WE identified several issues important to City of Stirling ratepayers and asked the six mayoral candidates how they would address them.
These are their responses in full and are in order as they appear on ballot papers.
If you are elected mayor, please explain how you will:
– Address a lack of parking and ensure there is free parking in retail precincts
– Improve public transport so people can easily access places like the redeveloped Scarborough Beach and Stirling city centre
– Ensure City of Stirling funding is distributed evenly across all of its town centres
– Free or timed parking generally already exists in retail precincts. Council recently reviewed parking requirements in centres and found that apart from a select few centres that there was no major parking problem to address and in most cases council reduced the number of parking bays in local centres commensurate to 100sq m of gross lettable space.
– Council has been lobbying the Federal Government for the funding of rapid rail. This is a concept that I would support and would pursue. Rapid rail will start from the Glendalough Station to Scarborough Beach. Looking for further parking opportunities is also on the agenda.
– Generally the distribution of funding for town centres is based on its merits. Council is not permitted under statute to Ward Account. I will however endeavour my utmost to ensure a fair distribution.
– I believe parking is an issue associated with poor planning and poor consultation therefore to address this issue I would ensure all potential usages of a site would be properly analysed and then the City would consult with affected people, both owners and occupiers of the surrounding areas, and a report presented to council with that information to ensure informed decisions are made. I have been the leader and have been successful in removing paid parking from areas such as Osborne Park and Mt Lawley as they would seriously affect small businesses and the retail market is tough enough in these economic times without alienating potential customers.
– I was instrumental in the forming of the Stirling city centre project in 2006 to not only address alternative public transport issues but also make the area more accessible for everyone irrespective of age and ability. I have pushed for light rail or monorail down Scarborough Beach Road from Glendalough train station to the beach and from the Stirling train station and will continue to do so. I have also suggested that we have shuttle buses in the area which would run more frequently and would be faster than current buses.
– This has been an issue for many years and the Local Government Act states no ward accounting. However, there appears to be a significant disparity between how much of ratepayers’ money is not only spent in each ward but also the events that the City conducts in the City does not appear to be evenly distributed across the wards which does not appear to be fair. I would push for a calendar of events to ensure that all wards get their fair share of activities and I would ensure that there was a regular maintenance program of all City buildings in all wards to ensure that the ratepayers money is used on facilities and all buildings are kept in good condition especially as the community uses them the most.
– I will continue to advocate for sensible monitoring and enforcement of parking in retail precincts. This includes ensuring that businesses allow patrons to use parking across the whole development that is often included in reciprocal parking arrangements during approvals. I will continue lobby all levels of government to ban wheel clamping and work collaboratively with land owners to provide access to parking bays. I will support provision of temporary parking facilities in development areas to alleviate problems in peak periods. I will support initiatives such as shuttle bus services and alternative transport methods.
– I have a proven track record in working with State and Federal Government to improve transport including Stephenson Avenue and lobbying for light rail/trackless tram from Glendalough to Scarborough. I continue to ensure that all government and non-government transport agencies work together to find solutions to the increasing congestion in our town centres. All developments in these precincts will need to provide car parking for the public and comprehensive traffic management solutions and sustainable options to support population growth. Some of these include share cars, electric charging points, cycle facilities including end of ride change rooms etc.
– Ward accounting is prohibited under the Local Government Act. Stirling has always ensured that its budget is balanced to cater for the needs of everyone across the City and our facilities are maintained and replaced on a life cycle that is reflected of community use and condition. I will continue to work with all of our community to provide improved services and facilities that reflect the needs of our community.
– As mayor I will continue to support the first hour free parking in all town centres and work with business owners to free up available parking for reciprocal usage after 6pm. I will also support investigating the purchasing of property or land for parking if town centre master plans support such activity and full council and the community after consultation also support such activity.
– As mayor I will continue to lobby both State and Federal governments for grant fundings for the provision of light rail from Glendalough to the beach. I will also lobby business to take on a PPP model of funding which enables the naming of rolling stock or stations in advertising rights agreements with the City and business. Similar models have worked in cities such as Dublin and can work here with greater business participation. I support the transport plans already in place for the Stirling city centre and the use of innovative transport alternatives is an avenue I will progress.
– As mayor I will progress and complete all master plans on the City books and ensure funding is applied across all parts of the City such that amenity is forthcoming throughout the City. Clearly differing areas within the City boundaries require differing models of infrastructure spend and area vision planning but using grant funding and plans already community supported future projects will benefit all who live within and visit our City.
– The most sustainable retail strip shopping precincts are those which have easily accessible dedicated free public carparks eg Main Street Osborne Park, Beaufort Street Mt Lawley and Beaufort Street Inglewood. Main Street was the last to be constructed and that was over a decade ago. Retail and commercial precincts make significant contributions to the City’s rate income and it is therefore in the City’s interests to see these areas prosper. However, I am not aware of any new public carpark constructed by the City in a retail precinct since the Main Street carpark was completed. The City has reserve fund accounts containing monies received as ‘cash in lieu’ of parking which could and should be used to provide additional public carparks. I believe the City’s current practice of introducing time restrictions on public parking in retail precincts works well as an alternative to meters and should be extended to all areas under parking pressure.
– Good public transport options to serve Scarborough Beach are essential if the real benefits and potential of the upgrade to the Scarborough Beach redevelopment area and the projected population growth along the Scarborough Beach Road corridor are to be realised. A light rail service to the beach from Glendalough station has been the subject of several reports and unsuccessful government grant applications by the City. It is to be hoped that completion of the Scarborough redevelopment and real progress on the Stirling regional centre, namely funding for construction of the Stephenson Avenue link road and expansion of Westfield Innaloo Shopping Centre, will be the catalyst for renewed interest, focus and support from government agencies to progress the project. It will be a priority for me, as mayor, to advocate for improved public transport access to and from high activity areas for residents and tourists.
– This is a matter for consensus among councillors and is no different to distribution of funding for all City projects and services. This is often difficult to achieve and it would be my role as mayor to guide the process and lead by example.
DID NOT RESPOND
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