COCKBURN councillor Chamonix Terblanche has put her hand up for the top job in October’s elections, saying she wants to see the city blanketed by wifi.
Dr Terblanche says the “lightning fast” wifi would help “future proof” Cockburn, which is one of three “pillars” she’s running on.
She wants to start live streaming of council meetings to make it easier for residents to be informed and involved, and will run webinars and produce weekly video reports.
Dr Terblanche says she wants the city to liaise more closely with businesses to help get through the highs and lows of the economy, saying she gets lots of feedback there’s not much dialogue currently.
“That will help keep people employed, so if we’re looking after business we are looking after our own people,” Dr Terblanche told the Herald.
She wants the city to increase its work experience program, particularly for young people, to give them skills to get into the workforce, as well as running training sessions.
“People will say what difference does it make if you just help one, two or three people, but every person I can help is important to me,” she says.
New business-focussed infrastructure, improved transport corridors and online building and license applications could also make life easier for traders, she says.
“If we want to be up there in the world – I am not just benchmarking Cockburn against other Perth cities, I think we should be looking to be the best in the world – we have got it all here.”
Dr Terblanche’s second pillar is “a connected and consulted community”.
“We are in a time when we are seeing top-down decision, but we should be being led from the grassroots up.
“People need to be a part of the city and it’s doing, rather than being viewed as outsiders.”
When the Chook points out that the last community satisfaction survey showed pretty happy burghers, she counters that’s because they often don’t know better.
“As an example, if you have only been to one holiday destination you only have that one destination to compare with, and if you don’t know what else there could be, you will go back to the default of saying ‘I’m OK.’
“It’s not enough to be ok, I want them to be delighted, or excited, or over the moon.
“Those are the words I would like us to be described as.”
Dr Terblanche said she’d use more citizens juries to help make decisions, saying a diverse group can actually be more creative than simply bringing in the experts.
Her final pillar is a “considered commitment” which means taking into account the environment and groups such as the aged or youth, when making any decision that affects them.
“I have this vision for Cockburn where I see a vibrant community, people happy and walking down the street and feeling happy and a part of the community.”
Dr Terblanche stood for the Palmer United Party in the Senate in 2013, although becoming pregnant at the time meant she stepped back and allowed Dio Wang to take top spot. She then worked as his chief of staff until he lost his seat in the last Federal election.
She was then approached by One Nation to work with Senator Rod Culleton because of her experience with Wang on the cross-benches, but his tenure went belly-up in court because of a bankruptcy and she said she’d already achieved what she could for the party; “I was never a member,” she says.
Since then she’s been running a real estate company but is on maternity leave until after the October election.
by STEVE GRANT