Leederville local leads fight

Leederville resident James Peart on his bike, which he has adorned with anti-council merger campaign signs. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d407149
Leederville resident James Peart on his bike, which he has adorned with anti-council merger campaign signs. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d407149

A Leederville resident of 19 years, the likeable local says he seldom leaves the inner-city precinct because it has everything he needs and enjoys, including Luna cinema, Duende restaurant and Juggler Cafe.

So when council amalgamations proposed to split his beloved ‘burb between Stirling and Perth, Mr Peart took immediate action ” and put his pedal to the metal.

He decorated his bike in Vincent campaign livery and enrolled as a volunteer street co-ordinator, pushing the drive to merge the whole City with Perth.

‘I thought I’d be labelled ‘the crazy sign guy’ but I’ve been getting a great response. Some man in a BMW the other day yelled out to me, ‘Good on ya, mate,’ Mr Peart told Guardian Express.

‘It is a fantastic experience doorknocking for this campaign. I have met so many people who are as passionate about it as I am and only one person has declined to sign the petition.

‘But a lot of people mistakenly think we have won this battle. We still need 1600 signatures to reach our target of 5000, so we’re calling for more street coordinators, that is, anyone who is able to collect signatures from their neighbours or drop flyers promoting the next rally on September 22.’

Guardian asked Mr Peart why his neighbourhood, which will become part of Stirling if the proposal goes ahead, was so significant to him.

‘Leederville is like a little town ” you bump into the same folk on the street. It’s really nice to sit in a cafe and know people ” you hear what’s going on in the neighbourhood, what the concerns are for locals and businesses and it feels like you’re living in a strong community,’ he said.

‘I don’t really have much need to leave the City of Vincent and if I do it’s to go to the City of Perth and if I had that connection taken away, it would be a big thing for me.

‘Nobody has taken the time to think about communities ” they’ve looked at a map and said that looks like a convenient place to draw a line.’