Safety Bay Ward

Sound Telegraph

In October residents in the Cities of Rockingham and Kwinana will have their say in local government elections. In the build up to the postal ballot, which closes on October 21, the Telegraph is set to take a look at the candidates who have thrown their hat in the ring.

In the Safety Bay Ward two seats are up for grabs this year, with incumbents Leigh Liley and deputy mayor Deb Hamblin set to face off against seven other candidates .

Cullum Ashton

Why have you nominated as a councillor and what would you bring to the role?

I love Rockingham. Rockingham is where I want to settle down, raise my children, watch them grow up and grow old sitting back on my rocking chair, still trying to make my wife laugh. Of course, with a cuppa and two biscuits, or three. Serving you on Council will be an absolute honour and privilege.

What qualifications/experience do you have that is suited for local government?

My background is in healthcare, education, youth services and eSports. I have a BCom at Curtin University. There is an old saying; you can’t listen if you’re talking. It is time that you have someone in Safety Bay completely and unconditionally prepared to listen to your wants, but most importantly to your needs. Someone that can relate to similar issues, has compassion and understands your point of view. Someone that is upfront and will tell you the truth. That someone is me, and I want your vote.

What issues within local government jurisdiction would you like to see addressed?

I will never vote to increase rates. We have other sources of revenue and there are opportunities to raise revenue for the City of Rockingham without having to increase rates. My top three priorities are transforming Safety Bay into a tourism hotspot, creating initiatives that engage and inspire young people, the homeless, the elderly, and creating and supporting projects to increase jobs for Rockingham residents.

Deb Hamblin

Why have you nominated as a councillor and what would you bring to the role?

I have nominated for Council as I have seen how the City has grown over the past few years and know that there is still much to achieve. Having a cohesive team is important and I would hope to ensure that the team continues to work well together.

What qualifications/experience do you have that is suited for local government?

I have been on Council for three terms and understand the operations of a multi million dollar organisation. I have held a number of Board roles including Murdoch University Senate and am currently on the Library Board of Western Australia and South Metropolitan College of Tafe’s Governing Council and so I know the importance of good governance

What issues within local government jurisdiction would you like to see addressed?

I want to investigate more sustainable boating access for Safety Bay and make sure the amenity and natural environment of our City are enhanced. I want our young people to aspire to education and training opportunities to find careers they love.

Geoff Stuart

Why have you nominated as a councillor and what would you bring to the role?

Geoff Stuart nominated for Rockingham Council as he was deeply disturbed that the City dumped 100 truckloads of stinking grey mud onto pristine white Waikiki Beach. The City apologised for this mistake and trucked all the sand away, costing millions of dollars. The Mayor is not elected by the people and with 10 councillors if the vote is tied 5-5, the Mayor gets another vote. Geoff Stuart started holidaying at Rockingham in 1954 and the fairy penguins were happily swimming around the Palm Beach Jetty catching fish. The City is also building a new jetty at Mersey Point also costing millions of dollars. so the monopoly ferry and tour operator can increase tourism numbers. With only 500 pairs of penguins left on Penguin Island they will soon die out. Councillor Geoff Stuart will be sensible, passionate and cease wasting ratepayers’ money.

What qualifications do you have that is suited for Local Government ?

Geoff Stuart has a Commerce Degree from the University of Western Australia and has been a City of Perth and City of Swan councillor. He is acutely aware of the way in which local government wastes huge amounts of money when ratepayers have mortgages and children, and are under financial stress and struggle to pay their rates. Rocky City libraries are excellent and the new three-bin rubbish removal is efficiently operated.

What issues within Local Government Jurisdiction would you like to see addressed ?

Pedestrian and disabled access to Warnbro Station. The $3 million path from Baldivis does not access Warnbro Station. From the west side a path can run down alongside the Ennis Avenue on-ramp then an underpass directly onto the Perth platform. A crosswalk at Safety Bay shops enabling doctors surgery patients to safely cross to the pharmacy. A crosswalk at Boat Ramp Cafe providing safe access to the launching ramp and windsurfers who come from across the world. Bicycle carousels at Rocky Station, Rocky Beach, Point Peron, Shoalwater, Warnbro Sound and Warnbro Station forming a tourism bonanza. Disabled and pram access to all Rocky City beaches. Smoother footpaths and pram ramps and all bus stops to enable wheelchair and easy pram access to buses. All residents, ratepayers and voters to have full participation in Rocky City council decision-making processes by electronic voting participatory democracy. Non computer residents catered for.

Glen Cooper

Why have you nominated as a councillor and what would you bring to the role?

The local community has always played a large role in my family life as I believe being connected within one’s community is a key ingredient to a happy life. I've seen how local council can damage a community when I lived in Melbourne, where a particular council made decisions outside of the community’s expectations and destroyed the village atmosphere into a soulless big business ghost town. I want to ensure that we have an accountable and transparent council that has its residents central to the decision-making process. I also wish to address some community topics such as social issues, health, safety, crime, future developments, environmental protection, economic growth and tourism, all while using a sensible financial management framework that gives value to all residents for the high rates we pay. To provide the greater Rockingham area with a genuine platform to help shape our future.

What qualifications/experience do you have that is suited for local government?

For the past 15 years I have been a business development manager and second-in-charge for a large Australian manufacturer in the construction and mining industries. I learned all aspects of best practices concerning everything from asset management, financial control, community engagement, stakeholder consultation, needs and risk assessments, and client satisfaction. I recently resigned from this role and went into full-time study in community services, which is my passion. Here I am learning to enhance my skills in the areas of advocacy, case management, sociology, support counselling and development and implementation of service programs. I am a critical thinker, have an open minded and diverse background and believe I am a white collar professional with a blue collar persona. Additionally I have also been the event manager for various charity events, which has raised tens of thousands of dollars for Rockingham charities that help feed families under financial hardship.

What issues within local government jurisdiction would you like to see addressed?

Community services is vital for a healthy and proud place to live. With two suburbs within Rockingham ranked in the top five of the national list in mortgage delinquencies, and our increasing population with many suffering financial pressure, homelessness, mental health issues, and higher demand on aged care services, the council needs to create the framework to help bridge these gaps. I would like to take a collaborative approach with service providers to create an easy-to-use app that has all the information available to residents in a user-friendly format that connects the community with the services available. Development projects that negatively affect our environment must have greater stakeholder input so that decisions can be made in accordance with community expectations. Promote Rockingham as a tourist destination to boost our economy to offset our residential vs commercial ratio in order to increase revenue without raising rates to residents.

Leigh Liley

Why have you nominated as a councillor and what would you bring to the role?

I am passionate about the needs and lifestyle of our community, the responsible management of our unique coastal environment and the advancement of a sustainable and affordable economic future for all residents. I’m opposed to the placement of noxious industries detrimental to health and excessive clearing of bushland. I am deeply aware of the range of social and economic challenges that impact on families in our community, and offer 100 per cent dedication, experience and compassion to the role of Safety Bay Ward Councillor. Being a councillor has provided me with the opportunity to positively influence the strategic direction for the community across a wide range of issues ranging from community development and infrastructure to finance and government to strategic plans. The best part of being a councillor is being involved with the community at all levels and see projects that Council has brought forward come to completion. Rockingham is heading in a positive and exciting direction. I remain committed to ensuring the community’s long-term aspirations, reflected in the City’s Strategic Plans, they are as important now as the day I became a councillor.

What qualifications/experience do you have that is suited for local government?

A masters degree in Leadership. Local Government Training Course Work. I have always remained informed of issues and represented the interests of electors, ratepayers and residents. Years of experience as chair of numerous committees including the Corporate and Community Development, as well as council’s representative on committees including Disability Access and Inclusion Committee, Sports Advisory, Community Grants Program, Neighbourhood Watch, City Safe, Governance Review, and Marine Infrastructure. My professional role requires me to effectively communicate with all members of my school, community and other stakeholders. To develop positive relationships, trust, motivation, empowerment, and collegiality must be built up, established and maintained. I believe that trust and reliability are the essentials; without this, relationships and effective communication and teamwork cannot occur. I was recently recognised by the WA Local Government for my service to the community.

What issues within local government jurisdiction would you like to see addressed?

  • ‘Masterplanning’ to improve Safety Bay Bent Street precinct – realise the untapped potential of this area – always with community consultation.
  • Balance the needs of the community (financial pressures of the current economic climate) and the need for a managed and sustainable future.
  • Continuance of the Community Grants Program for community groups to support free major events, cultural events, sporting groups and families in need.
  • Rockingham has a sensation marine backyard and our infrastructure, from boat-launching facilities to fish-cleaning benches, needs to be well maintained for use by us and visitors.
  • Protect our valuable marine asset, save Cockburn Sound from even more industrial degradation, put a stop to excessive clearing of our unique bush land (we need green spaces - they are good for emotional wellbeing not overcrowding), and no to the location of heavy, noxious industry on our doorstep to the detriment of our lifestyle, health, businesses, and tourism potential.
  • Continued focus strategic policy related to seniors, youth, disability, learning city and community safety.

Patricia Mullan

Why have you nominated as a councillor and what would you bring to the role?

I have nominated for council because I truly believe that the people of Rockingham want change. It is time to take Rockingham into the future, time to listen to what the people need, supporting council with new ideas and considering our elderly and youth. Working with a team to repair substandard roads. And pursuing other avenues to reduce the ever increasing crime rate. I can bring my communication skills and knowledge in industry to better our main infrastructure. Being a grandmother of seven grandchildren, I can sympathise with the parents of children of all ages and the lack of things for them to do in this area. I also can relate to the elderly, the fear of being alone, frightened and at times too afraid to leave their homes.

What qualifications/experience do you have that is suited for local government?

I have many life experiences, from raising three children to recently taking issues of concern to the council, speaking up for those that can’t do so for themselves and achieving success in these areas. I have 13 years’ experience in the construction industry in OHS, safety representative, traffic control supervisor and auditor. In my career I have had to negotiate and supported the people working on the ground but also negotiated with heads of departments. My work as one of the on-ground area supervisors for CHOGM when in Perth, this involved dealing with local and Federal agencies at ground level and the members of the public. I believe that I will bring my knowledgeable ideas to our council, improve the transparency of the council to the public in order that the budget is strongly controlled and more local small businesses and people are employed.

What issue would I like to address that are in local government jurisdiction

Improvement of roads and infrastructure within the city. The development and support of the founding areas of the city. To lower the increasing crime rate within the area, by working as a team with the residents, schools and authorities. Try to initiate the release of more industrial land to encourage local businesses and employment to the area. Better parking facilities within the City of Rockingham.

Paul Ellis

Why have you nominated as a councillor and what would you bring to the role?

When deciding to sit for the local council seat of Safety Bay, my wife and I gave this some serious consideration. Having been a councillor 2008 to 2011, I am well aware of the commitment required and the effect this has on time spent with your family and business. After some lengthy discussions we decided the ward of Safety Bay needed someone to stand up and fight for the improvements we so badly need. So much attention is given to Baldivis and the Rockingham foreshore, with the Safety Bay ward always last in the list. With my experience as a senior police officer in strategic management and human resources, also as a small business owner, together with my years of involvement in many local community organisations, I feel I have the experience and knowledge to finally give the Safety Bay ward the representation it deserves.

What qualifications/experience do you have that is suited for local government?

My qualifications and experience gained throughout the years are ideally suited for the position of councillor. I started my career as a tradesperson and moved to the police, where I gained extensive experience in management, strategic planning and communicating with people of all cultures and ages. My involvement as a board and committee member in many local community organisations has given me a broad understanding of community needs and working with the community. As a councillor 2008 to 2011 I sat on a number of committees and gained invaluable experience in the workings of council. I am currently a licensed real estate agent and have experience working with developers and town planners, which puts me ideally suited to assist in decision making on local planning. As a small business owner I know the difficulties being faced now by small business owners in keeping your business viable and struggling to pay the bills.

What issues within local government jurisdiction would you like to see addressed?

As a councillor for the Safety Bay ward I would strive to provide more support for local businesses, creating more employment within the local business and tourism community. Council needs to streamline development and reduce red tape. We want council to work with and assist local residents instead of putting barriers in their path. The Safety Bay ward encompasses the coastline from Shoalwater to Port Kennedy and is comparable to the best in the world. Yet our current councillors spend your dollars beautifying Baldivis and the Rockingham foreshore to satisfy the desires of the big developers from out of this area. By supporting local business and tourism, reducing red tape, we can increase employment and build success for our local businesses. My aim would be to also push for more activity on the Safety Bay ward areas such as upgrading the cycle and footpaths and utilising our beautiful coastline.

Rae Cottam

Why have you nominated as a councillor and what would you bring to the role?

I believe we need a more diverse council. I have watched for far too long and feel I have a responsibility to act and to represent the voices and opinions I hear. I will bring my proactive attitude, professionalism and approachability to council. These attributes and friendly polite manners is what already qualifies me for this role as community of all diversities speak to me and share their stories and opinions. I keep hearing from community that I should run - I can't ignore this prompt anymore. I want to represent my town and fill the gap. Also youth is under-represented and not prioritised by our current council. I will bring vision and experience of working with youth, disabilities, aged and the ethnically diverse. To my knowledge a First Nation person hasn't been elected to council. I want to be the first and to represent not only my people but the wider needs of our community

What experience or qualifications do you have that would make you suitable.

In 2014 I attended the national straight talk summit in Canberra. We know when women are in positions of power to create change, the choices made are more equal and beneficial to the community. This course unskilled my abilities to communicate with and represent constituents and added new tools to my belt. I attended the 'Your Community, Country and Council 2016' forum in Victoria, a master class for women running for local government. Both of these training programs have given me the opportunity to talk with and gain advice from politicians and refine my leadership qualities, improve my public speaking. I have worked for both the City of Rockingham and Kwinana councils and I have taught junior council, which is a model of council with a mayor and junior mayor. Also I have reported to council as an employee, so I understand the processes involved behind and what is required of me if I am elected.

What issues within local government jurisdiction would you like to see addressed?

I would like to see the Reconciliation Action Plan revisited and amended to have more measurable outcomes and that they be achieved. I would also like more community consultation. I would like to be that bridge between community and council by sharing and keeping people on both sides informed.

Sally Davies

Why have you nominated as a councillor and what would you bring to the role?

I’ve nominated for council because I love this town. Rockingham has given me a great deal over the last 25 years and it’s time for me to give back. I know that leading isn’t about working towards my own agenda - my experience has taught me that effective leadership is listening to and effectively representing others. I came to WA as a Defence Force wife, my husband later became a local police officer. My husband and I are local small business owners, so I understand the needs and difficulties of being a local business owner-operator in the area. Our entire lives together have been focused on our place in the community. As a migrant from the UK myself, I understand the situation of new arrivals. As a forces wife I can also connect with the challenges of being a FIFO or Forces family in the area.

What qualifications/experience do you have that is suited for local government?

As a manager in education I have the necessary skills and experience to be effective in local government. I have proven myself to be highly organised and used to overseeing and facilitating both small and large-scale events. I am an effective problem solver and researcher. I will seek to facilitate shared common goals and/or compromise between community and council. I am good at public speaking, at which I have extensive experience. I am highly competent in dealing with legislative processes. I’m used to dealing with policy. I have been hired as a consultant by State and Federal education authorities to form policy and syllabus. Therefore I understand what it means to navigate institutions and bureaucracy. I am very good at team building and facilitating teams in moving towards their goals. I am a good listener and strong advocate for others. My leadership style is facilitation. I am excellent at conflict resolution. I have strong negotiation skills after decades of working in education.

What issues within local government jurisdiction would you like to see addressed?

Careful development of the local coastline and foreshore. Local council can support sustainable ecotourism leading to more local jobs, but has a responsibility to maintain sensitive local coastal ecosystems. Council decisions about coastal development must be addressed transparently, carefully and with due diligence to all the issues. Local government should communicate effectively with the community. It is an issue that very few local people have met or could identify any of our councillors or have any idea of local government policy. Ratepayers should know about what’s happening in their local council, and have their ideas and concerns heard. Mandurah has a flourishing festival culture,Rockingham council could better develop and promote new and existing local events. As a high school teacher I am keenly aware that there are not enough support services for our young people. Effective services for older people, migrants and the vulnerable in the local community.

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