The high cost of living can send some Port Hedland residents packing when they retire, so one council candidate has made it their mission to keep seniors in town. Grey nomads are a common sight entering Port Hedland but according to Mary Wyn, there is an exodus of retirees who are unable to keep up with exorbitant bills, rent, and mortgage repayments. Ms Wyn said one of the main reasons she decided to run for council was because of her own experience with the issue and those of her friends. “I’m retired now and my husband is coming up to retirement and I don’t want to leave because I’ve lived here for twenty-odd years and absolutely love it,” she said. “But like most retirees, you just can’t afford to live up here because of the enormous bills in the summer.” “It’s the massive amount of electricity you go through in summer — the average bill is about $2000 for two months.” Because electricity was a large barrier to retirees’ ability to stay in Port Hedland, Ms Wyn said one of her key areas of focus if elected would be renewable energy. “If you have solar panels on your roof plus two storage batteries your fees will generally be between $0 to $50 every two months,” she said. “If you have double or triple glazing your house doesn’t get as warm.” If elected Ms Wyn said she wanted to see all new homes in Port Hedland built to a have seven-star energy rating. She said the issue was amplified by the fact that many people in town relied on company housing. “I know lots of people who have had to go to Perth,” Ms Wyn said. “A lot of people will be in company housing for years and then of course everything here is so expensive.” Ms Wyn said family dynamics were abnormal in Port Hedland because retirees often had to leave. “We don’t see any grandparents around we only see grey nomads,” she said. “Mums might want to go back to work but they don’t have childcare and if the grandparents are around they can help out. “You want to be able to see your grandkids a couple of times a week not three times a year.” Community safety was another area Ms Wyn said she hoped to focus on. With her husband set to retire in four years, Ms Wyn said it was possible they would have to move when he did but they were hoping to find a way to stay in town.