Fremantle elections: Who’s running?

City Ward

John Dowson is president of the Fremantle Society and an outspoken critic of Fremantle council, which he says has trashed way too much of the city’s heritage while putting it’s finances in disarray. “Council needs to start living within its means, while not selling more of our valuable public assets – which have declined by 50 per cent in recent years,” he says.

Julie Morgan is a resident and property owner who wants the council to look at ways of increasing the diversity of inner-city residents, saying it’s planning policies don’t encourage families, the elderly or people with disabilities.

Rachel Pemberton is after a third term on council and has been one of the rocks of mayor Brad Pettitt’s reign, championing the council’s small house revolution. Committed to sustainability, she wants to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour while encouraging jobs through economic development and “sensational events and festivals”.


Geoff Graham is seeking a return to council after a few years, running as an independent. He wants the Heart of Beaconsfield project to be sympathetic to its surroundings and has a “hands-off” view of fiddling with Bruce Lee oval. Mr Graham says he supports heritage, recreation and sporting groups.

Gemma Hohnen is an architect who used to work for council favourite CODA and says she wants to balance the city’s natural beauty with vibrancy, business and creative life. She wants safe suburbs, bike infrastructure and keeping developments at a scale that will preserve Freo’s “village” lifestyle.

Christopher Jenkins is hoping to become Freo’s second socialist councillor, having stood for the Socialist Alliance in several state campaigns. He’s a mental health nurse at Fremantle Hospital and co-founder of the Anti-Poverty Network Perth. An active campaigner against Roe 8, he’s pushing local participatory democracy and grassroots solutions to big issues.

East Ward

Michelle Cunningham says she’s “travelled the world, managed finances and worked for a variety of industries”, while on the home front she’s volunteered at her kids’ schools and the local precinct, Native Arc and for a soccer club. She had an unsuccessful and bruising run against mayor Brad Pettitt’s team a couple of years back. Ms Cunningham says key items for her are transport networks, environmental management, small business and tourism.

Su Groome has been co-convenor of the White Gum Valley precinct since 2012 and has 20 years’ experience as a business owner, manager and “executive leader”. Ms Groome says she’ll speak up on the High Street upgrade, traffic calming, verges, parks and trees, as well as growth and change.


Lynn MacLaren is a former Greens upper house parliamentarian and a powerbroker within the party. A level-headed operator, she led the running on a wide range of issues, including protection of the Beeliar wetlands and the one-metre rule for cyclists. “Today decisions must be inclusive, compassionate and respectful of our environment,” Ms MacLaren says.

Tony Miosich was a councillor in the late 90s and early noughties where he was an ally of former mayor Peter Tagliaferri. Currently a JP, he says he’s kept in touch with the community and council through precinct meetings. “Local government can improve with back to basic services,” he says.

Frank Mofflin is a former branch president of Willagee Labor and inaugural chair of Fremantle College. He has a passion for community engagement, and with corporate experience he says that can help “make things happen for our community”.

North Ward

Steve Cook is having another tilt at getting onto council. With a background in business and commerce he believes the city has an exciting future for residents and will be a job creator. But he has concerns about issues such as funds management, service delivery, public housing in north ward, safety and coastal restoration.

Bryn Jones is seeking a back-to-back term to match his achievement in the 90s. The retired teacher and uni lecturer wants sound financial management at the council and excellent service delivery, and more people working and living in the port city.

South Ward

Jon Strachan has seen off a recent major illness and was happy to put in bold on his nomination: “I am at the top of my game”. He says he’s proud to have been part of the council’s traffic calming in South Beach Village, building the local multi-function courts and investment in the city centre. Darn fine kite-flyer as well.

Marija Vujcic is having another crack at South Ward after missing out in the last election, which she challenged after it was discovered a candidate had sneaked in without being eligible. She wants to get rid of South Terrace’s speed humps, keep the next rate rise to nil, improve CCTV and lighting, and deal with anti-social behaviour.


Melville newsbites

• FORGET about Netflix and Kayo, Melville council is considering live streaming of council meetings. The city has been publishing audio recordings of meetings since April, and now after “general support” city officers have suggested a councillor workshop in November to discuss adding live visuals.

• WIRELESS HILL could get more playground equipment. Councillor Katy Mair says there is only a basket swing there, which is not suitable for children, and Melville residents have been lobbying for traditional swings and slides. Cr Mair has tabled a motion to look into the extra equipment at the council meeting later this month.

• ATWELL HOUSE is in line to get a new pottery and storage facility. Council voted to spend $40,000 on initial concept plans. Atwell House is home to the South of the River Potters Club, but they are working out of a series of sheds at the site, and are pushing for better facilities.

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