IN the wake of a dismal turn-out for the Perth and Fremantle by-elections, the by-election to replace retiring Bayswater councillor Brent Fleeton will be held on September 14 – and voting is not even compulsory.
The North Ward election will be a postal vote and cost the council between $35,000-$70,000. It’s a tight window for nominations, opening August 1 and closing a week later, but we might see a couple of familiar faces on the ballot.
The two nearest challengers at the August 17 election were former councillors Mike Anderton and Michelle Sutherland, and they have not ruled out running again.
Mr Anderton says several ratepayers and a couple of councillors want him to throw his hat in the ring, but he’s “a bit undecided…I’m going to make up my mind on Friday”.
“It takes a lot of time and effort, and if I’m going to be up against certain people throwing big wads of money at it – is it even worth it?”
Ms Sutherland was a maybe, but didn’t sound keen about having to face another election in October next year, when Mr Fleeton’s term would have expired.
Another contender in the 2017 election, Ben Reale-Cornel, told us he wasn’t likely to run, but “I will be throwing all my support behind Michelle Sutherland if she runs”.
Unlike the mandatory voting in federal elections, voting in WA council elections is optional.
by DAVID BELL and MOLLY SCHMIDT