Sutherland tries for Baysy council

791NEWSMichelle Sutherland—who is married to Mt Lawley Liberal MP and parliamentary speaker Michael—will contest Bayswater’s north ward at the October 19 council elections.

The Noranda resident and geography teacher at Hale School says she is passionate about preserving trees, transforming the Morley Galleria precinct into a town centre and improving the city’s cultural life with “street festivals and concerts”.

She notes people shouldn’t make assumptions about her based on her marriage, noting she comes from a Labor-voting family with a grandfather who was a card-carrying communist.

She says she was a socialist herself in her late teens but her views changed after visiting eastern Europe—then still behind the Iron Curtain—in her early 20s.

“It was a beautiful part of the world, but there I saw that the ideals of communism didn’t match with the practicalities of life—people were queuing for food and extremely poverty stricken.”

After hooking up with Michael she joined the Liberals about 10 years ago.

The 46-year-old says she has always been interested in council issues and feels she now has enough life experience to make a contribution.

“I feel that I have time to devote to the job,” she says.

“I worked in rural schools all over WA before moving back to Perth, so I have loads of experience with people from all kinds of backgrounds.

“I would like to see a tree audit done in the city, as I keep seeing lots being subdivided and trees disappearing.

“More trees should be planted on the verge, so the city can emulate some of the older, leafy suburbs in Perth.”

Ms Sutherland says if elected, she plans to vote independently and avoid the council’s infamous factions.

The council has been plagued by in-fighting for years: Mayor Terry Kenyon sued two councillors and others walk out during meetings.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

 

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