Opinion: Mayor’s talkback comments astound

Mayor Giovanni Italiano's recent comments on talkback radio were astounding - and not in a good way
Mayor Giovanni Italiano's recent comments on talkback radio were astounding - and not in a good way

As a former long term City of Stirling ratepayer I was astounded to hear Mayor Italiano on talkback radio (6PR Monday morning 4th September) encouraging builders write to the City objecting to the proposed revised Verge Permit and Bond Policy.

It is not a good look when the mayor is official spokesperson for Stirling and publicly states he is involved in the building industry and encourages builders to object – that came across as using his mayoral position for personal vested interests.

Stirling currently allows too many builders and sub-contractors to mis-use footpaths, verges and laneways as site extensions, usually continuing for around 18 months at a time.

The shenanigans of cowboy builders has to be curbed.

They could not care less about safety and amenity of surrounding residents and visitors yet on public radio the mayor openly promotes continuing his day-job industry’s dangerous mis-use of public space.

It does not have to be this way. In Stirling I’ve personally experienced an excellent builder next door on a small 300 square meter block with 3 metre setback who managed the site impeccably.

Kept it clean and delivered materials in small quantities so proving small lot sites can be properly managed.

Any extra cost is just part of the choice to build on a small lot.

This is what the mayor should be promoting.

At the same time the community would be better served by the mayor and his fellow councillors providing sufficient personnel to proactively control Local Laws rather than the years-long reactive attitude for which Stirling is infamous. The mayor should strive to truly make Stirling “The City of Choice”.

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