LIBERAL candidate David Honey failed to attend a public forum for all Cottesloe by-election candidates at the Cottesloe Civic Centre last night.
“David has been out in the community talking directly with residents about local issues that matter to them, and every day he is at a local train station, followed by door knocking in the afternoon,” Liberal Party State president Sam Calabrese said when asked to explain the absence.
The Liberals were also concerned the forum had been organised by Greens candidate Greg Boland.
However, apart from several posters and flyers from the environmental party, and the WA and Micro Business parties, there was no discernible bias to the questions from about 50 residents quizzing the six other candidates.
During the often light-hearted forum, public questions about local issues included alleged crime in Mosman Park public housing, proposed changes in strata laws, third party appeal rights in planning decisions, and Curtin Highway congestion.
“There are 143 public housing units in Mosman Park, of which maybe 25 have caused issues, and we were working to change the demographic of those, but in the last six months the wheels have fallen off those discussions, but it would be better to do that then export those people elsewhere,” WA Party candidate Ron Norris, the former Mosman Park mayor, said.
Mr Boland said if the Strata Titles Act was changed so 90 per cent of residents in a block of apartments had to agree before the block was sold to a developer, the rule should only apply to new stratas and not be retrospective and affect current apartment blocks.
All candidates at the forum backed residents having third party appeal rights currently being considered by the WA Local Government Association to use against neighbouring developments that impose on their properties.
Campaigning to get the gap filled in the commuter bike path through Cottesloe, independent Michael Thomas said he would continue to talk with Dr Honey about the project if he got 5 per cent of the vote because it would show both major parties they needed to solve the safety issue which made Cottesloe the second-highest bike crash location in Perth.
If the alternative candidates’ messages were to solve any issue – including GST or political party donation reforms – enough votes had to be registered to challenge the status quo of the safe Liberal seat.