THE man behind the Leederville Carnival will run for Vincent council at October’s election.
Jimmy Murphy, 34, has helped build a growing turnout to the carnival since 2012, and helped get the Mount Hawthorn festival off the ground.
Known as “Lips” to buddies in the Funk Club, which he founded in Leederville nigh on 15 years back, he’s also a trumpeter and has a background as an events promoter and a dark history he doesn’t talk much about.
“I studied commerce but didn’t want to sell Colgate or whatever,” he chuckles, “so I went to WAAPA and did a year at the conservatory.”
If elected he’d like to see the council offer more support to independent businesses, which have been disappearing in town centres to give way to bars, restaurants and large international chains that can afford big rents.
He says it’s mighty hard to start a business here and red tape ought to be cut to make it easier for small time operators to get in the game.
He also thinks the council should approach the landlords who own so much of the streets and convince them it’s in their long-term interest to encourage a diversified, funky suburb that doesn’t have the same fast food chains as everywhere else.
“The diversity of businesses is important,” Mr Murphy says. “Both Leederville and Mount Lawley are struggling with attracting people to the area during the day. During the night it’s a big entertainment district, but you don’t want to become just a huge bar or restaurant.”
He says he loves the street art going up around town but it’d be good to see more local artists brought in, as recent projects have seen a lot of international talent flown in.
His other big plan if he gets up is for Vincent to set up a capital fund like the “Fremantle Foundation,” a philanthropic organisation where donors give back their local community.
“A lot of what I’m advocating is looking long-term into how we can grow our community and support our community, rather than simply putting up rates.”
Asked who would likely donate, he says people are already giving: A lot of local projects are funded by the town centre communities and there are some wealthy old-money families in the area, but a one-stop-shop would make sure the donations have the most impact.
Mr Murphy, who’s not a member of any political party, has the backing of mayor John Carey.
“If you set up two festivals, Mount Hawthorn and Leederville, you’ve got to be a people person, you’ve got to be genuine and sincere, and that is Jimmy,” Mr Carey says.
“That’s what I really like about him, he has that ability to connect with people and be positive in making changes.
“My view on local government is you get two types of candidates: people who are very community minded, who want to make positive changes and who are already involved in some way, then there are those who step forward because they are angry about something, a planning decision, and I don’t think those people necessarily bring something positive to council.
“Running because you’re angry about something? I don’t think that energises people.”
by DAVID BELL