Freo’s youngest-ever councillor sworn in

FREMANTLE council has its first female mayor and deputy mayor duo, and youngest-ever councillor following last weekend’s election.

At Wednesday’s first meeting for the new council, Jenny Archibald was elected as deputy mayor by her colleagues, which included two new faces in the chamber.

One is university student Jemima Williamson-Wong, at 21 years old the city’s youngest-ever councillor after taking the hotly-contested Coastal Ward from former councillor Marija Vujcic by just 164 votes.

Cr Williamson-Wong said being elected was like a 10-year dream coming true.

“I am incredibly grateful to the Coastal Ward community for giving me a chance as the youngest ever Fremantle councillor to work towards the improvement of our city,” she said.

“I look forward to putting community at the centre of my decision-making, and to continuing to be part of the evolution of our beloved Fremantle.”

• Former councillor and JP John Alberti swears in Fremantle’s youngest-ever councillor Jemima Williamson-Wong. Photo courtesy City of Fremantle

Ms Vujcic had been a strident critic of the council, under both former mayor Brad Pettitt and current mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge, and took to social media to reflect on her four-year term.

She took aim at the City over the “Tent City” homelessness protest on Pioneer Park, saying she was the only councillor prepared to ask questions when the City stayed silent.

Ms Vujcic also pointed to occasions when her questioning of council finances were proven correct, such as a net loss posted in 2020 and the blowout in the Walyalup Koort redevelopment budget.

“I did not support the expense of $35,500 for the Yes Voice campaign. It was a federal issue that was adequately funded and promoted,” Ms Vujcic said.

But she reserved her strongest words for the Fremantle Markets lease, describing her colleagues’ support for the current managers as “fanatical” and the council meeting as having the “trappings of a Trump rally, with the T-shirt, the footwork and colourful rhetoric”.

“Thank you and see you round, Fremantle,” she finished.

In other wards, town planner Ingrid van Dorssen had a comfortable win in the vacant North Ward against Vujcic backer Mark Woodcock.

Councillors Geoff Graham and Frank Mofflin were re-elected for a second term each in Central and East Wards respectively.

“I’m very pleased to be re-elected and I’m looking forward to working with a sensible and progressive team,” Cr Graham said.

“I”m thankful for being re-elected and really excited about working with my fellow councillors over the next four years to achieve some great things in Freo,” Cr Mofflin said.


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