Monday 19 October 2009

Western Australia: Socialist wins council seat

by Alex Bainbridge Perth 17 October 2009 from Green Left Weekly Socialist Alliance WA co-convenor Sam Wainwright was elected from the Hilton Ward to the Fremantle Council in the October 17 poll.
Wainwright polled over 33% (438 out of 1310 valid votes). His nearest competitor, an ALP member, polled 337 votes (25.7%). Under the new, undemocratic first-past-the-post local government electoral laws in WA, Wainwright was elected as the candidate with the most votes. In the mayoral poll of six candidates, Greens member Brad Pettit triumphed with over 45% of the vote, well in front of two fellow Greens Michael Martin and Jon Strachan. Both Pettit and Strachan were endorsed by the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce. Of the six new councillors elected there is one ALP member, two Greens, two independents and one Socialist Alliance. However under WA electoral law local government candidates can not formally run for political parties and Wainwright was the only candidate to declare his political affiliations in his campaign material. Issues Wainwright campaigned on included: making Fremantle a “fight climate change” council; better public transport, including linking Fremantle to Beaconsfield, Hilton and Samson with CAT buses; for council and community workers’ rights; maintaining the areas beaches, parks and green spaces for everyone; for rates based on ability to pay, not just house value; and council democracy. For more details of Wainwright’s campaign, visit

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