Big fields add poll intrigue

Gareth McKnightSound Telegraph

Rockingham and Kwinana residents will receive local government postal ballots this week and have big fields of candidates to choose from to run their councils for the next two to four years.

While the City of Kwinana has 17 nominees for four council positions, 27 people have put their hands up across four Rockingham wards for six vacancies.

Long-term Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels is up for re-election and said he had unfinished business.

He will come up against nine candidates in Rockingham ward.

The mayor of 14 years highlighted the Lark Hill Sports Complex, Aqua Jetty, Gary Holland Community Centre and Mary Davies Library and Community Centre as some of the major achievements Rockingham council had completed during his time in local government.

“This is not about me it is about what the council has done as a team,” Cr Sammels said.

“The major projects over the last 20 years have been incredible, but to do that you have to have the support of the other councillors.

“Over my time in local government we have had a very stable council. This council is respected and I know that because of the feedback that I get from other councils around Australia.

“I want people to be proud of their city. I’m sure there are a lot of people that are; I think the work we are doing only adds to this.”

Councillors Deb Hamblin, Leigh Liley and Justin Smith are up for re-election and have thrown their support behind Cr Sammels as mayor.

Cr Hamblin has been a councillor for 12 years and deputy mayor for four years. She stressed that a co-operative approach on the council had transformed the City.

“The team is the most important thing for me — we have a really cohesive team and we need to make sure that it continues into the future,” she said.

“The experience and diversity of this team that we have at the moment is amazing.

“There is lots to be done and we are progressing in leaps and bounds. I want to be part of that.”

Cr Liley, who has been a councillor for 18 years, said one of the hallmarks of Rockingham council was accountability.

“I remain as committed to council now as I was when I first got on,” she said.

“Cr Hamblin and I live in an amazing part of the world. Safety Bay, Shoalwater and Warnbro can really be enhanced and with lots of community consultation we can maximise its potential.

“Stability and continuity is imperative. This is an amazing team to be part of.”

Justin Smith has been a councillor for four years and is the son of the City’s first mayor, Richard Smith.

He said he had been involved with the council directly or indirectly for 30 years and Cr Sammels was the man to lead the City forward.

“I love the community and do a lot in Comet Bay ward, it was an absolute no-brainer to re-nominate,” Cr Smith said.

“Barry has done a fantastic job. He is not a politician, he is there to do a job for the people.”

For profiles of candidates in the Rockingham ward, go to page 15.

Profiles of all Rockingham and Kwinana candidates are on the Telegraph’s Facebook page.

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