Four want to be last mayor

Vote for me: East Fremantle mayoral candidates Jim O’Neill, Cliff Collinson, Barry de Jong and Alex Wilson.
Vote for me: East Fremantle mayoral candidates Jim O’Neill, Cliff Collinson, Barry de Jong and Alex Wilson.

Councillors Cliff Collinson, Barry de Jong and Alex Wilson and former mayor Jim O’Neill will compete for the position for what will likely be the last 18 months of the Town’s existence.

‘It’s great (that there are) so many nominations,’ Mr O’Neill said.

‘The Town has been around for 100 years and I think it needs to go out with dignity.’

Both Mr O’Neill and Cr Collinson said protecting the Town’s heritage buildings was particularly important before amalgamation.

Mr O’Neill said services such as Glyde In and HACC needed to be protected.

‘Heritage is my passion and look at Melville, there’s not much concern about heritage at all,’ Cr Collinson said.

He said he was a strong negotiator and could also improve the Town’s standing in whatever local government emerged from the reform process, including fighting for East Fremantle to be a ward ensuring local representation on the new council.

‘But look at the Australian Senate; when it was formed it was negotiated that every State have the same number of seats to ensure each State’s rights,’ he said.

Cr Wilson, who agreed the Town should work hard to ensure local representation on a new merged council, said the new mayor would need to steer the community through the period of change.

‘How do we get through this change with as much of what the Town values still intact,’ she said.

She said the Royal George Hotel’s continued decline and the health and accessibility of the river foreshore were issues residents were passionate about.

Cr de Jong said whoever became mayor would be ‘turning off the lights and locking the doors’. He said the mayor would need to fight for East Fremantle in whatever emerged from the process, ensure local representation and retain the Town’s heritage and facilities.

The election will be a postal vote, closing on October 19.