It’s Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt’s birthday today, so from me a very happy birthday Brad!
The Mayor and I don’t always agree and see eye to eye, but that does not mean he is a bad bloke, so I hope he has a long and happy life.
Brad is probably only about half way through life, so there is a lot to do still and plenty of time to do it. Another 45+ years to go.
Fremantle Mayor Dr Brad Pettitt has dismissed on his blog, what he describes as rumours, that he wanted to put his hand up for the Federal seat of Fremantle for the Greens or that he had announced he would not seek another four-year-term as Mayor of our city in 2017.
Pettitt wrote “I am still loving the challenges of the mayoral role and there is still so much to do. In fact, it is only in the last few months that it has it really felt like all the hard work of recent years is starting to bear fruit. Amendment 38 which was passed around 5 years ago is only recently leading to a building boom in the East End. And there are some exciting opportunities potentially opening up around the South side of port and around Fremantle Oval I am keen to advocate for. Importantly, I also I still have around 20 months still to go in this term as Mayor and despite further rumours that I will not run again I can honestly say I have not made up my mind yet.”
Should the Labor party be silly enough to not nominate Deputy Mayor Josh Wilson as their candidate for this year’s Federal election it might well be that Wilson would also want the Mayoral job as he would lose his employment with Melissa Parke and it is unlikely his party opponent Chris Brown would keep him on.
There is no doubt inner city residents who have been very vocal against our Mayor would vehemently oppose him staying on as Mayor and would put up their own candidate(s) and I hear rumours that Councillor Rachel Pemberton is also contemplating trying to win the top job.
It’s still 19 months away so a lot will have happened in Fremantle by then.
I think it is important to share the thoughts of Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt on the Local Government Reform and have copied the article below from his blog to share it with those who don’t read the Mayor’s blog:
Now that the dust has settled and celebratory hangovers mellowed I thought it worth digging a little deeper into the amalgamations decision.
The new boundaries are clearly a very good outcome for Fremantle. There was a time when it seemed we would be swallowed up by Melville and a Fremantle Council and unique Fremantle voice would be drowned out in a sea of suburbia.
I believe the reasons we were successful were three fold:
*A strong community-led campaign. The Fremantle Forever campaign was a great community effort with everything from concerts to petitions and street art – all done by volunteers and those hard working people deserve a huge pat on the back or alternatively a big group hug from all of us.
*A moderate, sensible, evidence based approach to the Freo boundary issue. At the heart of this was demonstrating the Fremantle was committed to substantial population growth, economic investment and keeping Fremantle as Perth’s second city. The pro-development approach whilst controversial for some in the community was undoubtedly important to demonstrating to the local government advisory board and the State Government that Fremantle could be a sustainable local government area by itself into the future.
*Fremantle speaking with one clear voice. I was really impressed by how diverse groups from the Fremantle Society to the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce all got behind the joint Fremantle Forever position. Everyone speaking with one voice was essential and shows what Fremantle can do when we collaborate.
It really was a big win on an issue that is so important to Fremantle’s future as a unique urban centre.
While the boundaries were good there are some other aspects that I am less impressed by.
The failure for the State Government to amalgamate the local government areas that needed it to the most – aka the Western Suburbs. It seems that we might well be left with Perth’s smallest council Peppermint Grove left intact with it 1200-odd residents while far larger councils are forced to merge. It makes you wonder how committed the State Government really is to amalgamating these blue-ribbon liberal councils. I would have thought better to do all the mergers at once and refine the Perth boundaries through legislation down the track when you have parliamentary support.
The loss of wards. This means that local Councillors from diverse corners of greater Fremantle may be lost which is a shame. No wards will also encourage political parties into local government like never before as it will be very expensive to run for a Council seat.
The potential for commissioners to come in and replace Freo Councillors until the next election. Just a Fremantle is getting some good momentum to have this broken with the Council dissolved and commissioners who may not know Fremantle well could be a real loss at this time.
So as a whole this is a good long term outcome for Fremantle and well done to all involved. My concerns lie solely in the implementation of this new greater Fremantle and I sincerely hope it doesn’t slow or undermine the Fremantle renaissance that is finally underway.
Mayor of the City of Fremantle