AFTER eight years as a Vincent councillor, the zany and idiosyncratic Matt Buckels has announced he won’t be re-contesting his seat at the October elections.
First elected in 2009, he added a cheeky turn of phrase and an independent streak to a historically Labor-heavy council.
“I honestly think that I’ve played a real part of dragging the City of Vincent out of the dark ages, and am super-excited that we’ve made it an organisation that residents are super-excited about,” says Mr Buckels, who at one point had a bowl cut reminiscent of a squire from the Middle Ages.
“There are so many people in Vincent land doing amazing things and with so much passion, and I’m happy to see one of them in my place.
“It’s just the right time to move on.”
Here’s some of Buckels’ most memorable quotes :
• “If you got a bunch of average first year planning students and got them drunk and asked them to rearrange the Perth/Vincent border I doubt they would do as bad a job.”
• On the Barnett-government’s plan to split up town centres during the council amalgamation debate: “Whichever genius decided Beaufort Street would benefit from having not one, not two, but three local governments in charge, well, they deserve an ‘idiot of the year’ medal and to be put on paper clip-sorting duty for a month, if that’s not beyond them.”
• When initial amalgamation plas revealed Vincent would be split up: “Perth city council has the electoral clout of centre management at the Dog Swamp shopping centre,”
• On the legitimacy of our capital city council being elected by a tiny voter base of just a few thousand voters: “This is certifiably the most pointless cause ever.”
• When a heritage lobby group “Save the Horseshoe Bridge” was set up to oppose plans to slightly change the Horseshoe Bridge in Northbridge: “You could tell them you’ll put angular parking on their grandmother’s grave and people will support it.”
• When other councillors wanted to ban backpackers sleeping out overnight in their cars: “My wife and I, the first night that we met properly, after having a few drinks we slept in my Datsun Sunny outside the tavern. I don’t know what would have happened to my relationship if I got a $150 fine.”
by DAVID BELL