Bassendean candidates comment on top issues

Old Perth Road in Bassendean. Picture: David Baylis
Old Perth Road in Bassendean. Picture: David Baylis

THE Bassendean Men’s Shed development, Eden Hill shopping centre redevelopment and the Bassendean town centre are what ratepayers and community groups want candidates to take action on.

The Reporter identified these key issues from a list provided by ratepayers and community groups ahead of the council elections.

Bassendean Business Network spokesman Elliott Brannen said business owners needed to feel confident about their future in order to keep investing and creating in the Town.

“We feel the current council is making a genuine effort and we hope new and re-elected councillors will remain focused on working with business owners,” he said.

Bassendean resident Carol Siedel said it would be good for other community groups to use the men’s shed site.

“I think it would be good too if other groups like Repair Cafe and Bassendean Preservation Group had access to the site,” she said.

“The building should provide more access for other members of our community that do contribute their time and energy to make Bassendean a better place to live in.

“There is still room for improvement in allowing more access to this new asset that’s being built in the Town for the groups that I think are also worthy of having a home along with the men’s shed crew.”

Professionals Wellstead Team principal and Bassendean resident Ian Wellstead questioned candidates on whether there should be a public mayoral vote.

Candidates were sent requests to comment on the top three issues but some did not respond before deadline.

Here are their responses:

Emily Wilding

-“At the special council meeting on September 24, I provided a statement of support for the council to proceed with option 2 of the proposed plans; to move the development to the rear of the block, and retain extra trees in the process. I saw this as a compromise between the valid desire to preserve mature trees but also the need to retain the proper uninhibited function of the Men’s Shed, as there is no point using ratepayer’s money to build a facility that is not fit-for-purpose. I think the Men’s Shed facility is an important piece of infrastructure for the Town.”

-“I would love to see the Eden Hill development proceed, as the lack of retail options north of the railway line is noticeably felt by the community.”

– “I think local government is placed to respond in a preventative role to local crime, rather than a reactive role. I think the Town should be looking at ways of addressing the core issues that lead to crime and anti-social behaviour, while also providing residents with tools and information to reduce occurrences of opportunistic crime.”

Justin von Perger

Justin von Perger.

-“The conflict over tree loss is just the latest act in a long and often deficient process. Lean-agile procurement is a radically different way to bring all the stakeholders together to achieve the best outcome
in the shortest time with the minimum effort.”

-“One Planet Living has a very clear vision of what the future needs to look like. The shopping centre redevelopment is a once in a generation opportunity to work toward this vision, but the council has limited options
how to exert leverage to get a good outcome. I’d like to see it developed as a local community hub and community meeting place.”

-“I fully support underground power and more trees, community gardens and art. As infill progresses, our public spaces become more important. Building community bonds and providing places for young people
are the best ways to reduce crime at a local level and help the community feel safe. Shopping is becoming more impersonal by the year; local businesses can reverse this.”

Chris Barty

 

Chris Barty

-“The benefits of men’s sheds are well known and I am pleased to support initiatives that foster social capital and reduce social isolation. That said, it is important to acknowledge that the loss of mature trees is a high price to pay especially as they are not quickly or easily replaced.”

-“The initial design is aesthetically pleasing and represents a significant opportunity to deliver a positive outcome for the families and local economy in Eden Hill. It is important to ensure that the project is delivered
on time, the community’s desire to maintain as many trees as possible is adhered to and that the proceeds that come from the sale of council land are spent wisely.

-“The collective wisdom to improve the Bassendean town centre already resides within the community. I was pleased to see that Bassendean recently agreed to become a Small Business Friendly local government.
Small business owners generally have the best sense as to what their needs are but are inherently time poor. It is important that local government communicates clearly and is flexible.”

Renee McLennan

Renee McLennan

-“I have consistently supported the Men’s Shed due to the valuable role sheds can play in community well-being. I have also consistently advocated for the retention of mature trees in our Town.”

-“For more than 20 years this strategic site has remained underutilised despite the Town’s efforts to facilitate development with the private land owners. The property is now derelict and I am wanting to see the
site improved for the benefit of the Eden Hill community. The Town has been in dialogue with the private property owners and an initial concept plan for mixed use development has been presented. There is a need to
ensure that a good outcome is achieved for any development in this location.”

-“Under my leadership we have introduced a vibrancy framework to help activate our Town centre. In order to sustain small businesses, we need to have a critical mass of people living and working in our Town centre so I am supportive of developing underutilised sites with higher density, quality residential development near the Bassendean train station.”

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