STIRLING mayor Mark Irwin has pushed back against calls for councils to stick to the “three Rs”.
The Scarborough resident made the comments to a room full of supporters at the launch of his mayoral re-election campaign on Thursday night.
He spruiked the work done by City of Stirling since he was elected as mayor by fellow councillors in 2017 and said efforts to reduce red tape, foster businesses and improve infrastructure needed to continue.
“State Government are talking about the three Rs – the rates, the roads and the rubbish – and they’re saying, stay in that lane and don’t go outside,” he said.
“It’s not good enough to stay there.”
Mr Irwin said the City needed to deliver the three main services but “the community also wants more”.
“We’ve got to listen and make sure we hear what those wants are because expectations are growing all the time,” he said.
“To do that the council needs to be more flexible, we need to bend the rules.”
But Local Government Minister David Templeman agrees, telling the WA Local Government Association annual general meeting this month that councils had “gone past roads, rubbish and rates”.
“Imagine if we went back to just doing that, the programs that wouldn’t happen that have been delivering outcomes for community, reconnecting people,” he said.
“The biggest challenge that this nation faces in my view is this disconnection that exists in many parts of Australia.
“Who’s best placed to do it? It’s local government.”
Mr Irwin also said partnerships with State and Federal governments would remain a priority and promised the long-awaited Stephenson Avenue extension would start by the end of the year.
Stirling ratepayers will elect the mayor for the first time at the October local government elections, with Mr Irwin and fellow councillors Elizabeth Re, David Lagan, Giovanni Italiano and Adam Spagnolo already putting their hands up for the position.