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Council elections 2023: Who has put their hand up to be a City of Bunbury councillor? — Part One

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenBunbury Herald
There are eight candidates vying for four spots on the City of Bunbury council at this year’s elections.
Camera IconThere are eight candidates vying for four spots on the City of Bunbury council at this year’s elections. Credit: RegionalHUB

On October 21, residents in the City of Bunbury will find out who will serve on council for the next four years.

Eight candidates have put their hands up for the four spots available on council, setting up a strong contest for the positions.

Further tightening the race is the City’s loss of two councillor positions at this year’s vote due to local government reforms.

There will be at least one new face on council, with Betty McCleary and Amanda Yip not recontesting their positions.

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In the first installment in a two-part series, we have asked the candidates about their run for a spot on the City of Bunbury council.

Todd Brown

Why are you running for council?

City of Bunbury council candidate Todd Brown.
Camera IconCity of Bunbury council candidate Todd Brown. Credit: Supplied

I want things to happen and I don’t want our ratepayers to pay for it. How do we do that? To answer that, I consider Bunbury’s greatest asset is that Bunbury is identified by the State Government as the State’s second city. Other States embrace this label and create City Deals. They spend millions to make decentralisation a priority like Geelong ($183 million from feds alone) and Newcastle (a whole new university in the city). Our State and Federal governments’ City Deal was to spend $1.5 billion in the Perth city centre. We deserve a council that will call out Perth-centric spending habits and advocate for those funds to come to Western Australia’s official second city. Final example, in 1898 the Leschenault Lady commenced service out of Bunbury. That was 125 years ago. And today in 2023 our Australind barely hits the tracks. Metronet has cost how many billion dollars?

What experience do you bring to council?

I have a business degree in economics and finance and a diploma in valuation and land administration which included town planning, surveying, building and property law. In 2017, I was elected to the City of Bunbury council for four years. I was a board member of the Dolphin Discovery Centre, a member of the Joint Development Assessment Panel, the Heritage and International Relations Committees. I am the current chair of the Bunbury Geographe Economic Development and Planning Committee. I have been board chair at the Bunbury Primary School and I am currently board chair at the Bunbury Senior High School.

What will be your priorities if elected to the council for the next four years?

To find alternative innovative forms of project funding so we are not so reliant on ratepayers; have shovel ready projects waiting on the shelf and only commit to those costed projects when funding opportunities arise; have a plan for what our city will look like in 50 years to survive the effects of climate change; increase our sustainability utilising renewable energies, recycled water and planting trees to increase our urban canopy; reduce the red tape to increase the supply of housing, increasing residential affordability and reducing homelessness; facilitate adaptation of our City buildings to promote inner city living and allow innovative modular housing; and activate city owned assets such as Ocean Drive, Turkey Point, Boulters Heights and the Punchbowl Caravan Park.

Joshua Drummond

Why are you running for council?

City of Bunbury council candidate Joshua Drummond.
Camera IconCity of Bunbury council candidate Joshua Drummond. Credit: Supplied

Having called Bunbury my home for the majority of my life, I am incredibly passionate about this very well-kept secret. The city itself, surrounded by three distinct and different pieces of water on three sides provides a unique story of a port city that has the potential to yield fantastic economic and tourism opportunities for all, and as a part of that, I want to help it on its way, through sensible and well thought out development opportunities that all of the people of Bunbury and tourists along can enjoy. I’m also a firm believer, that it is time that a few younger people stood up and took on some responsibility for what happens in the place they call home.

What experience do you bring to council?

I have been fortunate in my professional career to work in a variety of roles, most recently in the real estate and property industry, but prior to that, with an incredibly well recognised organisation in Surf Life Saving. In this capacity, I was fortunate enough to sit on advisory committees at both a State and national level, focusing on coastal drowning prevention initiatives, Sports Integrity and Junior Sport and Education. I also currently sit on the board at Newton Moore Senior High School.

What will be your priorities if elected to the council for the next four years?

As noted above, Bunbury has incredible potential to provide an enviable lifestyle that people from all over Australia will marvel at, and as such, I want to advocate for greater activation and revitalisation of the CBD and Bunbury itself through the reduction of red tape that constricts both residential and commercial development; greater development of our coastal precincts that provide assets and activity spaces for members of our community; a broader range of tourism and event offerings that encourage out of town visitors to visit Bunbury all year round; alternative funding sources to aid in the continued development of our city; and innovative incentivised programs to aid small business in moving into the Bunbury area.

Parthasarathy Ramesh

Why are you running for council?

City of Bunbury council candidate Parthasarathy Ramesh.
Camera IconCity of Bunbury council candidate Parthasarathy Ramesh. Credit: Supplied

I am running for council to ensure it delivers the best services for the whole community from playgrounds for families right up to services for older adults including accessibility for all, as well as supporting Bunbury businesses, tourism and our beautiful environment. I believe that the best measure of a great community is the compassionate actions of its members.

What experience do you bring to council?

I have been active in several leadership roles in professional, voluntary and community sectors in various parts of the world. I am confident that the experience gained in these leadership roles will help me contribute to the City of Bunbury council. My strength is in building strong relationships to make things happen seamlessly.

What will be your priorities if elected to the council for the next four years?

Collaborative care of our community and environment especially renewables, eco-friendly projects for the present and future generations; support volunteer and community organisations that contribute to all walks of life; safety and security for residents in our city and neighbourhoods; and support our sport and recreational clubs to be sustainable with supportive council policies.

Cheryl Kozisek

Why are you running for council?

City of Bunbury council candidate Cheryl Kozisek.
Camera IconCity of Bunbury council candidate Cheryl Kozisek. Credit: City of Bunbury

The past four years as a councillor have been extremely busy, exceptionally interesting and for the most part thoroughly enjoyable. Having served my apprenticeship, deciding to re nominate was not a hard decision at all, in fact it was easy, I would dearly like to see a few projects that I have supported through to completion. I feel the past four years has been a huge learning curve, and my understanding of how local government works, how the City operates, what the community expects and needs, and how, along side the other elected councillors I can help shape the future.

What experience do you bring to council?

As president of the Retail co, I was instrumental in bringing back Free parking to the CBD, and now the City has removed the parking meters. I had the Walking Map to the CBD printed, supporting our small locally owned retailers and hospitality. I continue to push for the heart of our City, the CBD to be revitalised and cherished, along with all our suburbs, community is why we are here. I am chair of the Policy and Review Committee, sit on Audit committee, CEO Performance Review and also the Heritage Advisory Committee, previously on the Events Committee.

What will be your priorities if elected to the council for the next four years?

My priorities will be to see the Ocean pool concept through to completion. I would like to finally get Boulters Heights back to its former glory. To address the issue of housing, we need good quality affordable housing in good locations, and by Identifying available parcels of land and work with developers or the City could perhaps be the developer. Everyone is entitled to a place to call home, that is safe. In particular we need to build apartments close to the CBD, this activates the City Central and helps all business, it would even encourage more retailer’s into the city to fill those empty shops. The restoration of the Old Train Station is a project that I know resonates with many born-and-bred Bunbury residents.

Part Two of our look at this year’s City of Bunbury candidates will be in next week’s Bunbury Herald

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