Giorgia Johnson

West Ward

DISCLAIMER: Giorgia Johnson is a Transition Town Bayswater volunteer however she was not involved in any relevant discussions related to this survey. 

Q1. Waste Management

What do you see as the main challenges to managing and reducing waste in the City of Bayswater and what specific actions will you take to improve the City's waste management outcomes:

  • in council operations?
  • in commercial operations?
  • at the residential level?

This is a really big question! I have really focussed on waste reduction and waste management during my first 4-year term on council, as well as when I ran my own business, over the last two years at our regional council the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) and also at WALGA's Municipal Waste Advisory Committee.

The main challenges to manage and reduce waste in our local area are broader than our local area, they are both structural and societal.

A major structural challenge in reducing waste is that the economic levers in waste are misaligned: Take plastic packaging for example. The manufacturer who chooses the packaging that will soon become waste has no incentive to ensure that the packaging is recycled, recyclable or reusable but a financial incentive to use the cheapest possible packaging. Plastic has many advantages and it is currently cheaper to make new plastic than to recycle and remanufacture plastic packaging.

The consumer, who has a financial incentive to chose the lowest price, is left with the burden of disposing of the packaging, which could be made from many different kinds of unlabelled plastic.

Local government, with the responsibility for waste management, is left with the responsibility and cost (raised through the waste levy included on your rates notice) of finding a way to manage a whole lot of different kinds of plastic in the waste stream. Only state and federal regulation and legislation can change this, for example the state government's plastic bag ban, has made a noticeable difference in our landfills. At a local government level, I have advocated for change through WALGA submissions to government on problem waste, implementing waste export bans, the circular economy, right to repair and extended producer responsibilities.

Another challenge to waste reduction is at a societal level, we live in a time of great purchasing power where success is linked to consumption and quarter-on-quarter economic growth, driving lifestyles of buying and acquiring many items that will ultimately become waste. Advocating for a more sustainable lifestyle and changes in attitudes and values are being done by local groups such as Transition Town Bayswater, as well as the waste educators at the City of Bayswater and programs such as EarthCarers

Challenges in waste management are many and include the lack of incentives to ensure waste is managed where it is created. For example, when councils are choosing the cheapest price option for their community's waste disposal, it may be to truck it hundreds of kilometres to dump it in a regional landfill, avoiding the metropolitan landfill tax, or to sell it to be burned, without any sorting, recycling or other form of waste diversion. Having a strong regional waste services, that we control, that can both manage landfill really well and be innovation in creating recycling and reuse options, gives our community confidence that waste can be a resource rather than a problem.

Specific actions that I will take to improve the City's waste management outcomes:

  • In council operations: In 2018, council supported my motion on plastics, including a ban on single-use plastic for the City's operations. Read about it in PerthNow. If re-elected, I will continue to advocate for lower waste practices wherever 
  • In commercial operations: While the city does not have a direct role in commercial waste services, the EMRC provides commercial waste services. If re-elected I will continue to advocate for strong, sustainable and innovative regional waste services.
  • At the residential level: The introduction of FOGO, something I championed during my four-year term on council, has been the biggest change in the City of Bayswater's waste since the green bin was introduced, providing 900t a month of food and garden organics to be made into high quality soil improver and making Bayswater a leader in waste diversion. In line with the City's waste plan, based on the State's 2030 waste strategy, if re-elected, I will continue to advocate for practices that will exceed the target to reduce per capita residential waste by 10% and increase waste recovery to 70% by 2030.

Q2. Transport

Places that are less car-dominated than the City of Bayswater currently is enjoy a range of benefits including:

  • Safer streets
  • Cleaner air
  • Less traffic congestion
  • Healthier, more active population, and
  • Greater independence for children, seniors and people with disabilities.

Are you supportive of reducing car use and increasing active transport (eg walking, cycling) in the City of Bayswater? If so, what specific measures will you take to enable people to walk, bike (and scoot and skate) more?

If you are not supportive of reducing car use and increasing active transport, tell us why.

During my four-year term, I have supported more cycle and pedestrian infrastructure and the inclusion of plans for separated bike paths for both the Morley and Bayswater town centres. If re-elected, I will advocate for these, and others, to remain in the planning and to actually be constructed.

Q3. Urban Greenery

Are you supportive of increasing greenery and tree canopy in the City of Bayswater? If so, what tangible ways will you work to increase the urban forest:

  • on public land?
  • on private land?

If you are not supportive of increasing urban greenery, tell us why.

Increasing our tree canopy, vital to protect us from the urban heat island effect, to protect our most vulnerable communities and to provide resilience in a time of climate change, has been very challenging.

The City of Bayswater's 2017 Urban Forest Strategy has a target of 20% canopy by 2025, and despite increased tree planting budgets, policy changes to protect verge trees and planning changes to mandate at least one tree per house, landscaping requirements for developments and to encourage the retention of trees when building, our overall canopy has remained stubbornly around 13%.

Horrified at the large scale tree removal for state government projects and for subdivisions permitted by the WAPC, council approved my motion to help retain our own precious biodiversity, creating a program of local seed collection and propagation for revegetation. Read about endemic trees secured from seed here.

If re-elected, I will actively pursue the implementation of strategies and practices to support climate resilience for our community, including increasing our biodiversity, greenery and tree canopy.

Q4. Priorities

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

If re-elected to the City of Bayswater, my top priorities will be work for a better shared future, especially focussing on:

  • Our environment and a more sustainable future
  • The arts
  • Building neighbourhood connections, especially for new families and our diverse community.

I will also work to embed the changes that we've made and continue to advocate for:

  • FOGO and more recycling options
  • Emissions reduction and planning for more renewable energy
  • Aboriginal reconciliation
  • Preventing homelessness
  • Access and inclusion
  • Bike paths and footpaths
  • Improvements at Riverside Gardens
  • Trees, our precious biodiversity and waterways


Giorgia Johnson
West Ward


Learn more about Transition Town Bayswater (TTB).