City of greater Geraldton council nominee Mal Kelly vows to clean up weeds & bridge the gap

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Elise Van AkenGeraldton Guardian
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Mal Kelly at the Geraldton Hockey Stadium
Camera IconMal Kelly at the Geraldton Hockey Stadium Credit: Elise Van Aken/Geraldton Guardian

Mal Kelly wants the council to do more to rid Greater Geraldton of noxious weeds threatening wildflower tourism and will strive to fix what he says is a communication failure between residents and councillors if elected.

“I’ve noticed in the last few years, as I drive from Narngulu, a big increase in noxious weeds around town,” he said. “Just the last few years it has become quite ridiculous and I would like to see us clean up the place.

“The Dongara Daisy is actually poisonous to the soil ... it spreads so fast and we’ve got to stop it because if it goes inland it’s going to destroy all the tourism in there. It’s going destroy the wildflowers.

“I know there’s already a few groups working on it but it’s important for council to speak with neighbouring councils and get them to work on it.”

The 68-year-old retiree said while he loved the lifestyle of living in Geraldton, council needed to improve the city’s overall appeal by cleaning up the weeds and spending money in suburbs outside the CBD.

“There’s been a lot of money spent in the CBD and along the beachfront, but has it really improved the tourism aspect of the city? Probably not ... especially if they have to drive through rubbish suburbs to get to the city,” he said.

Mr Kelly said he hoped to bridge the gap between the council and residents, helping to foster more of an understanding of what the City’s role is while still advocating to other levels of government on issues important to local residents that fall outside the powers of local government.

“One of the things I’ve come across talking to people is they believe there’s not enough communication between councillors and residents,” he said.

People have just lost faith in the council. It’s an education thing . . . we’ve got to improve the communication between council and residents.

“I know myself and a few other candidates are very keen that there’s more input from residents ... that councillors listen to residents and bring up those concerns to council.

“People have just lost faith in the council. It’s an education thing ... we’ve got to improve the communication between council and residents and it might have to start with councillors going to residents, from articles in newspapers or on Facebook.”

His community commitments over the years have included being a founding member of the local Air Force Cadets, playing and coaching hockey and Northampton FC players and being a Freemason where he has been proud to be involved in fundraising efforts for community members in need.

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