Merlacco vs Carey

Manufacturing business manager Angelo Merlacco will take on Vincent councillor John Carey in the race for mayor.

Mr Merlacco is promising an end to money being “wasted” on public art, baulking at the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on the Beaufort Street lettering, big blue head and alternative street signs.

Most of the cash comes from developers who must put aside one per cent of the cost of big projects into the arts fund, but Mr Merlacco says that money could be better spent, such as on free parking. “I love art, don’t get me wrong, but you have to draw the line somewhere.”

Cr Carey says it’s a cheap swipe and would gut the fund’s intention. The acting mayor says the amount spent is “a very small component of our overall budget”—about 0.7 per cent—and reckons art livens up the area and attracts visitors.

While Cr Carey’s first preference is to keep Vincent as it is, he’s decided the more practical route is to campaign to get the entire city taken into Perth, to avoid the community being split down the middle. He says the all-in to Perth plan has more chance of winning WA government support.

But Mr Merlacco says he’ll oppose any change at all.

“If elected I’ll fight this until I’m blue in the face.”

Cr Carey is an ALP member while Mr Merlacco—who’s clashed previously with Ms MacTiernan—is not, but says he’s a Labor voter.

“John Carey is a very good councillor and a very good candidate,” Mr Merlacco says. “I just feel that I’ve got a lot to offer: I’ve got a drive and I’m results driven.”

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