Proven performer vs fresh face

Michael TraillAlbany Advertiser

Tourism key

Dennis Wellington will be campaigning on his proven track record heading into the October 19 local election, looking to secure a third straight term as the City of Albany’s mayor.

First elected to the council in 2001, Mr Wellington said the development of the National Anzac Centre, sporting fields, Field of Light: Avenue of Honour and the visitor centre were among the City’s greatest achievements since he became mayor in 2011.

If elected for another four-year stint, tourism will remain high on Mr Wellington’s agenda, along with jobs for Albany’s next generation and a better supply of energy.

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“We want to continue on the work we’ve done over the past eight years,” Mr Wellington said.

“Tourism went up 26 per cent with the Field of Light. We want to get the message out to the marketplace that we’ve got diversity out here, we’ve got attractions, we’ve got great restaurants and bars.”

Under his leadership, Mr Wellington said the City would work with Mt Barker and Denmark through the Amazing South Coast campaign to attract inter and intra-State visitors.

The City did not have the financial capacity to push itself into the international tourism market, which accounted for 6 per cent of tourists, he said.

Mr Wellington has also put emphasis on ensuring the local agricultural industry has 24-hour access to the port.

He said the City would look the work with the State Government to foster the development of Albany’s aquaculture industry.

Rates focus

Bayonet Head resident Cheryl Louise Kneebone is the sole candidate running against Mr Wellington for the City of Albany’s top job.

Ms Kneebone said she would bring innovation to the office if elected.

The former public servant, who has lived in Albany for 35 years, will run her campaign on improving the state of the City’s roads, dropping rates and increasing transparency between the council and residents.

“The rates have been too high,” Ms Kneebone said.

“I think we should lower them.

“I don’t think it’s fair for people.

“It’s been so hard.

“Different people are getting different costs of rates than others.

“I’ve been hearing it from everybody.

“We’ve had problems with potholes, and I’d like to be able to fix up the roads from Lower King through to town, because that’s been a very difficult thing, and people want change.”

Ms Kneebone argued the City’s current council was not open enough when it came to the decision-making process and receiving feedback from ratepayers.

She pointed to a lack of progress in developing Albany’s tourism infrastructure and criticised the time it took for the council to achieve outcomes.

“We’ve got to have a presentation for (ratepayers) — it’s their money after all,” she said.

“People said they don’t go to them (council meetings) because they won’t be listened to.

“They don’t give (ratepayers) a chance to have their say.”

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