Race starts for six East Pilbara seats
The starter’s gun has been fired for local government elections.
The Shire of East Pilbara is looking to fill six council positions for a four-year term, five of which are are up for re-election, as well as one vacant position.
The East Pilbara is the largest shire in Australia, with Newman, Marble Bar and Nullagine its main sites.
The council is made up of 11 councillors who represent six wards including North, North West, South, Central, Lower Central, and East.
The councillors have been operating under the guidance of Shire president Lynne Craigie, who is encouraging members of the public to make an informed vote.
“Local government elections are the best way to get your voice heard,” she said.
“I encourage you all to vote and be active in helping select the people who will represent you in council.”
Anthony Middleton, Barbara O'Driscoll, Gerry Parsons, Keelan McGinnis, Anita Grace, and Shane Carter are vying to be councillors for the South Ward, with three seats vacant.
Sitting councillors Anita Grace, Gerry Parsons, and Shane Carter are hoping to be re-elected for their positions. Robert Green and Carol Williams are the two candidates for the East Ward, with one seat vacant.
Lang Coppin is the current deputy Shire president and has been elected unopposed in the North Ward and Dean Hatwell has been elected unopposed in the Central Ward.
Newman community members are invited to meet the councillors at Newman Boulevard Shopping Centre on October 7 from 10am-noon to discuss queries or questions ahead of the election.
The end of the year will also signal a new change in direction for the Shire, as chief executive Allen Cooper resigned from his role in December, leaving behind a legacy of accomplishments.
Council meetings are held between Newman and Marble Bar on the fourth Friday of each month.
The election, which is held every two years, will be on October 21.
Carol Williams is also running for the position of councillor on the East Ward but did not respond at the time of going to print.
Name: Robert Green
Occupation: Self-employed home handyman, and trainer and assessor.
Previous local government experience: First time running.
How long have you lived within the Shire of East Pilbara? Nearly three years full-time and two years fly-in, fly-out before that.
Why did you decide to run for councillor? I have a passion for this community and feel the drive to give back.
What have you been involved in within the shire? Played, coached, umpired and served on the committee of East Pilbara Softball from 2013-16. Played and coached NNFL football from 2016-17. Played in and served as president of Newman Cricket Association in 2016-17. Member and vice-president of RSL Newman Sub-branch in 2017. Coached junior netball, AFL football and teeball in 2015-17. Assisted the Shire of East Pilbara Art in the Heart project in 2016-17. Member and property co-ordinator Newman Community Baptist Church in 2013-17.
How do you endeavour to produce the best outcomes for the community? I have developed relationships within most areas of the community. With this connection, people will be able to approach me directly with their issues that I will then be able to take to the council.
What do you think the biggest issue facing the district is? The sense of family and community is sometimes strained and I feel this is the biggest issue within the Shire. This includes road usage within the towns by oversized vehicles, how the mining organisations engage within the community, and physical and mental health services.
Name: Anita Grace
Occupation: Business owner
Previous local government experience: I have served on the East Pilbara Shire and am hoping to get re-elected.
How long have you lived within the Shire of East Pilbara? 30 years.
Why did you decide to run for councillor? To help promote and establish the Aboriginal Men’s Healing Centre — which is something dear to my heart.
What have you been involved in within the shire? A Justice of the Peace, board member of the Newman Women’s Shelter, the Aboriginal Men’s Healing Centre, the Newman Liquor accord and an active volunteer.
How will you endeavour to produce the best outcomes for the community? Working with my fellow councillors, respecting their views and making decisions for the whole shire
What do you think the biggest issue facing the district is? We have just come of a huge boom within the mining industry and things have changed dramatically within the last two years. We now have too listen to, identify and address new and existing issues and work together to put them into practice.
Name: Anthony Paul
Occupation: Isolations co-ordinator
Previous local government experience: Nil
How long have you lived within the Shire of East Pilbara?
For the most part of the past 26 years.
Why did you decide to run for councillor?
Was approached by several people from the community, commenting that I should run, as I’m heavily involved in the community.
What have you been involved in within the shire?
I have helped plenty of not-for-profits and been the Lions Club president for four years, co-ordinated six Fortescue Festivals and Balls as well as other fundraising activities.
How will you endeavour to produce the best outcomes for the community?
An integral part of council is listening to the voice of the community, their issues, and their concerns, to discuss and raise them. Everyone has good ideas, people need to listen, discuss then possibly raise them. This will drive our town better into the future.
What do you think the biggest issue facing the district is?
Youth is the biggest focus for me. We are needing to support and back youth programs, facilities and implement some short and long-term plans. We need to ensure that these are robust enough, and ensure that these are something that the wider community will benefit from going forward.
Occupation: Manager, Newman Visitor Centre
How long have you lived in the Shire of East Pilbara: 22 years
Why did you decide to run for councillor? I want to be a positive influence on the future direction our shire takes.
What have you been involved in within the shire? President Newman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, manager Newman Visitor Centre, vice-president of Community Radio 6NEW and member of East Pilbara Turf Club Executive.
How will you endeavour to produce the best outcomes for the community? Listen and communicate with the whole community, and make decisions based on long-term sustainability of our community. To support business endeavours in our community to ensure strong growth within the shire. Be a strong and accountable voice at the table when decisions are being made.
Name: Gerry Parsons
Suburb: South Newman
Occupation: Administration/site support officer — APA Group
Previous local government experience: Shire of East Pilbara — South Ward councillor (six years)
How long have you lived within the Shire of East Pilbara? 17 years
Why did you decide to run for councillor? I wanted to ensure State funding and Shire rates were being used to better the town and community.
What have you been involved in within the shire? School P&C/ Boards, Newman Chamber Commerce and Industry, 6NEW Radio, Mainstreet Committee, day care centre licensee, junior football and soccer secretary, tee-ball president, coach and umpire, swim and gymnastics clubs.
How will you endeavour to produce the best outcomes for the community? Actively consult and work with businesses, families and community groups, prioritising what matters most to them. Lobby government, leverage and drive opportunities for economic growth in the region.
What do you think the biggest issue facing the district is? Constrained by population growth the challenge is for local, State and Federal governments to develop strategies and policies that support growth. Building towns where businesses invest and people want to live.
Name: Shane Carter
Occupation: BHP Billiton truck driver
Previous local government experience: Yes, I have served on the East Pilbara Shire Council.
How long have you lived within the Shire of East Pilbara? 30 years
Those running for a position on council, but did not respond in time of print, include Carol Williams and Keelan McGinnis.
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