A FORMER ally of Sylvan Albert is backing the Bayswater mayor’s opponent at the October council elections.
Sonia Turkington has authorised campaign material for Catherine Ehrhardt, who is going head-to-head with Cr Albert for the sole south ward seat.
Ms Turkington was a close south ward ally of Cr Albert’s before stepping down from council two years ago.
“I’m still friends with Sylvan, but I think we need more women on Bayswater council and in local government in general,” she says.
“I approached Catherine when I planned to step down in 2012, but at that point she was too busy to run.
“I didn’t speak to Sylvan before I authorised Catherine’s material, but we’re still friends and this isn’t a personal thing.”
Cr Albert was magnanimous about the authorisation and said he and Cr Turkington were more “colleagues at council” rather than friends.
“It didn’t really bother me,” he says.
“Australia is a democracy so people are free to back whoever they like.
“I will definitely contest the south ward. I like a challenge—it keeps you on your toes.”
Ms Ehrhardt, who is behind the popular Maylands and Mt Hawthorn markets, says asking Ms Turkington to authorise her campaign material was not designed to irk Cr Albert.
“She actually approached me to run around two years ago,” Ms Ehrhardt says.
“There’s no agenda behind it.”
Two of Bayswater’s 11 councillors are women: Michelle Sutherland and Stephanie Coates.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK