Meet the council election candidates for Shire of Murray 2021

ELECTIONS: Eight candidates in the Shire of Murray are stepping up to contest five vacancies. Photo: File image.
ELECTIONS: Eight candidates in the Shire of Murray are stepping up to contest five vacancies. Photo: File image.

Local government elections will be held across Western Australia on October 16, with eight candidates in the Shire of Murray stepping up to contest five vacancies.

The Mandurah Mail has asked the candidates why voters should back them. Brad Cardilini did not respond.

This is part one of what the candidates had to say, with part two in next week's paper.

Stewart Carter. Photo: Supplied.

Stewart Carter. Photo: Supplied.

Stewart Carter

Can you give us a brief description of your history living in the Shire of Murray?

My family and I have always been frequent visitors and we jumped at the chance to live here permanently four years ago.

Living in an area that's so vibrant while retaining a relaxed country lifestyle, appeals to us.

I am passionate about supporting the people in the Shire to assist with ongoing development while maintaining and improving the existing lifestyle.

I work as a teacher supporting students with additional needs.

As I've lived in two other regions in the past 10 years, I have seen some ideas that can be adopted here.

I believe there is a benefit in having a council with a mix of long-term and newer residents, who can contribute ideas in a complementary way.

Can you tell us about your personal motivation for nominating?

I want to support and give back to the community where my family and I have chosen to live.

I believe the best way I can do this is by being a part of the council.

What do you feel is lacking, or neglected within the Shire, and how would you like to see it addressed by local government?

As a teacher, I have a passion to support young people.

There are fantastic facilities for a diverse range of people already in the Shire of Murray, the area I would like to see improved is for teenagers.

Young people can thrive when given the opportunity to focus their energy in positive ways.

If you received a $1 million grant to be used within the Shire in any way you wanted, what would you do with it?

One initiative I would like to see introduced is updating the Pinjarra Civic Centre to enable hosting multiple activities for young people.

Activities could include: movie making, arts and crafts, board game events, escape room, proactive mental health initiatives, IT/gaming development and school holiday programs.

How do you/will you juggle your everyday life with the responsibilities of being a councillor?

With a supportive family and friend group, my role of councillor would be a genuine, welcomed challenge.

On a day off in the Murray region, where can we find you and what are you doing?

The Murray Shire provides many premium locations for all the activities myself, family and friends enjoy.

I love camping, cycling, bushwalking, accessing the estuary, river and canals or dining out.

This is such a wonderful place to live, don't you agree?

Brenda Beacham. Photo: Supplied.

Brenda Beacham. Photo: Supplied.

Brenda Beacham

Can you give us a brief description of your history living in the Shire of Murray?

It has been a privilege for me to have served nine years as a councillor for the community in the Shire of Murray.

As well, I have a Local Government diploma.

I have lived in the Shire for over 18 years.

Can you tell us about your personal motivation for nominating in this election?

My motivation is supporting the local community.

The Beacham families have been in the locality since 1836.

What do you feel is lacking, or neglected within the Shire, and how would you like to see it addressed by local government?

Small business, tourism including the arts and the heritage aspects will contribute to sustainability and also provide employment.

If you received a $1 million grant to be used within the Shire in any way you wanted, what would you do with it?

Accommodation including a conference centre and restaurant for visitors would also create employment.

How do you/will you juggle your everyday life with the responsibilities of being a councillor?

I have no problem contributing to the community as a member of not-for-profit groups, which includes delivering the Murray community newspaper and many hours contributing to the Murray Districts Historical Society as president and volunteering to be on roster when open.

On a day off in the Murray region, where can we find you and what are you doing?

No response.

Stuart Kirkham. Photo: Supplied.

Stuart Kirkham. Photo: Supplied.

Stuart Kirkham

Can you give us a brief description of your history living in the Shire of Murray?

I have lived in the Shire all my life.

I live in Coolup with my wife and children and enjoy the rural feel the Shire has to offer.

I work in the mining industry and run cattle on our farm at Coolup.

I'm an officer with the Coolup Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade and have been an active member for 13 years.

My family came to the Peel region in the 1850's.

Can you tell us about your personal motivation for nominating?

Making sure our rates are spent accordingly throughout our Shire and that responsible and accountable decision-making for future generations are my key motivations for nominating for this election.

What do you feel is lacking, or neglected within the Shire, and how would you like to see it addressed by local government?

Access to health and medical facilities in Pinjarra would have to be one of our most neglected services and I think that as a Council we can lobby state and federally to improve on this to attract more services to town.

If you received a $1 million grant to be used within the Shire in any way you wanted, what would you do with it?

I would invest a $1m grant into our rural roads network as some are in serious need of repairs and upgrades.

How do you/will you juggle your everyday life with the responsibilities of being a councillor?

Working seven days a fortnight in mining gives me enough time to run my farm and still stay engaged with the community as a councillor.

On a day off in the Murray region, where can we find you and what are you doing?

On my days off I can be found spending time on our farm, the gym, shooting clay targets at our local gun club, and just enjoying our great Shire.

David Pike. Photo: Supplied.

David Pike. Photo: Supplied.

David Pike

Can you give us a brief description of your history living in the Shire of Murray?

I was asked in 2003 to come down and pastor the Pinjarra Family Church, which I was thrilled to do. Pinjarra has been a blessing to me ever since.

I met my wife in Pinjarra and I have had the opportunity to raise three children here (23, 22 and 14).

While living in this awesome town, I have volunteered for breakfast clubs at our local primary school; I have watched my eldest son join the Pinjarra swimming club; and my local church was instrumental in starting Movies Under the Stars in Edenvale's gardens which has been running for three years.

The Peel region has been good to me with an abundance of work opportunities.

This has helped me become a fine tradesman, then lecturer at TAFE, as well as kick-starting my opportunity to become a lead estimator.

Currently I am in a supervisor's role at Alcoa.

Can you tell us about your personal motivation for nominating in this election?

Having lived in Pinjarra for 18 years, I have seen the township grow.

My desire to see Pinjarra and her surrounding districts keep their charm and still become a major hub for commerce and industry is why I am running for council.

I want to help steer the Shire in a direction that sees us retain a country atmosphere, as well as opportunity for the young and not so young to work and grow in our area; happy to see their children thrive here, not constrained by the limitations of a suburban environment.

What do you feel is lacking, or neglected within the Shire, and how would you like to see it addressed by local government?

Within Pinjarra and the surrounding area, we lack commerce and industry, as well as four-wheel-drive and motorcycle recreation.

Local government needs to focus on bringing well-known brands and identities into our town so that people are happy to shop and support local business rather than driving to Perth or Bunbury or even Mandurah for their needs.

With industry, Council needs to focus on the farming industry and finance manufacturing of farming equipment and well as mining equipment, not just repair but fabrication.

We have a great start at our industrial area but we need to offer more incentives to encourage business start-up in our Shire.

Four-wheel-drive recreation and dirt motorcycle riding should be addressed so that local youth and adventurers can have access to defined areas with out fear of breaking the law.

I will be asking council to consider areas of our local bushland to be earmarked for ideas like this.

If you received a $1 million grant to be used within the Shire in any way you wanted, what would you do with it?

One of my biggest desires is to see a complete refurbishment of the Pinjarra hospital; I am acutely aware that $1m would not be anywhere near enough, but still, I think I would meet with professionals in the health industry and ask them how we could best spend the money to begin the overhaul of our hospital.

Once initiated, with proper media exposure and the right approach to state government, there might be a strong desire from local and state parties to support the vision and we could become a second major health facility in the South West.

How do you/will you juggle your everyday life with the responsibilities of being a councillor?.

Having pastored a local church for nine years while working full time as tradesman, I have energy that seems to just come out of me.

Now that I no longer pastor a church, I keep busy by working full time, maintaining a four-acre block, building my own house and being on the board of Calvary Youth Service.

I have a loving family who regularly help me to take good breaks and a strong spiritual life that keeps me fresh and alive.

Doing things that are rewarding and inspiring for me gives me strength to push through and achieve.

I believe that being part of a team that listens to our local community and then helps to achieve the desires of that community will be a rewarding and satisfying role.

On a day off in the Murray region, where can we find you and what are you doing?

If I am in Pinjarra, I would be having a BBQ at home with friends and family.

If I was to have a day in Mandurah, then we generally will have coffee on the strip, lunch at Sumudra's.

In the evening, we like to walk along one of the beaches and maybe catch a meal at any of the fine places to dine.

Douglas McLarty. Photo: Supplied.

Douglas McLarty. Photo: Supplied.

Douglas McLarty

Can you give us a brief description of your history living in the Shire of Murray?

I live on our family cattle property in Meelon, which my family has held for six generations.

I am married to Emma and have three teenage children.

Along with farming, I work part-time at Alcoa's Willowdale mine as a mobile equipment trainer.

I have recently reduced my hours as an outdoor education instructor for Christ Church Grammar School in Dwellingup.

I have been an active member for the Coolup Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade for 21 years and currently hold the position as fire control officer.

Can you tell us about your personal motivation for nominating?

Pinjarra has been my family's home for generations, and I am incredibly passionate about ensuring the Shire continues to be a unique, progressive place for all members of the community.

I am committed to ensuring that all individuals and community groups feel that their voice is heard and receive the support they need.

What do you feel is lacking, or neglected within the Shire, and how would you like to see it addressed by local government?

As has been well documented, health services is an area that is lacking within our Shire.

This is not directly the responsibility of the Shire, however, Local Government can advocate for our residents to both the State and Federal governments on this issue.

Our rural road network requires consistent maintenance to maintain a safe standard, it is imperative that this remains a high priority.

If you received a $1 million grant to be used within the Shire in any way you wanted, what would you do with it?

I would put the grant towards the redevelopment at the Exchange Hotel, a historical site within the centre of the Pinjarra CBD.

Significant funds have been spent developing the river foreshore around the Exchange precinct, and I believe completion of this project will have substantial economic benefit.

Once finalised it will be an attractive place for local families and visitors.

How do you/will you juggle your everyday life with the responsibilities of being a councillor?

Having served on Council for four years, including two years as deputy president, I believe I have demonstrated that I have the ability to be flexible which allows me to be an effective representative.

On a day off in the Shire of Murray, where can we find you and what are you doing?

I enjoy watching my children's sporting activities, so I can often be found on the sidelines of the grassy fields and river banks.

When time permits, I can be found kayaking down the Murray River or hiking sections of the Bibbulmun Track.

Jeremy Ingham. Photo: Supplied.

Jeremy Ingham. Photo: Supplied.

Jeremy Ingham

Can you give us a brief description of your history living in the Shire of Murray?

I live on Cooleenup Island in the Murray River delta, on a property that was bequeathed to our grandfather in 1927.

So my experience of the shire and my enjoyment of the area and its beauty goes back to when I was a small boy. I chose to relocate permanently to the island three years ago.

The Nutrien Ag Alcoa International Horse Trials is held annually on the Alcoa farmlands that surround Fairbridge Village - the same location as the annual Fairbridge Festival.

This premium WA equestrian event has been successfully running for 23 years and is considered a highlight in the local and national equestrian calendar.

This year had over 300 competitors, about 850 spectators and supporters and included several national level competitors and an Olympic silver medalist.

I have been involved as a volunteer for this event for the past eight years as the 'go to guy', the coordinator, for the preparation of the cross country courses and dressage and show jumping arenas.

I am also a member of the Murray Delta Residents and Ratepayers Association which has been effective in representing the issues specific to our island region.

Can you tell us about your personal motivation for nominating?

I have a keen eye for detail and am always on the lookout for opportunities for improvement and I get excited when I discover unnecessary waste or inefficiency as this provides me scope to make a difference.

Making a difference is my primary motivator, being a contribution in the world and making a 'real' difference in people's lives.

What do you feel is lacking, or neglected within the Shire, and how would you like to see it addressed by local government?

In a perfect world I can see the Shire of Murray standing as a beacon for what's possible in local government:

  • Where every member of the local community has a voice and all perspectives are considered valid and an important part of the overall decision making process.
  • Unnecessary waste and inefficiency have been eliminated and the Shire is a zero emitter of greenhouse gases.
  • All shire buildings generate their own power needs and have 'stand alone' fresh water supply built into the infrastructure design.
  • There is an atmosphere of cooperation and collaboration with neighbouring shires and several projects provide benefits to ratepayers across shire boundaries.
  • Business development is positively supported by shire activities and investment in the region is solid and ongoing.
  • Regular resident and ratepayer engagement surveys provide ongoing and positive feedback that we are on track to being the 'best shire' in the country. A very desirable place to live.

If you received a $1 million grant to be used within the Shire in any way you wanted, what would you do with it?

No response.

How do you/will you juggle your everyday life with the responsibilities of being a councillor?

I have been retired from paid work since late in 2015 so the time demands that come with being a councillor are not a problem in my flexible world.

On a day off in the Murray region, where can we find you and what are you doing?

It has been more than 30 years since I first started to explore my own humanity and why I do the things I do and why I think the way I think.

This journey of self discovery has led me to volunteer my time to several organisations and groups that focus on the mental and emotional well being of Australian men.

In the last 10 years I have been a facilitator, organiser and co-creator of workshops and gatherings for Aussie blokes and this is where I invest my spare time and energy.

It is the most engaging, rewarding and satisfying work I have done my whole life - and it continues today.

And when time allows you will see me out the front of my house throwing the ball for my gorgeous kelpie, Honey.

Geoff Black. Photo: Supplied.

Geoff Black. Photo: Supplied.

Geoff Black

Can you give us a brief description of your history living in the Shire of Murray?

I have lived in the Murray Shire, growing up in Coolup.

While working and living in Boddington, I experienced the mining industry as I was employed at Worsley.

Can you tell us about your personal motivation for nominating?

To be re-elected as a Murray Shire councillor this year.

I feel I still have more to offer the region going forward.

My main focus will be expanding tourism which will lead to growth and future employment.

What do you feel is lacking, or neglected within the Shire, and how would you like to see it addressed by local government?

The recent development in the Food Innovation Precinct and Dwellingup as a leading Bike Trail Initiative.

If you received a $1 million grant to be used within the Shire in any way you wanted, what would you do with it?

More jobs for youth in the Murray Shire and more housing for our seniors. When extra funds did become available I would focus on these points.

How do you/will you juggle your everyday life with the responsibilities of being a councillor?

I am semi-retired so I have ample time to devote to Shire projects.

On a day off in the Murray region, where can we find you and what are you doing?

I have been a volunteer for four decades for various groups in Murray and Mandurah and I am still involved in volunteering.