I’m Mark Cooper, your Greens candidate for the seat of Mirrabooka this state election.
I am a researcher and PhD candidate at Murdoch University, about to complete a dissertation on value theory in economics and ethics. I am someone who has always been interested in the ‘big picture’ and how different problems that people face are interrelated. When we talk about how to make a better life for people, we have to understand that we can’t look after the environment without looking after people, and we can’t look after people without looking after their environment. The Greens are a movement that understand how things are interconnected. I believe that government should be based on grassroots democracy and compassion, two values which have drawn me to the Greens.
I have lived in Alexander Heights for the last twelve years, which was part of the Mirrabooka electorate up until the recent boundary change. I spend much of my time in Mirrabooka, it’s where I shop and I have gotten to know the people here well. Mirrabooka is multicultural, diverse and full of potential, however parts of the electorate are neglected and run down. Mirrabooka is a working people’s electorate, and governments have tended to focus on the needs of wealthier areas in the past. I think the area requires some investment from the government – some attention and some money. There are some good sporting facilities and shops near the forum, but there is not much of a cultural or commercial life outside that area. The Greens would work to facilitate cultural life and small business.
I am a strong supporter of the Greens’ refugee policies. Many people in Mirrabooka are from refugee backgrounds, either first or second generation, and I see the Greens as natural allies for people who have come to Western Australia in search of a safe place to be. A program to promote and celebrate the cultural diversity of the area could be the basis for attracting customers to existing small businesses while creating opportunity for new ones.
We also need more public housing. The development of public housing projects in this area could provide jobs and affordable accommodation. I have struggled in the past to find affordable accommodation. Our state is wealthy and could provide affordable accommodation via the public sector if it chose to. The need is real and urgent, not only for new builds but also for maintenance and upgrades on existing social housing. It would be an investment in the future of our people.
I consider a healthy environment to be a human right. I will always work to maintain tree cover and green space for people who live in places like Mirrabooka. Tree lined streets are not just for wealthy suburbs. The Greens will make Perth a truly sustainable, prosperous and connected city through an integrated plan across transport, urban planning, green spaces, sustainable design and community initiatives.