On the hustings

THE Greens have rolled out another election pitch for light rail between the Cockburn coast and Murdoch Station as part of a 10-point plan for the port city.

The party’s Fremantle candidate Martin Spencer is an urban planner and says light rail would bolster areas such as Hilton, White Gum Valley and O’Connor.

Last year Fremantle council adopted a plan to foster medium-density developments in those suburbs along South Street, focusing on central hubs it believes would be ideal for light rail stops.

• Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt, Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren and Fremantle candidate Martin Spencer.

• Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt, Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren and Fremantle candidate Martin Spencer.

“Light rail also provides opportunities for reconfiguration of bus services to ensure more effective connections and overall improvement of public transport services throughout the southern suburbs,” Mr Spencer said.

But the Greens are unlikely to get anywhere near the heady days of their first successful lower house candidate, Adele Carles, with a redistribution of the boundary giving Labor’s Simone McGurk an almost unassailable 15 per cent margin.


WHEN you’re a Liberal fighting for the safest Labor seat in WA and there’s not a pork barrel in sight, you’ve got to be an ideas man.

That’s the stark reality for Hayden Shenton, who’s facing a Sisyphean battle in Fremantle trying to overhaul incumbent Labor MP Simone McGurk, who’s sitting on a handy 15.4 per cent margin.

This week he reckons he’s come up with a solution to the city’s long-contentious issue of occasionally turning the Cappuccino Strip into a car-free zone. Recent attempts brought howls of complaints from High Street businesses who said it robbed them of trade, so the council made it more difficult to get approval.

• Hayden Shenton.

• Hayden Shenton.

But Mr Shenton says the council should consider closing the strip in the evenings when most West End traders have already gone home.

“I was in Paris about four and a half years ago and I remember walking down one of the streets and towards evening out came the bain maries and the chairs and tables,” Mr Shenton said.

“They were setting up for the evening and I thought ‘why can’t we do that here’.”

Mr Shenton says he hasn’t yet run it by the business community.

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