Kwinana mayor Carol Adams reflects on the big events of 2012 and reveals to Sophie Hawkins what’s in store for 2013.
Q: What is your reflection on 2012?
A: There has been such a focus on so many changes and successes in the City of Kwinana and it all channelled down to the point where we finally became a city on September 17.
So in my personal reflection I’ve got a great deal of satisfaction now that I can look back on 2012 and say “well this is the year it all happened” and then looking forward to 2013 because, while there are many exciting things on the horizon, there are also the winds of change and a bit of uncertainty.
There’s a bit of uncertainty about the future of the city but also a bit of uncertainty about myself personally.
Q: What was your highlight of 2012?
A: To actually be at the helm when you do change from a small town to a city is just the pinnacle. It’s the icing on the cake and a lot of work has gone into it.
Also having all the community infrastructure coming together and the whole town centre revitalisation.
Everything is moving along nicely, although slower than we were hoping for in some areas but it’s still happening and it’s about delivering a promise to the community.
The end is result is it’s here, or it will be here, and I take a great deal of satisfaction in that.
Q: What’s been your biggest challenge this year?
A: After losing (in the State election) by 300 votes in 2008, it’s been in the back of my mind and I’ve been asking those questions, “do I run again?”, “what will happen if I don’t run?”, “will it just become a safe, take-it-for-granted Labor seat?”.
Lots of people from all walks of life have been asking if I was running and then finally it was just sitting down in August and thinking “if I’m going to run, I really have to make that decision because elections don’t just happen. I have to start planning”.
Now we know when the election date is but, if anything, that makes it harder because the last time we had only four weeks and it was just mayhem, whereas this time we’ve got time to plan, but in that planning it’s almost more stressful.
Q: What are some lessons you learnt in 2012 which you can take into 2013?
A: You take nothing for granted. It’s not over ‘til the fat lady sings.
You do have to work hard, you’ve got to have a focus and you’ve got to have a plan and you’ve got to have an end goal. I think the fact that you’re in there trying, whether you succeed or fail, while it can be disappointing that you’ve failed, it’s the fact you can reflect back and say “yeah I was in there and I had a go” in whatever it was.
Whether it’s things you’re doing in the community or in your personal life it’s important that you’ve had a go. I don’t ever want to be on my dying breath and think “gee I wish I’d done that, I wish I’d had a go at that election or whatever it is” and I think there’s some satisfaction I’ve learnt to take in that feeling of at least I had a go.
Q: What are your biggest challenges for the year ahead?
A: The first big challenge is the ninth of March with the election. It will be a big challenge.
Moving on from that depending on which way the election goes, I think the big challenge for the City of Kwinana will be whether we stay as a city or whether we voluntarily or forcible amalgamate with Cockburn or Rockingham.
There is a lot of apathy in the community about that but on the other hand a lot of the more senior members of the community are very concerned about that and they talk about it constantly.
Q: What are you hoping for in 2013?
A: Even if I lose the election, I look at it like this: I don’t lose because I’m still mayor.
To me I’m still mayor of a great city with lots of challenges and lots of excitement and so from that perspective if I lose, the only thing I lose is money, time, energy and I supposed the unfulfilled expectations of others and myself.
But c’est la vie, whatever will be, will be.