Posted on 25 September 2013.
Australia’s king of communism, a bloke who single-handedly beat a traffic fine in the Supreme Court, the owner of a landmark Maylands cafe, the dumped chief of WA’s police union, and a reporter at the state’s six-day monopoly tabloid, are among 386 candidates vying for a local council position in metropolitan Perth.
Western Australia’s local government polls close on October 19, and 27 of Perth’s 29 local councils have positions up for grabs.
WI-FI FOR THE MASSES
Since 2009, trade unionist Vinnie Molina has been national president of the Communist Party of Australia, not that he mentions that in his candidate profile.
“I am a committed trade unionist with a Beaufort and Lincoln Street property for several years,” says Mr Molina who is jockeying to become a South Ward councillor in the City of Vincent.
“I love the sense of community in Vincent, the cafes, pubs, parks and festivals.
“State Government forced amalgamation of local councils is threatening our urban village.”
Mr Molina says he would like to keep Vincent “as is”, but as a second option would support amalgamation with the City of Perth.
“My Highgate property will be part of Perth but I view it as a loss to lose other parts of Vincent,” he says.
“I oppose splitting our community and I will campaign against it.
“I strongly believe resident consultation should contribute to the decision-making that shapes our future living area.”
Mr Molina says he wants to see “people enjoying what local businesses have to offer” and “local residents and visitors having free Wi-Fi access in public areas”.
“I offer initiative, integrity and hard work for Vincent’s future,” he says.
Last year, Armadale resident Bret Busby personally dragged the police and State Solicitor through WA’s highest court over a $250 traffic fine – and won.
Now, Mr Busby is running to become the councillor for the City of Armadale’s Neerigen Ward.
Mr Busby says he has lived at his current home in the ward for 20 years.
“I have been a candidate in previous Armadale City Council elections, attended public meetings, and written letters to the local newspapers,” says Mr Busby who also comments on oneperth.com.au from time to time.
“I have tried to make Armadale more environmentally friendly, and to get better treatment for residents.
“I have tried to get the roads made safer, and to get footpaths on the roads that lack them, and proper maintenance and facilities for all of the parks and reserves.”
John Rifici may not have the self-styled legal nouse of Mr Busby, but he wood fires a mean Margherita pizza at his landmark Rifo’s Cafe on the corner of Eighth Avenue and Guildford Road in Maylands.
“I established this business 14 years ago and during this time I have witnessed the transformation of the suburb,” Mr Rifici says.
“My reason to nominate as a candidate now is that I feel we need to focus on key areas to assist the growth of the shopping village.
“As a married man with three children, I believe returning the parks, streets and amenities to the residents and visitors is a priority, as many areas have become ‘no go zones’.”
Mr Rifici is seeking to become South Ward councillor at the City of Bayswater.
DUMPED POLICE UNION CHIEF
Russell Armstrong, unceremoniously dumped as WA Police Union president after a vote of members last year, obviously has campaigning in his blood.
“I am currently a serving police officer with over 42 years experience in policing and working with the community,” says Mr Armstrong who wants to become North Ward councillor in the leafy western suburbs municipality of Mosman Park.
“I am committed to protecting our Mosman Park heritage [and] environment, and reducing red tape.
“I am against the Government’s forced amalgamation with seven other councils to form the [merged western suburbs] G7 [council], but would work with the community and State Government on a sensible solution for all ratepayers.”
Reporter at Perth’s six-day monopoly tabloid, Kent Acott, spices his campaigning up with a bit of bush genealogy.
“Acotts have lived in Midland-Guildford for more than 100 years,” he says.
“I am the latest.
“I am proud that Midland-Guildford is in my blood.”
Mr Acott says Midland-Guildford is where his family works, shops and plays.
“It’s where I was married and where my sons went to school,” he recalls.
“And it’s where I live.
“That’s why I want the best for its residents … the best services, the best facilities, the best infrastructure.”
Mr Acott says he thinks “the best is worth fighting for”.
“I am ready to take up the fight on your behalf,” he says.
“I am seeking your vote to elect me as your Midland-Guildford Ward councillor.
“In doing so, I pledge to do all I can to ensure that every cent of your rates is spent to make your life as comfortable and as safe as possible.”
Mr Acott says he does not belong to a political party.
“My only allegiance will be to you, the resident,” he pledges.
Metropolitan Perth has the most local councils of any capital city in Australia. Premier Colin Barnett argues that his high profile plan to slash the number of Perth councils from 29 to 14 would make the councils more efficient.
Voting in the local elections is not compulsory.
Photos: WA Electoral Commission