LOOKING out from the back verandah of her renovated Hilton cottage, Noorel Mecklai’s once-leafy view is decidedly barren these days.
“So much for the garden suburb,” she says almost wearily, pointing out that apart from her own lush garden, there’s just one other property with a decent tree in view. And that will one day go for a subdivision too, she sighs.
The Hilton council candidate says the council’s infill program has failed the suburb, its tree canopy disappearing and the tiny carved up lots reducing its amenity. Just next door, Homeswest has clear-felled two adjoining properties to bung up a bunch of one- and two-bedroom apartments with checkerboard alfresco areas.
The irony is not lost on Ms Mecklai that she is running on a “green” platform critical of a council dominated by Greens party members — including a Greens mayor. Stressing she’s no anti-development campaigner — her family’s background is in business — she wants to protect what’s left of Hilton’s heritage—including some backyards.
If elected Ms Mecklai will push for a tree register, saying Hilton and Samson are the “lungs of Fremantle”. She also wants to see more native species planted on verges, intermingled with parking bays.
“The council has earned a great deal from sub-division here and I aim to hold them responsible for better services like parking-friendly kerbs, traffic management, maintenance of verge trees, providing equipment for parks and better amenities for families, the elderly and the disabled,” she says.
She’s also keen on rainwater harvesting and wants a suburb-wide trial.
by STEVE GRANT