Omar Macintyre is aiming for a seat on Nedlands City Council

A young candidate has vowed to address the “air of uneasiness” in Nedlands City Council, but has also pledged to oppose Nedlands becoming the “next CBD”.

Omar Macintyre is one of three candidates in the Hollywood Borough by-election to fill one Position vacated by John Wetherall.

The other two are urban planner Oliver Basson and doctoral researcher Heidar Koning.

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Aged 81, Mr Wetherall cited health problems and concerns about Council decision-making when he resigned in June.

If Mr Macintyre wins, he will be by far the youngest councilor in Nedlands at 24.

Candidates had to submit their nominations to the WA Electoral Commission by 4:00 p.m. on August 10, with the election scheduled for September 16.

Mr Macintyre works in the Prime Minister’s and Cabinet Offices in an administrative capacity and is pursuing his postgraduate studies in public policy.

He never ran for the council but said his candidacy was “by no means new territory” as he was elected to the board of the UWA Guild in 2019.

“I am very interested in public policy and am a social person; I think this role would tie those things together,” said Mr. Macintyre.

The candidate has lived in Nedlands for about five years and is from Canberra.

“I’ve also lived in concrete jungles like Cairo. This juxtaposition gives me a glimpse of when development is rampant,” said Mr. Macintyre.

“I’ve lived and worked here for almost five years and intend to stay here and support the community for the foreseeable future.”

Mr Macintyre said “unless you’ve been living under a rock”, Nedlands residents knew there was “an air of malaise so palpable you could almost cut it with a knife” in the council.

“The city is at an important turning point,” he said.

“It’s time we decide what we want to be, where we want to be and how we want to get there.”

Mr Macintyre said he was committed “to working with a coherent and unified Council to deliver stronger results” on sustainable development.

“I reject the notion that Nedlands is a gated community, but there are legitimate concerns that we will become the next CBD,” he said.

“The Council must exercise good judgment in enforcing proportionate, measured building practices,” he said.

“We must acknowledge that we do not have sufficient infrastructure to support the state government’s fill target.

“Our priority should be to invest in the basic infrastructure to enable a meaningful and measured increase in development.”

Omar Macintyre is running in a by-election in the city of Nedlands.
camera iconOmar Macintyre is running in a by-election in the city of Nedlands. Recognition: delivered

Mr Macintyre said he wanted to see the council adopt a “strong carbon reduction target”, tackle erosion on the Swan River and work with anti-crime policy, including by considering a home safety rebate scheme.

Mr Macintyre said the council’s vote and comments on the proposed children’s hospice at Swanbourne were “hugely deplorable, to say the least”.

“I don’t think the decision was motivated by malice per se, but it shows how inconsistent the council can be with community expectations,” he said.

“Sometimes the answer really is as simple as active listening and engaging with the community to see what the general consensus is,” he said.

“To have such a facility in our community is a great privilege.

“I will always strive to support projects that embody the good spirit, nature and caring ethos that we are so respected for.”

The votes will be counted on September 16th. Omar Macintyre is aiming for a seat on Nedlands City Council

Nate Jones

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