Council candidates comment on peak issues

Rokeby Road Subiaco Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d487864a
Rokeby Road Subiaco Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d487864a

EMPTY shop space, planning developments and management of City funds are among peak issues raised by Subiaco residents ahead of council elections.

Western Suburbs Weekly posed the top three issues raised to all candidates but only six of 13 – Peter McAllister, Thierry Yik Long, Shannon Hennessy, David Eden, Benjamin Dudley and Rick Powell – responded with answers.

Mr Dudley said the City’s planning policies had become “a source of division and conflict”.

“In my opinion, people have lost sight of the fact that the WA Planning Commission (WAPC) asked the City of Subiaco how it would like to proceed with the change – the WAPC did not ask whether the City of Subiaco wanted the change,” he said.

Mr McAllister said Local Planning Scheme No.5 adopted by the council earlier this year was “reasonable” and did not include density increases in areas where community submissions did not want it.

“The main issue we will need to address out of the new town planning scheme is to put in place good precinct planning policies to ensure new development respects the existing character and amenity of an area,” he said.

Mr Powell said he had been doorknocking and “people were putting to him” the handling of the LPS5 and Subi East Redevelopment by the City was poor.

“I think we could have got a better plan if the City Planners had taken some of the ratepayers’ views on board rather than dismissing them all,” he said.

Ms Hennessy was “deeply concerned” by the amount of vacant business spaces along Rokeby Road.

“Through investment in community programs and events such as the Subi Street Party and Subilcious, we can put Subiaco back on the map as a ‘go-to’ destination, increase visibility for existing businesses and reasons for new businesses to choose Subiaco,” she said.

Mr Eden, a small business owner, said it “saddened” him to see empty shopfronts in Subiaco.

“As a councillor it would be incumbent on me to work with business owners, landlords and business groups to do all we can in cutting red tape and reducing road blocks,” he said.

When it came to the financial management of City materials and services, Mr Yik Long, who is a Curtin University finance officer, Thierry Yik Long said the City’s spending needed to be reviewed.

“I’m not in the game to reduce costs in order to stay in the black – I hope to bring about more revenue and therefore create huge profits for the City,” he said.

Candidates Angela Hamersley, Lynette Jennings, Stephanie Stroud, Barbara Booth, Blake Phelan and Judith Gedero did not respond to the Weekly and Rosemarie De Vries declined to participate.