Mergers platforms

CLIFF COLLINSON and Barry de Jong will go head-to-head for the job of East Fremantle mayor at the October council elections.

Former mayor Alan Ferris quit council in June to devote more time to his young family and new job heading the WA culture and arts department, and won’t be standing for council again.

With mergers looming, the historic tiny shire of 4989 electors is likely to be swallowed by Freo and Melville, over strong local opposition.

Cr Collinson, 60, has represented the Richmond ward for six years.

The just-retired primary school teacher says his campaign will focus on heritage preservation, sustainability and getting the best deal for East Freo when it is annexed in the forthcoming local government amalgamations.

“It we do get swallowed up, my preference is to become part of Cockburn rather than Melville, because Cockburn has a better record on sustainability,” said the long-term Green party member.

Cr Collinson concedes that becoming mayor in the eve of the amalgamations is a bit of a “thankless task at the end of the era” but he wants to make sure that East Freo’s planning philosophy is incorporated into any new super council.

Cr de Jong, 51, has represented Preston Point ward for six years.

An air traffic control manager at Jandakot Airpot, we has worked in the industry for 32 years, including stints overseas and at Perth airport.

He also hopes to make East Freo the mouse that roared come amalgamations, but also has a focus on making East Fremantle Oval the town’s “jewel in the crown” following redevelopment.

“I want to make sure that there is something for everyone at the oval, including obviously East Fremantle Football Club,” he said.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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