Councillor profiles - Patrick Hall Mayor City of Canning

Article image - Councillor profiles - Patrick Hall Mayor City of Canning

Everyone believes that their area is special, but in many ways the City of Canning truly is. We are a unique, inner-metropolitan municipality located less than 10km from Perth’s central business district with a powerhouse economy driven by two of the state’s largest industrial parks and one of Western Australia’s (WA) largest
shopping centres.

We celebrate the fact that we are perhaps WA’s most diverse multi-cultural community; our sporting and recreation facilities are second to none and include the world-class Willetton Basketball Stadium; the Canning River meanders through the centre of our City and provides kilometres of protected natural foreshore and; we are home to the Canning River Regional Park – a pristine environmental wonderland.  

Without doubt the Kent Street Weir is Canning’s best kept secret and is definitely my favourite place to recreate. There’s a fabulous café practically on the banks of the river, a fully fenced dog off-lead area (the City’s first), playgrounds and our own Eco Education Centre. It’s a fabulous destination and one that the City should be very proud of.

Starting afresh
I was first elected to Canning Council in 2015. The previous Council was dismissed some years back and 2015 presented a rare opportunity whereby all 11 positions were contested. I was re-elected in 2017 for a further four year term. In October 2019, I contested the position of Mayor and won from a field of 12 by 172 votes (who’s counting). My feet have barely touched the ground since.

Until 2004, I was a police officer for more than 20 years which not only provided me with a firsthand understanding of the impact of crime at a community level but also taught me how to communicate effectively with people from all walks of life and at every level of society. I left the WA Police Force to pursue business interests and over the next 10 years my wife and I owned and operated a successful group of retail stores.  

I have also been an Executive Manager at David Jones, the chief executive officer (CEO) of one of WA’s largest animal welfare organisations and a Senior Risk Manager in state government.
I am now a fulltime Mayor and am busier than I have ever been in my life, but I have loved every minute of it so far. It is incredibly rewarding on a professional and personal level.   

As a newly elected Mayor, I realised very early in the piece the importance of establishing work-life balance.  I have played sport all my life and I am an active member of my local tennis club. I am also a diehard supporter of AFL. Outside of sport, I love writing and this year hope to find time to finish a novel which I have been tinkering with for more years than I care to remember.

Innovative thinking
The challenges we face are shared across the sector. We have a duty to restore the community’s faith in the local government by remaining highly visible and easily accessible to our residents, maintaining a standard of personal behaviour that meets the expectations of our residents, exercising consistent evidence based decision-making, acting with integrity, and listening authentically to all views – not just the loudest views.

One project that I am very proud of is the transformation of the Wharf Street Basin into a new public space. The project will see Canning transform a large inaccessible Water Corporation stormwater drainage basin into a multifunctional public natural wetland ‘smart park’, the first of many similar projects. It will provide a baseline for our future.

Canning is also working to position itself as Perth’s central business district of the south east metropolitan corridor. In December 2019, we completed stage one of our ambitious $76 million 10 year City Centre Project. This project will revitalise and transform our City Centre into a community and economic hub offering transport links by bus and train, mixed use commercial space, one of Western Australia’s largest retail shopping centres and a vibrant public realm with beautiful streetscapes and smart technology.  

It’s an exciting project and I’m looking forward to playing a key role in its continuation during my tenure as Mayor.      

Change for the best
I am mindful that I won the Mayoral position by a very small margin from a large field of equally worthy candidates, so in the short-term, I will be working hard to earn the respect and confidence of our community and my Council colleagues.

Cultural change in large organisations takes time, but I am committed to working with the CEO to see Canning become a local government that is easier to work and communicate with and ‘says yes more often’.

Canning is well placed to establish and maintain a reputation for good governance, innovative thinking and consistent leadership. To accomplish this, I will be doing all that I can to use my position to advocate strongly on issues that are important to Council and its community and to publicly promote Canning at every
available opportunity.