JOHN DOWSON wants to be president of the Fremantle Society again.
The former deputy mayor and outspoken heritage advocate is highly critical of the society’s current leadership and intends seeking the top job at the AGM on December 10.
Henty Farrar—who has been acting in the position since Roel Loopers’ mid-term resignation six months ago—has also put his hat in the ring.
Mr Farrar says the challenge for the next president is ensuring a “good, healthy society” focused on achieving the best for Freo. He believes Mr Dowson’s combative style has had its day.
“Taking a hard line on heritage puts a lot of people off,” he says.
Mr Dowson says the society is too close to the council and doesn’t advocate strongly enough. His priorities include closer scrutiny of the $1 billion of developments mooted for the port city.
“We must focus on important issues instead of doing QR codes and sending socks to Colin Barnett,” he scoffs, and promises to double membership within 12 months: “The society has tried to reinvent and rejuvenate itself, but the society is seen by many as irrelevant and powerless and membership numbers have dropped significantly.
He leads a team of 10 members who seek election to the society’s governing committee. Mr Loopers dismissed two as “a whinging shop owner and a cafe conspirator”. He will not renew his membership if Mr Dowson is elected, saying he would take the group back “to the dark ages”.
“To denigrate another committee member is outrageous,” Mr Dowson responded.
by CARMELO AMALFI