01/03/2005 - 21:00

Property Council calls for minister

01/03/2005 - 21:00

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As the representative organisation for the property sector and owners of CBD property, the Property Council is highly critical of the City of Perth’s voting system for business.

Property Council calls for minister

As the representative organisation for the property sector and owners of CBD property, the Property Council is highly critical of the City of Perth’s voting system for business.

In an interview with WA Business News this week, executive director Joe Lenzo said the rules were skewed against owners and tenants, and the constant renewal every two years for business was unfair.

“We have been in discussions with the minister for local government for some time to try and reform this; we want Perth to follow the lead of other capital cities in Australia and have business permanently on the roll,” he said.

“It is not a simple, straightforward system to enrol like some councillors would say, and any mistake on the form means you are automatically excluded off the roll.”

While he acknowledged the lack of interest on behalf of the property industry in the voting system, Mr Lenzo attributed this to a lack of respect for candidates.

“There are some good candidates going to council but they don’t necessarily represent the interests of the sector,” Mr Lenzo said.

“Having said that, the next obvious question is why people from industry don’t then become involved, but I think the best explanation for that is that most people find the bureaucracy of local government something they are not interested in. “

The Property Council has suggested several reforms to the City of Perth to better recognise business.

“The first is to have a permanent register of business voters,” Mr Lenzo said. “We have a huge campaign every two years and the response is that it is ludicrous to have to re-register, but in the last election we doubled the amount of business people registered on the role.

“We also have a fairly strong belief about separating the CBD from the rest of the suburbs in terms of stature, and while we all applaud democracy we would be more in favour of city commissioners who have a better knowledge of industry than elected councillors.

“Finally, it is essential to have a good link between the state and the city. There needs to be a minister for the capital city, and we brought this up with both parties before the election and will now expect the Labor Government to have a look at that issue.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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