Community Cabinet tunes in to local issues
Town of East Fremantle, Western Australia, was the epicentre of participatory democracy in July when Community Cabinet was convened in the Town Hall allowing the Mayor and councillors to focus the attention of the Premier and State Government ministers on local issues.
Among the guests was The Hon Dave Kelly MLA, Minister for Water, Forestry, Innovation and ICT, Science, and Youth who grew up in East Fremantle.
During the meetings Mayor, Jim O’Neill, Deputy Mayor, Jenny Harrington and Chief Executive Officer, Gary Tuffin sought the support of Premier, Mark McGowan and his Cabinet for local priorities including the redevelopment of East Fremantle Oval.
Deputy Mayor Harrington also held discussions with Minister Templeman about the Town’s public art programme.
Mayor O’Neill explained that the Town – although small, the second smallest municipality in the state – punched above its weight.
He explained the Town was financially viable and sustainable, was a sought after location where people want to live, run a business and invest, and a place that was hosting many exciting new projects for which State Government support was needed.
“We have lots of major projects happening here, the most exciting of which is the redevelopment of East Fremantle Oval, which is at a pivotal stage.
Mayor O’Neill explained the project had been a genuine collaboration, which the community had been involved in co-designing from the very beginning, with the working groups (including the clubs and residents) all in favour.
The proposal for the $25 million state-of-the-art facility created an entirely new model for community based sports and recreation for all ages and abilities transforming the site into an inclusive, open and welcoming space.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get this right,” Mayor O’Neill said, “and we need to partner with the State Government and other partners to deliver it for our community.”
A business plan has been developed and the conversation with the community will now continue as the project becomes ‘shovel ready’. Funding sources are being sought to bring it to life.