Three more in mayor race

Holly ThompsonSound Telegraph
The three newest nominees for Mayor.
Camera IconThe three newest nominees for Mayor.

Three more people have put their hands up to run for Rockingham’s first popularly elected mayor, all of whom are City councillors.

Despite widespread speculation longtime mayor Barry Sammels won’t run in the first popular mayoral vote, he is yet to announce his decision.

Lorna Buchan:

Rockingham councillor Lorna Buchan has joined the list of people who have decided to put their hands up and run for mayor in October’s local government elections.

Cr Buchan has been on council since 2019 and said she was ready to “take Rockingham forward” if she was elected in October.

“The mayor really sets the tone for the City and I love Rockingham, it has grown so incredibly fast over the past few years,” she said.

“I want to see residents have access to great facilities. I think one of the big projects we really need to get off the ground is the Wanliss Street Marina because it is holding back a lot of other projects we have planned for that area.

“Another big thing for me is a caravan park. We have 37km of coastline and no real tourism. We have beautiful beaches and we need to be working with the State Government to try and attract the investment we need here for a caravan park.

“My goal would be to attract, encourage and support investment leading to prosperity and jobs for our residents.”

Cr Buchan said she also felt Rockingham council should be completely transparent.

“If I were fortunate enough to be considered for mayor then I would seek to open up the channels of communication, especially at council meetings,” she said.

“The mayor only has one vote, that’s true, but the selection of mayor is vital as it’s the community’s way of voicing their intended direction for the City.

“My values, experience and leadership qualities make me someone who is not afraid to challenge the status quo. Its time to take Rockingham forward.”

Deb Hamblin:

Deb Hamblin has been on the council since 2005 and said she was now ready for the next step, leading the City and the community.

Cr Hamblin said she decided to run because she believed the City would face some “really extraordinary times going forward”.

“I don’t believe the pandemic is over yet,” she said.

“I wanted a lower rates rise for this reason, it is important we help support the community as best we can financially during these times.

“The other thing is environmentally, the penguins and Point Peron need help. I think the City needs to have a real voice in that issue.

“I am on the Cockburn Sound Management Council so I am prepared for some of the things we are going to have to deal with in the future surrounding these issues.”

Cr Hamblin said she believed she had both the experience, the passion and the energy to be mayor and to take on the leadership role.

“The mayor only gets one vote most of the time so I think the role is more about being a good leader and representing the people,” she said.

“A lot of my career has been in leadership roles so I have the experience. I also think I have a real handle on the sort of proud and caring community we are.”

Cr Hamblin said she was passionate about using her role on council to help improve many other issues affecting the community such as domestic violence, infrastructure growth and employment rates.

“I want to make sure we are building a resilient community that can look forward and grow,” she said.

Mark Jones:

Rockingham councillor Mark Jones will be hoping this time’s the charm, after a narrow loss after running for Mayor two years ago.

Cr Jones was first elected as councillor in 2017 and in 2019 lost the mayoral race with five votes to six in a council secret ballot.

Cr Jones said he was pleased the mayor would now be popularly elected.

“I feel that I have the right mix of experience, temperament, leadership skills, enthusiasm and passion,” he said.

“As mayor, I want to lead the City of Rockingham to zone land that will increase and diversify job opportunities, create friendly, healthy and safe neighbourhoods and enhance our beautiful natural environment.

“The City must work smarter. It must also advocate and lobby the State and Federal Government for important projects and services.”

Cr Jones said the City needed to secure additional income for further upgrades to the various foreshore reserves.

“Agreement and support between all levels of government is required to plan and address the impacts of climate change and coastal erosion,” he said.

“I want the services, programs and facilities in the City to be even better by listening and addressing your needs whilst also keeping any rate increases to a minimum. I strive to be open, honest and helpful. I am confident that I have the necessary skills, experience and passion to lead the City and to serve and help the community.”

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