FREMANTLE mayor Brad Pettitt’s Facebook page was swamped by supporters on Tuesday after he won Greens preselection to contest the WA upper house in next March’s election.
Within 24 hours more than 550 well-wishers had given the high-profile former sustainability academic the thumbs-up.
Dr Pettitt’s success against former MLC Lynn MacLaren revealed quite a changing of the guard for the party, as she’d previously been an unassailable powerbroker within the party until surprisingly losing her seat at the 2017 election.
Dr Pettitt said if successful in winning back the seat for the Greens (a distinct possibility according to Notre Dame politics lecturer Martin Drum) he wanted to ensure any recovery package after the Covid-19 crisis was over went into sustainable infrastructure.
“In my work as mayor I have heard people calling for immediate action on the climate crisis and I hope to bring their voices into parliament so that we can get a Green New Deal that ensures a clean and vibrant future for our kids and allows us to build our employment base outside of the oil and gas industry that we have always relied so heavily on.”
Fremantle deputy mayor Andrew Sullivan says he hopes the city can avoid a costly by-election when Dr Pettitt stands down to campaign, particularly if the winners of the upper house aren’t immediately declared, which often happens because of the intricacies of counting preferences.
That might take the council to within six months of its own elections.
“I know some people will seize the opportunity to bring out the political hate card and no one can stop that,” Cr Sullivan posted on local blog Freo’s View.
“I sincerely hope most will understand that the council has some very important work to do right now.
“My assessment is based on the need for stability and to avoid unnecessary costs.”
by STEVE GRANT