More profiles available at bottom.
Speaking as long-term observer of Canning Council:
Ms Ponnuthurai started her campaigning a little earlier than others, and seems to have been able to arrange more community get-togethers as a result. She seemed fully prepared to campaign with posters, flyers, an introductory video and social media.
One of the things I appreciated is that when questioned if she were a member of the Labor party, Ponnuthurai immediately addressed the issue – she is – and she left her response up on her Facebook. Other WA Labor Party members, Beeloo candidate Sara Saberi answered the question but immediately removed it from view (she is Labor) and Bannister ward candidate Kevin Drake seems reluctant to list publicly that he is also a Labor Party member.
Politics had raised its head in the Beeliar campaign anyway, with people writing to me to ensure others knew Ms Ponnuthurai was Labor, and more communication came intimating fellow Beeliar candidate Parry Kahlon was a little too close to the Liberal party set-up in the area (see Kahlon’s entry in these profiles).
All right then – let’s address the politics of Canning. Previous councils did not have this issue, but today’s Council has people like Greens member Christine Cunningham (Beeloo Ward), Liberal Party members Ben Kunze (Bannister Ward and Member for Riverton, Mike Nahan’s research officer) and Jesse Jacobs (Mason Ward), all of whom have run for parliament multiple times, or most likely will, all over it it today. Why not Labor?
Another thing to consider in relation to Ms Ponnuthurai, who supports Willetton Basketball Association’s bid for a stadium expansion, is that she may well function as a circuit breaker in the stand-off in funding it – the McGowan govt is needed to help pay this multi-million dollar infrastructure enhancement (generally Canning needs a three-way split between local, state and fed govt). Up until now this bid has seen little more than various Liberal Party members swarming all over it – and ultimately unable to deliver the goods.
Sitting Cllr David Brown does not embrace social media, which is a setback I feel as Canning is a large council, a place where many residents report never having heard from nor seen their local representative – going online to demonstrate what a councillor has been up to can help address this. I don’t think that would be a problem with Ms Ponnuthurai.
One more thing – in local govt campaigns most candidates promise more engagement with the community, more communication, more support for it, etc, but I must say that in reviewing Ponnuthurai’s core beliefs about what would make a good councillor she seems incredibly committed to staying in touch with her 10,000 or so residents and ensuring Council is transparent to them.