Natalie (Nat) Emma LATTER

South Ward

Q1. What are your top priorities if elected to the City of Bayswater council?

One of the issues that has prompted me to run is the undermining of the urban forest strategy. The most recent Council watered down our tree policies to make it so hard to reach tree canopy targets.

We must immediately begin work to increase and protect our tree canopy. We need to roll back the changes from the last few years that undermined the outcomes of community consultation and made it harder to achieve our target of 20% canopy by 2030.

Wetlands conservation and rehabilitation is also a big one for me. Restoring the riverbanks and making them resilient to environmental changes that have already begun. Listening to local and scientific knowledge in how we go about that is critical, as is coordinating across levels of government to get the best outcomes for these significant areas.

A more inclusive, transparent and engaged Council that responds to the community interest - we should be able to have meaningful inputs into the work of council and have those outcomes respected. We should understand why decisions are made. It fosters trust in government, increases community cohesion and enables community consultation to be most effective. People are willing to participate in processes that respect their voice. A cohesive community with good leadership can be an ambitious community with a sense of purpose.

Q2. How will you improve the management and reduction of waste in the City of Bayswater?

I couldn't find a waste and recycling strategy - we definitely need one. Waste decisions require long-term thinking, so we need aspirational statements. Do we want to become a net zero waste City? I do! But we need to articulate the aim before we create policies to achieve it.

Education is really critical. Further education to improve our FOGO system will be beneficial. Reducing FOGO contamination in landfill will reduce emissions, reduce waste and extend the life of our landfill site. We need a permanent facility for our FOGO too.

Q3. What will you do to enable more walking and cycling in the City of Bayswater?

Better connections. Safe routes to school. Road planning that prioritises pedestrians and cyclists. Increased tree canopy. Good footpath maintenance.

Q4. What will you do to increase the City of Bayswater tree canopy from its current 14.55%, to its target of 20% by 2030?

I'm a member of WA Tree Canopy Advocates and the woeful undermining of tree canopy targets by the previous council was one of my big motivators to run in this election. The City needs restored powers to plant trees where it needs to on Council land. We need an actually workable significant tree register and other measures to help retain existing trees. We need to continue to run planting programs in-house for more efficient use of funds for an expanded planting program. Tree canopy is so fundamental to our collective future, it shouldn't be a point of contention. I hope a renewed Council can implement policies to achieve these targets and expand our ambition going forward.

Q5. How will you help our community reduce emissions and support us in a move to renewable energy?

I've been involved in climate and environmental advocacy for over 20 years - working with Elder-led organisations to protect Country, with civil society at United Nations climate negotiations, and teaching and researching in the space. I understand the challenges and what's required to have impact.

I have heaps of ideas in this area, but so does the community! Improved incentives and support for household reductions, harnessing our collective power and continued education will all be significant. Something small but mighty that I would love to see is thermal imaging cameras being available to borrow from the City to support residents to make their homes more energy efficient. Phasing out gas in new builds and education for existing household to do so too. Harnessing the great work of many local groups, local knowledge and enthusiasm. Providing support for community ideas to have an impact.

Improved environments for cycling and walking and improved tree canopy also contributes to reduced emissions, as do efforts to reduce organic waste in landfill. There are so many opportunities in the emission reduction space if we can just get a more progressive Council.

nat latter