Voted into council at the December local elections, councillor Philippa Scott now represents Labor in the Leichhardt-Gulgadya ward of Inner West Council.
In an interview with City Hub, Cr Scott said that she feels a very strong connection to the community and that she has “always wanted to represent the Inner West in its decision making”.
Cr Scott has a background in migration law, including as a refugee lawyer in Australia and internationally. She is the President of Leichhardt’s Sydney Secondary College P&C and a board member of the Metro Assist Migrant Resource Centre.
She said it’s wonderful to be able to offer migrants a way to contribute and integrate into our community.
“I’m delighted to be in a position where I can make good decisions that will carry us into a sustainable future”.
Changing the council meeting schedules
In her few months serving the Inner West, Cr Scott has already been vocal about issues facing council.
Earlier this year, Cr Scott tabled a motion moved by the eight-seat Labor bloc to revert the ordinary council meeting schedule to a one meeting per month model, saying that it would allow the Inner West’s “untapped reservoir of community expertise” to be realised.
The motion drew criticism from other councillors, with the Greens’ Dylan Griffiths saying it was “disappointing that Labor is using its majority to make council slower, more secretive and less accountable”, adding that councillors would now only have four hours a month to “bring forward proposals on behalf of their communities”.
Cr Scott said that it was more important for councillors to be working in the community rather than “in the council chamber having petty political arguments”.
“We strongly believe that the best work of the council is within the community and not on the floor of the chamber,” she said.
Philippa’s future plans for the Inner West
Cr Scott said that with her background in migration law, she has had contact with people from a vast array of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.
“I think that it is really important that we make the Inner West a home for everyone.
“Being a lifelong local positively contributes to my ability to serve the Inner West as I know the community so well, down to every street and its history.”
Cr Scott stated that she has many plans to strengthen the Inner-West’s future.
“I want the difference I make during my council term to enable as many people as possible to feel the same love for the inner west as I do.”