Chapman Valley president Kirrilee Warr secures candidacy with Nationals for Geraldton seat in 2025 election

Anna CoxGeraldton Guardian
Nationals WA candidate for the Geraldton seat, Kirrilee Warr.
Camera IconNationals WA candidate for the Geraldton seat, Kirrilee Warr. Credit: Supplied

Chapman Valley Shire president Kirrilee Warr beat two other preselection contenders for the Nationals WA in the seat of Geraldton.

Ms Warr, former City of Greater Geraldton mayor Shane Van Styn and Shire of Northampton vice-president Rob Horstman made presentations to the party’s State council on Saturday.

Party leader Shane Love said each candidate made a strong pitch to more than 20 delegates from across the State, who then voted for their preferred candidate.

Mr Love said although the party could only elect one, “they’re three very good quality candidates”.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


“Each one of them would’ve been a great candidate and its a good sign for the Mid West and the Nationals that we had such a strong field,” he said.

The party is not notified of the voting split, but Mr Love said Ms Warr’s extensive experience in local government would have been an appealing factor to the council.

“She’s got a long service in the Mid West and understands both the city and country components of the seat. She brings good mixture of both understandings, she’ll be a very effective candidate going forward,” Mr Love said.

Ms Warr said she was thrilled to be endorsed.

“I’m excited for the future of the Geraldton electorate. I’d like to sincerely thank the party members for putting their faith in me,” she said.

The next steps for the Mid West stalwart involves connecting with the “diverse communities, businesses and local governments”.

“From Chapman Valley to the heart of Geraldton. We’ve got a lot of opportunity ahead of us and I’m ready to get to work,” Ms Warr said.

The most exciting part for the newly endorsed candidate is being able to listen the community.

“I’m looking forward to getting out and about across the electorate . . . to hear about the opportunities and challenges which matter the most,” she said.

Ms Warr will remain Chapman Valley shire president for the immediate future, and said she would request a leave of absence leading into the election “as is appropriate”.

Ms Warr, who will now likely go up against Labor incumbent Lara Dalton, who has confirmed her intention to run for a second term, said the calibre she was up against in the preselection process was encouraging.

“Saturday’s meeting was a great process. The Nationals understand in our region the challenges match the opportunities,” she said.

“The Nats have a unique process. All branches in WA take a vote — I think local decision-making is always the best way forward.”

Mr Van Styn said Ms Warr would make a “wonderful candidate”.

“I know she has the best interest of the region at heart, and I wish her well,” he said.

When asked about the possibility of running as an independent, Mr Van Styn said: “That’s something that has to be considered in due course. If I did run as an independent that would mean the end of my membership with the Nationals.

“I haven’t decided yet. I think it’s best to let the dust settle.”

Mr Horstman left his 15-minute presentation to the State council feeling fortunate and content with his performance.

“I couldn’t be happier. I certainly left everything out on the pitch and walked away feeling if I don’t win the preselection, it wouldn’t be due to a lack of effort or execution,” he said.

“I’m really happy for Kira. She’s a great friend and an even better candidate . . . It was very competitive but the collegiate nature of it, you felt like you were in it together.”

The Nationals on Saturday also declared they would run candidates in South Perth, Bateman, Darling Range and Kalamunda, with Mr Love not ruling out fielding candidates in other metropolitan seats.

Amid tension between the Nationals and their traditional Liberal allies, Mr Love also closed the door on forming a coalition before the 2025 election and reiterated he would not be relinquishing the title of Opposition Leader.

“What we need to do now is come together with the Liberal Party to work out how we best approach the 2025 election with separate parties, with separate policies, but with values which align in many ways,” Mr Love said.

“I will keep the Opposition title.

“To be honest about this, and brutal, the decision about who the Opposition leader is was made by the Western Australian public in 2021.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails