Oliver Basson elected to Nedlands City Council

Urban planner and former Nedlands City worker Oliver Basson secured a convincing victory in the city’s Hollywood district on a platform of struggle for underground power and treetop protection.

Cr Basson received 488 out of 1046 valid votes, or 46.65 percent, ahead of Heidar Koning with 37 percent and Omar Macintyre with 16.35 percent.

Turnout in the special election caused by the Resignation of John Wetherallwas about 26 percent and dipped something from 30 percent in last year’s regular council elections.

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At 30, Cr Basson was the oldest of the three candidates.

Cr Basson was elected for the remainder of Mr Wetherall’s term of office, which ends in October next year.

“I’m really happy, but not really surprised given my connections to the Nedlands area and having lived here for so long,” said the newly elected councillor.

“It was a really good weekend with overwhelming positive feelings and I’m really looking forward to the challenges ahead.”

Cr Basson said with just over a year until the election he had been careful not to make “false promises” and said his first priority was working toward underground power in Hollywood County.

“One of the key points of my campaign was not making promises that I couldn’t keep, or really trying to deliver,” he said.

“We all know that delivering underground power has been difficult, and Hollywood residents have followed that for the last 20 years.

“The cost of implementing underground power is certainly an issue in the decision to freeze interest ratesbut I know the city is examining its assets to see how we can raise additional funds to implement the infrastructure we need.”

Newly elected Nedlands Councilor Oliver Basson. Andrew Ritchie
camera iconNewly elected Nedlands Councilor Oliver Basson. Andrew Ritchie Recognition: Andrew Ritchie

Cr Basson said that tree preservation would also be a priority as a change in the scheme to protect large mature trees on private property will soon be publicly commented on.

“I worked with the city of Nedlands while I was there last year and assisted one of the lead planners in preparing the plan change,” he said.

A committee of the Washington Planning Commission recently recommended changing the amendment to introduce a list of significant trees instead.

Cr Basson said he was “not opposed” to the idea but said there was evidence it had not worked on other councils.

The new councilman said his background as a city planner has resonated with voters.

“Given many of the problems Nedlands is facing due to LPS3 and the increasing density mandated, residents had some confidence in me because of my urban planning experience,” he said.

“I’m only a council member, but I think it will certainly be useful to offer some of my planning knowledge and local knowledge.

“I look forward to discussing any planning points that come up in the future with my fellow councillor, to ensure Nedlands has a solid planning framework in place that sets clear expectations for everyone.”

Newly elected Nedlands Councilor Oliver Basson. Andrew Ritchie
camera iconNewly elected Nedlands Councilor Oliver Basson. Andrew Ritchie Recognition: Andrew Ritchie/Perth now

Cr Basson reiterated his pledge – first made during the campaign – to work to mend the city’s relationship with the state government, which has deteriorated over the problems, among other things Tawarri Hot Springs and the proposed children’s hospice at Swanbourne.

“First and foremost, my duty is to the residents of the Hollywood Borough and the residents of the City of Nedlands, who I and my fellow councilors represent,” he said.

“But a big part of best practice community advocacy is working with all stakeholders. The state government is the key here.”

Cr Basson said he hopes to deliver for those who would have voted for him and convince those who would not over the next 12-13 months.

“The election campaign for 2023 is only just beginning,” he said. “I want to make sure I represent the residents who voted for me and can convince those who didn’t and hopefully they will vote for me in the next election

“But I didn’t make any false promises and I made my priorities clear and the points that are close to my heart. So I will take care of it immediately.”

https://www.perthnow.com.au/local-news/perthnow-western-suburbs/oliver-basson-elected-to-the-city-of-nedlands-council-c-8278526 Oliver Basson elected to Nedlands City Council

Nate Jones

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