Rick Gerring, the brother of local surfer Ben Gerring who tragically died after being mauled by a shark off Gearies Beach in May last year, has announced his intention to run for council in the upcoming October election.
The Port Bouvard resident, who grew up surfing in Falcon Bay, has been outspoken on shark mitigation measures and has been the driving force behind the decision to install a shark barrier in Falcon Bay.
A Mandurah local for 28 years, Mr Gerring said he never imagined he would step in the political arena but the tragic death of his brother Ben changed everything.
For the past year, Mr Gerring has been involved with the former and current state government pushing for the installation of a shark net in Falcon and the establishment of subsidies for personal shark deterrents.
He has also teamed up with the City of Mandurah to develop the Beach Emergency Number (BEN) system, which has seen the installation of a number of signs in key beach locations containing vital emergency information.
“I think [with] my ties and the people that I do know in government already and the working relationship I have with them I believe we can try and get some better outcomes for Mandurah,” he said.
“I don’t have any ties to any political party. I’ve already proven that I can work with any government.
“I definitely think I would be a good asset for Mandurah.”
Despite his commitment to building a shark barrier in Falcon Bay, Mr Gerring said he also had other plans for the city in his sights.
“[The barrier] is still a big one for me personally, but in the overall of what I’d like to see happen that’s just one part,” he said.
“There’s a lot of other areas that we need to look into I believe, and improve on.”
He said he would like to focus on improving tourism opportunities in Mandurah, generating local employment, supporting small businesses and addressing transport issues in the region’s southern corridor.
”I want to be a big driving force with all that,” he said.
“I think a bit of a fresh approach in the council may help.
“I look forward to the challenge and looking after our community.”
Mr Gerring would be running for councillor Shannon Lawson’s position in the coastal ward.