ANOTHER Fremantle councillor has entered the race to be mayor, with Frank Mofflin promising a “warts and all” review of the council’s finances if elected.
Cr Mofflin said the city’s finances need to be made more resilient to address declining service standards, a problem harshly exposed by the Covid pandemic.
“Those shocks to the system that have come have shown us that the financials … are not strong enough for us to be able to deliver what our residents and ratepayers expect of us,” Cr Mofflin said.
“Over the last two years being on council and being a resident for many more than that, I reckon I’ve heard enough feedback that people feel that we haven’t been focusing on the core work of local government enough,” Cr Mofflin said.
The Hilton resident says the review would also look “outwards” to explore collaboration with neighbouring councils – even if that means revisiting the bruising “what are the boundaries of Fremantle” debate.
“It is about us sitting down with Cockburn, sitting down with Melville, sitting down with East Fremantle and saying ‘how do we, as a group of local governments, ensure that all people in this region are getting the best services possible’.
“It’s not a good outcome if some local governments are sitting there with huge surpluses, and other local government areas are not able to deliver the services that they should be.”
Partnerships would also be sought with industry, focusing on trying to capitalise on Latitude 32 and the Australian Marine Complex further south to attract support industries to the O’Connor light industrial area and the marine precinct along the city’s waterfront.
Indian Ocean rim
“The thing about the marine industries is that we are on the Indian Ocean rim,” he says.
“We have the climate, the safety, and if you go to health outcomes at the moment, we’re the place you would want to be.”
Coming in with five pillars he says have to work together to propel Fremantle into the future, he says regaining the trust of the community is an important step, and he’d look at introducing measurable performance indicators to ensure the next CEO was sufficiently focused on engaging with ratepayers.
“So that trust is developed through essentially being open and accessible.
“And when I say accessible, it is that part where we say to people ‘we want to hear from you’ and when we hear from people it doesn’t just go into a box.
“The fifth point is celebrating Freo.
“You know, no one does celebration like Freo; if there’s going to be a festival or something pretty good going on, it is in Fremantle.”
Cr Mofflin said with Covid bringing uncertainty to large-scale events, the city would need to drive more community-level events by encouraging and working with existing groups.
by STEVE GRANT