Swan chief executive officer Stephen Cain presents at the Hour of Power. Picture: Guanhao Cheng

Swan CEO responds to Hour of Power

City of Swan chief executive officer Stephen Cain says he was at the event in a capacity to help.
June 20, 2024
Guanhao Cheng

CITY of Swan chief executive officer Stephen Cain has responded to questions about complaints regarding the disruption to question time during last week’s Hour of Power.

Mr Cain attended the event discussing dealing with bureaucracy and addressed the points made by the speaker Kevin Bartholomew during his question time slot, as reported in Bartholomew’s bureaucracy battle.

Mr Bartholomew said he was displeased with what he saw was an intrusion on a moment reserved for the concerns of his business to be heard and understood by the community.

“As the owner of the Commercial Bar and Kitchen, I was invited to share my experiences on ‘Dealing with Bureaucracy’, particularly focusing on the significant challenges we have faced due to the New Midland Station construction project,” he said.

“Despite my repeated requests for him to be seated and ask his questions from the audience, Mr. Cain continued to monopolise the floor, leaving no opportunity for meaningful discussion.

“I believe that the role of the chief executive of the local council should be to support and facilitate dialogue with small businesses, not to shut it down.”

Mr Bartholomew said he had contacted the mayor three times in the past week to address Mr Cain’s conduct at the event and was waiting on a response.

“Other attendees at the Hour of Power were equally dismayed by Mr Cain’s behaviour,” he said.

“Several business owners approached me afterward, sharing their disappointment and concern that their own questions and issues were not addressed due to the disruption caused by Mr Cain.

“We need practical solutions and genuine support to ensure the viability of our business and the safety of our community during this disruptive period of Metronet construction in this old precinct of Midland.”

Mr Cain said the event was about difficulties regarding bureaucratic processes so he was there in a capacity to help.

“The Swan Chamber of Commerce’s Hour of Power event was about the challenges of dealing with bureaucracy, so I attended as a member of the Chamber to listen and to offer any advice or support that may help our ratepayers,” he said.

“At the invitation of co-presenter, Gerry Hanssen, and the Swan Chamber of Commerce President, I responded to matters raised in the presentations during the Q&A section of the event.

“I also offered continued personal assistance to local business owners affected by Metronet works and further engagement with the audience in general about working with local government.

“Swan Chamber of Commerce leadership has made it clear to me that they appreciated my attendance and my willingness to address concerns directly, and they have invited me to speak at a future Hour of Power event.”

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