A FORMER soldier who served in the Middle East and a director at the WA Cricket Association are just some of the interesting candidates locking horns at the Stirling council election next month:
• PAUL COLLINS was Lawley ward councillor from 2007-11 and is a former president of the Mount Lawley Society. He was born in Mt Lawley and is a Western Australian Cricket Association director. Mr Collins is pledging to focus on local issues: “I don’t support peripheral issues such as removing citizenship ceremonies from Australia Day. I will strongly support our local schools, sporting clubs and community/senior groups. I will engage with our local businesses and improve planning outcomes for residents concerned with infill, overlooking and loss of amenity. City customer service levels and consultation processes need improving as does increasing our tree canopy cover.” Mr Collins also ran for the state seat of Perth as an independent.
• JOE DRAGO is the son of late former Bayswater councillor Frank, who had the Frank Drago Reserve named after him. Joe says he and his wife Julie chose to raise their kids in the Lawley Ward because of the “fantastic schools, open spaces and proud heritage dwellings.” He says he wants to get the community more involved in council decision-making: “I will respect your views and ensure I am accessible to all residents to discuss the issues important to you. Sporting clubs, community organisations and senior’s programs are the lifeblood of our community but they need our ongoing support. Although many of us are passionate supporters of the heritage within the City of Stirling, including the Beaufort Street strip, we need a plan to preserve it.”
• JOE FERRANTE has been the Lawley Ward councillor since 2011. A lifelong resident, he is patron of Yokine Bowling Club and Alexander Park Tennis Club, a Coolbinia Bombers friend and a member of the Mt Lawley Society. “Identifying and eliminating wasteful expenditure has led to the lowest rate increases in the city’s history, and we need to keep Stirling on track. I have been instrumental in implementing CCTV in Nollamara, improvements to Hamer Park and Lockwood Reserve, the Moyle Pavilion redevelopment and more. He says he is committed to a two-year rates freeze, protecting the city’s heritage and more security patrols. Mr Ferrante has also had a crack at the seat of Perth, running for the Liberal party in 2010.
• ANDREW BETHELL says he has literally walked every street in Stirling as a local newspaper distributor and dog owner. “In that time I have talked with, and listened to, many residents, and business owners. This will help me be a good advocate for your concerns, and difficulties, with the city and future direction of Inglewood.” Mr Bethell says his advanced diploma in accounting will ensure he has a good grasp of the city’s finances and he will “work with the council to ensure that your rates are used effectively”.
• ROZANNE BYASS is up for a battle to win a place on council: “Having served in the Australian Army for 12 years, including in the Middle East, I believe my personal attributes of strong leadership, integrity and ability to motivate will enable me to serve the community well. Council must concentrate on its core activities, keep rates low and provide good grass roots services. It is not only about big projects. Inglewood Ward is on the periphery of Stirling and can sometimes be ignored.
• DAVID LAGAN has been on council since 2011. He says he’s been busy supporting projects which benefited local sporting clubs and community groups: “Assisting in the progression of the Dianella industrial area plan and the Inglewood night markets has enabled me to work closely with the community on new and vibrant initiatives. Securing funds for clubroom upgrades at Dianella open space and Breckler Park ensures future community participation for many age groups.”