Buchanan throws his hat into Rockingham mayoral race

Holly ThompsonSound Telegraph
City of Rockingham councillor Craig Buchanan has put his hand up to run for mayor in October.
Camera IconCity of Rockingham councillor Craig Buchanan has put his hand up to run for mayor in October.

A Rockingham councillor has become the first to throw his hat in the ring in the race to become the City’s first popularly-elected Mayor.

Cr Craig Buchanan, pictured, announced his plans to run in the October 16 local government election at the end of last week’s council meeting, under the reports from councillors section of the evening.

“I am being asked regularly what my plans are for October and I’m going to say here, in front of all of you so there is no misunderstanding... that I do intend to allow my name to go forward in the election for Mayor,” he said.

Mayor Barry Sammels — who is yet to reveal if he will seek re-election as a mayor, councillor or neither — said the announcement was “not really a report of a councillor”.

“I don’t want that to be happening, it’s not really the platform. I don’t want councillors taking the opportunity during reports of councillors to state their future ambitions,” he said.

Cr Buchanan said he had decided to announce his decision in council for “fairness and transparency”, so the council and public all knew at the same time.

“I do think I can bring a fresh set of eyes. The default cannot be ‘we’ve always done it this way so this is the way we are going to continue’,” he said.

“We’ve got to be able to look at things fresh and see if there is a better, more modern way to do stuff.”

Cr Buchanan said if he was elected as mayor and had the support, he would create a model of modest, occasional rate increases.

“I would like to look at our rates model on an ongoing basis. We had two good years of restraint, one from COVID-19 and one of the back of it,” he said.

“I would also like to learn more about our Indigenous history down in our neck of the woods. I think there is a good project there for council to support investigation into that history.

“I am also a supporter of Point Peron. I foresee a role for council in that, building the visitors centre and more.”

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