City of Stirling Council Elections:  Which Candidate is Fighting in our Corner?

The City of Stirling Local Council Elections 2017 are just around the corner, with postal voting closing on Saturday 21st October. 

Not sure how you can vote in the election? Find out more here.

We tried to cut through the ‘politics’ and get to the heart of the matter when it comes to the candidates standing for the Coastal Ward, the most critical Ward in our fight to permanently save the sand dunes at Scarborough and Trigg Beach.

Beach Not Bitumen emailed all the candidates — Karen Caddy, Felicity Farrelly and Albert Szilard-Karoly — to find out their stance on prioritising preservation of the sand dunes.

Here are the relevant parts of their answers (with our comments added) to help you decide who to vote for before the close of election on 21 October 2017. You can click here to see the full email we sent.

In our email, BNB said that: “We are seeking a commitment from you that should you be elected you would…”

Karen Caddy

1. Pursue permanent protection for the Quindalup coastal dune systems north and south of Scarborough Beach.

Not addressed specifically. Cr Caddy states: “My priority has been, and will continue to be, working with the community and government stakeholders to find ways to reduce the number of cars entering the foreshore area in the first place.  I believe this is the best way to ensure permanent protection of the dune system because with fewer cars there will be no need for additional roads.”

BNB Comment: Cr Caddy’s response does not say she supports permanent protection of the Quindalup dune system.  Her support appears to depend upon the reduction of the number of cars entering the foreshore area, which as a strategy for the beachfront we support, but permanent protection for these areas needs to be a priority in its own right.

If Cr Caddy is re-elected we look forward to her taking steps to have the coastal dune systems north and south of Scarborough Beach permanently protected.

2. Pursue the permanent closure of the redundant Main Roads road reserve in the South Trigg Beach Reserve as decided by the Stirling Council on 1 May 2012.

“In consultation with members of Beach not Bitumen and the Friends of Trigg Bushland, I moved a motion at Council to protect the Threatened Ecological Community of Rottnest Island Cypress Pines in the South Trigg Area.  This motion covers the permanent closure of the redundant road reserve as per the Council resolution of 1 May 2012, and the protection of the Cypress Pines from any threats and disturbances. Council have deferred their decision on this motion until after the election, and I am committed to pursuing it again then.”

BNB Comment: Cr Caddy engaged with us in developing her motion and we were in full support of her taking it to Council before it entered ‘caretaker’ mode in the lead up to the election. The Community and Resources Committee had also unanimously carried the motion to close the road reserve at its meeting on 5 September (7 votes to 0).

We were concerned that in her introduction to her motion at the full Council meeting on 12 September, Cr Caddy referred to access and egress ‘problems’ twice and stated that the removal of funding for the roads in the State Budget was ‘absolutely devastating’; but qualified this as being ‘not material at this point’.

What does this mean? The procedural motion to hold the motion over to after the local government election was made by the other Coastal Ward Councillor, Mark Irwin. This was very disappointing as Council had not entered caretaker mode, and we expected our Coastal Ward representatives would be more aware of each other’s intentions at Council meetings.

But given Cr Caddy’s commitment to proceed with this if elected, and the unanimous support from the committee, we look forward to the reintroduction of the road closure motion and to the support for the road closure by both of the Coastal Ward Councillors.

3. Work with the community to improve pedestrian and cycling access and facilities and introduce sustainable transport options such as increased and improved public transport, bike hire, car sharing and light rail to facilitate public access to Scarborough Beach.

“In November last year, I moved a motion that resulted in the then Planning Minister deferring her decision on the roads, and instructing the MRA to explore options other than road extensions to deliver better foreshore access.”

“My actions on Council over the last 4 years have demonstrated my commitment to protecting the coastal dunes and working with the community to find sustainable transport solutions at Scarborough.”

“I have actively supported the City’s new bicycle boulevard which will connect Stirling train station with Scarborough and improve cycling access.”

“My priority has been, and will continue to be, working with the community and government stakeholders to find ways to reduce the number of cars entering the foreshore area in the first place.”

“This is going to be a tough to achieve and will need a multi-faceted solution, but provides us with an opportunity to rethink the way people access all our beaches, not just Scarborough.  I am currently in discussion with community members, the City, the MRA and state government colleagues about how we can move forward with this.”

“Actions speak louder than words, and I have demonstrated my commitment to sustainable transport solutions and protecting our coastal dunes”

BNB Comment: We strongly support Cr Caddy’s commitment to ‘reduce the number of cars entering the foreshore area in the first place’ and ‘rethinking the way we access all beaches’. This is a key point for successful redevelopment generally, and entirely possible for Scarborough with the range of research, models and feasibility studies already available regarding a range of sustainable transport options. Cr Caddy has supported and is committed to a number of them, including light rail, bus rapid transit and the bike boulevard.

To date Cr Caddy hasn’t included Beach Not Bitumen in any formal discussions to explore or implement sustainable transport solutions at Scarborough Beach. And hasn’t gone into detail here to explain what other measures have been put in place or might be put in place to improve pedestrian and cycling access and facilities and introduce sustainable transport options at Scarborough Beach. But if she’s elected, we look forward to working with her on her commitments in this area.

Click here to view Karen Caddy’s full response.


Felicity Farrelly

1. Pursue permanent protection for the Quindalup coastal dune systems north and south of Scarborough Beach.

“I concur that the permanent protection of the Quindalup coastal dune system is extremely important.”

BNB Comment: While she agrees that it is important Ms Farrelly does not say she will pursue permanent protection as requested.

2. Pursue the permanent closure of the redundant Main Roads road reserve in the South Trigg Beach Reserve as decided by the Stirling Council on 1 May 2012.

“I support your request to have the redundant Main Roads road reserve closed.”

BNB Comment: We welcome Ms Farrelly’s support for the road reserve closure, and would be looking to her to action to ensure this happens should she be elected.

3. Work with the community to improve pedestrian and cycling access and facilities and introduce sustainable transport options such as increased and improved public transport, bike hire, car sharing and light rail to facilitate public access to Scarborough Beach.

“I agree totally with your point 3, in particular the differentiation between Scarborough and Trigg and the improvement for connectivity between the two. I don’t believe the current walkability connections really work well, nor cycling access for all safely and I look forward to further ideas on this.”

“there needs to walkability access through the suburbs as well that engages one to walk/ride to the beach rather than consolidate everything at the beachfronts. I support the light rail down to Scarborough Beach having raised this idea 10 years ago in early discussions with Scarborough SEAS group.”

“I offer my full support on the matters you have requested if elected.”

BNB Comment: We support Ms Farrelly’s agenda for better walkability and cycling access in the area, though we have some concerns about what she means by ‘…in particular the differentiation between Scarborough and Trigg and the improvement for connectivity between the two. I don’t believe the current walkability connections really work well, nor cycling access for all safely and I look forward to further ideas on this…’.

As there have been proposals to fragment the South Trigg Beach Reserve to improve “connectivity” we would need this to be clarified by Ms Farrelly. We welcome Ms Farrelly’s support for BNB’s concerns, and if she’s elected, look forward to working with her on them. Though she hasn’t made any specific proposals to improve transport options at Scarborough Beach.

Click here to see Felicity Farrelly’s full response.


Albert Szilard-Karoly

1. Pursue permanent protection for the Quindalup coastal dune systems north and south of Scarborough Beach.

“Before permanent protection status can be declared for the Quindalup Coastal Dune Systems north and south of Scarborough Beach further consultation required with the community, also such protection has to meet the criteria of the National Reserve System. I’m strongly in favour to conduct such environmental studies. We have to listen those voices in the community who seek a more vibrant city with less congestion also. High volume of investors looking at developing in our coastal suburbs in the vicinity of these dunes, which financially benefit the local residents, and that can’t be ignored. We have to find the right balance and legislations, less red tape with the State Government to work hand in hand protecting our environment and those who resides in the surrounding suburbs.”

BNB Comment: What is Mr Szilard-Karoly really saying in answer to the question? The conservation values of these coastal reserves have been studied extensively, which is why they have Bush Forever status.  Does “the right balance” include development of these areas?

2. Pursue the permanent closure of the redundant Main Roads road reserve in the South Trigg Beach Reserve as decided by the Stirling Council on 1 May 2012.

“They (local residents) highlighted the importance of protecting the environment, also I heard many requesting better access points to the beach and many requested a better infrastructure planning for the community.”

“Since 2012 many major changes happened in Scarborough and the surrounding and it needs to be reflected in the planning process also.”

“The City Of Stirling has limitations when such major infrastructure projects go ahead or not.”

BNB Comment: Sounds like Mr Szilard-Karoly would not actively pursue the permanent closure of the redundant Main Roads road reserve.

3. Work with the community to improve pedestrian and cycling access and facilities and introduce sustainable transport options such as increased and improved public transport, bike hire, car sharing and light rail to facilitate public access to Scarborough Beach.

“We need to work together with Transperth to establish new routes, more frequent services and affordable ones, safe CCTV fitted bus stops. Widening the CCTV network across the coastal suburbs, improving the lights along foot paths, also placing more bins along foot paths to keep the environment clean are some of my most important targets I would be working on to achieve.”

BNB Comment: Good as far as it goes but nothing about how he would go about it. There would need to be more effort than just working with Transperth especially regarding alternative transport options – none of which he has identified.

Click here to see Albert Szilard-Karoly’s full response.


In conclusion:

Beach Not Bitumen urges you to vote at these elections; although not compulsory, it is very important that you have your say and make your vote count.

Councillors must represent residents and beach users — not just developers, as has happened too often in the past.  Even if you are not a resident of Coastal Ward, you may know someone who is, so please share this information.

Remember, you can always email the candidates directly to find more information on their stance on policy:

Felicity Farrelly — fwfarrelly@yahoo.com.au
Albert Szilard-Karoly — albertke2002@yahoo.com
Karen Caddy — karen@businx.com.au

The City of Stirling operates postal votes for Council Elections. Your vote needs to have been received by the Returning Officer by 6.00pm on election day, Saturday 21st October. 

Not sure how you can vote in the election? Find out more here.

Authorised by Robyn Murphy, 4 Howell St, Marmion WA 6020 for Beach Not Bitumen.

3 thoughts on “City of Stirling Council Elections:  Which Candidate is Fighting in our Corner?

    1. Hi David, you’re absolutely right! We’ve also sent the same questions to the Hamersley Ward and Doubleview Ward candidates too. We’ll circulate their responses soon!

      Like

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