NEWLY elected Stirling mayor Mark Irwin wants trackless trams along Scarborough Beach Road and to set emissions targets – but he has an even more ambitious plan for the City in his four-year term.
“I’d like to be recognised, as a City, as the leading local government for customer service and planning approvals,” he said.
“Our customer satisfaction ratings are some of the best in the country.
“That’s great, but if someone rings us and gets an answering machine when they’re frustrated or we’re not helpful because we’re compliance-focused rather than the other way then we’ve still got ways we can improve.
“I want to be able to bump into people on the street and they say, ‘I’ve dealt with the City of Stirling and it was so easy’.”
Mr Irwin was elected by fellow councillors as mayor in 2017 and on October 19 became the City’s first mayor voted in by ratepayers.
He has been a vocal supporter of trackless trams from Glendalough Station to Scarborough Beach in the past two years and said despite the project being talked about for a long time, there was “light at the end of the tunnel”.
“We’re confident that we’ve done enough lobbying in the last two years already that most ministers and members of the Opposition at a Federal level are aware of Stirling now and our project and that gives us a really good stepping stone for the next four years,” he said.
Mr Irwin shared his short, medium and long-term goals for his mayoral term with Community News, which included his pet project of banning wheel clamping in the City, and setting an emissions target.
“If you look to the community interest and what’s happening out there, there is a willingness for councils to step outside roads, rates and rubbish but it’s got to be in a sensible way,” he said.
“I think there’s an expectation in the community that we have a clear plan and I think if we get on to that soon and can deliver something in the next couple of years that sets clear targets…then I think that’s something that we as a large council should be able to do and do effectively.”
He does not aim for more of the same, instead wanting the City to lead the way in local government and seek innovation.
“We’re a big, old, large council. I don’t want people to have that connotation that because of that we’re an old dinosaur that can’t evolve,” he said.
“I think we should be seen as the leading local government in terms of our innovation and progressiveness.
“I think we do a really good job…but it doesn’t mean you can’t always strive to be that bit better.”
Stirling mayor Mark Irwin’s goals for his mayorship:
– Address parking and congestion issues in town centres such as Mirrabooka, Scarborough and Mt Lawley
– Seek State and Federal Government funding for light rail/trackless trams and upgrade of Inglewood Pool
– Introduce the local law to ban wheel clamping in the City
– Set targets for the City’s emissions in line with community expectations
– Strategic review of the waste strategy
– Support thriving and vibrant local centres across the whole City by continuing to reduce red tape and make it easier to do business
– A better integrated transport approach for residents
– Deliver on the long-awaited upgrade to Hamersley Golf Course
– Be recognised as the leading local government for customer service and planning and approvals