Shire of Broome election: Catherine Marriott

Written on the 18 October 2017

Shire of Broome election: Catherine Marriott

Broome Chamber of Commerce & Industry
2017 Shire Election Candidate Questionnaire
Name: Catherine (Mazz) Marriott

Q. Describe in your own words the core function of the Shire of Broome?
The core function of the Shire is to provide essential services to the community like roads, footpaths, swimming pools, parks, waste management and general administration including local laws and regulations. Part of this is assessing development applications which has a significant impact on the economic growth of the Shire. It is vital that the Shire has an open mind on these applications and helps to find ways of assisting applicants where there are clear benefits to the community.

Q. Describe in your own words the core function of a Shire Councillor?
The function of a shire councillor is to represent the community and make decisions in Council meetings that are overall in the public interest. Councillors also have a role in ensuring good governance and performance and that ratepayers money is spent effectively. Another important function is to review policies to ensure they are still as relevant today as they were when first implemented and if not, then they should be changed. Removal of unnecessary red tape is fundamental to creating a modern vibrant local economy. Councillors also have a key role in setting strateigic direction for the Shire.

Q. In the Chamber's recent business survey, 53% of respondents said they do not believe that the Shire is small business friendly. What do you think the Shire of Broome can do to improve conditions and support for local businesses?
Many businesses must evolve, change or grow to remain sustainable. Often these changes involve development applications or assessments in relation to unnecessary regulations and can result in excessive delays and expenditure which can make the proposed change uneconomical. At all times these hurdles should be critically assessed against a yardstick of the greatest good for the community. This may require a cultural shift within the Shire so officers are seen more as enablers rather than assessors. The balance clearly needs to change!

Q. It is expected that capital works on the Chinatown Revitalisation will be happening for a large part of 2018, what would you do to ensure that the local retailers are not adversely affected by the disruption in the peak trading periods?
The planned changes for Chinatown, once completed, will be a great step forward and provide the backdrop for a range of activities to make the area more vibrant and attractive to locals and tourists. I am concerned about the impact of the construction works on businesses in Chinatown if the works are carried out during the height of the tourist season.
Locals and visitors will not be lining up to shop or browse on a building site. Council must consult closely with the retailers and owners to come up with solutions that will not devastate trading during the high season.

Q. What's your thoughts on the sealing of Cape Leveque Rd, and do you believe this will change the dynamics of business in Broome and the Dampier Peninsula?
This will greatly improve safety for locals and visitors but also provide great opportunities for the tourist sector provided there is a well thought out plan to manage the increased access to the peninsular. The opportunity to have visitors to the region staying longer and spending more money will be greatly improved when the road is completed. This will also provide a strong economic base for the peninsular and provide jobs and openings for locals living on country.

Q. With regard to Cape Leveque Road, what efforts would you like to see in working with Traditional Owners and alleviating red tape - having foresight to put measures in place to help fast track approvals when needed and creating more self-sustainable communities?
We need to consult with the communities and listen to their concerns. Sealing of the road will change the peninsular forever and we cannot afford to get the management plan wrong. The Shire must adopt a "how can we help" approach and find ways to approve rather than reject applications when there is an overall benefit to the community.

Q. Where do you sit in regard to mining and tourism - How do you perceive the balance of these two industries; 50/50, 70/30, 80/20 etc?.
Our local economy is much more than tourism and mining. We have the service industries, agriculture and pastural sectors which also have huge potential. The question should not be about ratios but more about ensuring we have a diverse economic base so we are not reliant on any one or two sectors. The roll of Shire should be to ensure that no opportunities to grow or broaden our economic base are passed over if there are positive community benefits.

Q. What's your opinion on economic growth and development of the future of Broome and the Kimberley?
The potential for the region is huge. We have the water, the land, the people and proximity to large markets on our doorstep. We must manage our resources sustainably and this can be achieved despite the inevitable growth potential in the region. Broome has the potential to be the capital of the north as there is no city in the region which has the same great liveability as here. We must though, create an environment that is welcoming to current and new businesses. We must apply best practice processes and procedures to attract and not deter investment. We must also stop waiting for the investment to come to us but rather go and seek that investment from private, state, federal and overseas sources if necessaryit's time to be proactive.

Q. Do you have a plan (or ideas) for lobbying more support from state and federal government?
Broome missed out on so much government investment over the last decade compared to other north-west cities. This cannot happen again. Broome has started to regain the confidence of both State & Federal governments. Like any relationship it is vital that Broome continues to work hard to rebuild that trust and confidence. I have developed an extensive network in both State and Federal governments at the highest level. If elected I aim to leverage these relationships to advocate for more resources, more funding and more opportunities for our region. We must also demonstrate that Broome is welcoming to business and investment and that as a community we can work together. If we can do that the government support will flow again.

Q. On a personal level, why do you live in Broome and what do you love about the Kimberley lifestyle.
It has always been my dream to move to the Kimberley and live in Broome.

Q. What celebrity do you most identify with, and why?
My Mums a star and has always been my inspiration.

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