The working relationship between the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale and Member for Darling Range Alyssa Hayden has come under question, with both sides holding conflicting views on how effective the relationship is.
Mrs Hayden defeated Labor candidate Tania Lawrence at the by-election in June last year and has since taken office in Byford, looking after the electorate, which encompasses the local governments of Mundaring, Kalamunda, Armadale, parts of Kwinana and Rockingham and the Shire of Serpentine.
She said it was disappointing that a few influential people within the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale were not accepting of the by-election result and are actively working against building a relationship with her.
“I have the privilege of representing over 30,000 people throughout the electorate of Darling Range,” she said.
“The shire’s decision is effectively denying the 30,000 plus individuals the representation they deserve.”
Mrs Hayden said the overwhelming majority of issues brought to her by her constituents involve local government matters.
“I have worked hard to develop bipartisan, constructive relationships with all of the local governments in Darling Range and I thank the professional and mature cities and shire that I have established a mutually beneficial relationship with,” she said.
“While I have encountered some resistance from the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale, my number one priority is delivering outcomes for the people of Darling Range and I will continue to extend my cooperation to the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale.”
Councillor Sam Piipponen came to Mrs Hayden’s defence describing the council’s communication over the last two years as “toxic” and “non-existent” between the shire and the state and federal members.
“With a record amount of funding coming into our shire, I believe we should be doing more to work with our members to increase awareness,” he said.
“Party politics shouldn’t play a role in how we go about talking to our state and federal members and this will only affect our community.”
However, shire president Michelle Rich said the shire has a positive working relationship with Mrs Hayden, as they do with all federal and state members representing the region.
“The shire is committed to working with all political parties, MPs and candidates to advocate on shared priorities and deliver outcomes for the benefit of our community,” she said.