if they reduced immigration for five consecutive years by 50% to allow infrastructure to catch up. In WA due to our boom and bust resource cycles, we are further exposed. Building small houses and a few projects will do little to alleviate “affordability”. Fremantle is pulling its weight in social housing, and we need to carefully assess its impact on our capacity to attract people to live in the city. I do not support rental caps because housing affordability is more complex than a quick fix of rental caps. I am not in favour of demonising owners of private property when the state and federal governments could fix the problem if they were doing their jobs.