Election Time: Geraldton’s candidates discuss passions and platforms

Staff ReporterGeraldton Guardian

In the lead up to tomorrow’s election, the eight candidates for Geraldton were invited to submit personal statements, introducing themselves to readers of The Geraldton Guardian.

Lara Dalton, WA Labor

I am a lecturer in hospitality at Central Regional TAFE and a former small business owner.

I have always called Geraldton home. I was born here and am now raising my family here.

I am an active member of the Geraldton community and a member of many community and sporting associations. I have a strong background in hospitality and tourism.

Access to public education, and well-resourced community services are important to me and my family.

I am a strong advocate for investment in education and training, tourism, opportunities for young people and the creation of more local jobs.

I want to work for a stronger Geraldton community that celebrates its diversity and doesn’t leave people behind. My number one commitment to Geraldton is a hospital upgrade and a mental health unit.

If successful, I will be the first woman to hold the seat of Geraldton in 126 years.

Paul Brown, Nationals WA

I live with my family in Geraldton where I was born. As a local, I have a genuine understanding of the issues, along with the many opportunities Geraldton presents.

The $115 million commitment to expand and redevelop the Geraldton Regional Hospital is critical. Of equal importance is the $6.5 million commitment to extend the Geraldton Airport to meet the demands of a growing city. Brendon Grylls and I have committed Royalties for Regions funding to these important projects to help diversify the economy of Geraldton.

I will ensure that Geraldton is a major focus for continued Royalties for Regions investment in projects that support both community and economic growth.

Paul Connolly, Greens

I am the son of immigrant parents, who both embraced the Australian culture.

I lived the first half of my life in suburban Perth, before moving to Geraldton in 1985 after the birth of the first of our three boys.

Now, 30-plus years on, with the family spread far and wide, I am privileged to stand as the Greens candidate for Geraldton, the “capital” of this important Mid West region.

A region that has embraced wind and solar farms and would benefit from the Greens’ proposed renewable energy infrastructure projects.

A region that has shown its concern for fracking by declaring an important farming expanse in Greenough as a “frack-free” area.

We need a strong government to protect all of our valuable groundwater supplies for the future of our food production and our farm sustainability.

It is a region that has allowed me to operate for those 30 years as a sole practitioner in my profession as an architectural drafter and designer, with a strong interest in sustainable, energy-efficient buildings.

I am also president of Mid West Heritage Inc, a group that has been promoting awareness of cultural, built and natural heritage in the region for more than 20 years.

I previously served as a councillor with the then-City of Geraldton in the early 2000s, including two years as deputy mayor.

Geraldton is a region I would fight to protect and promote for future generations as a vibrant and sustainable community with a diversity of cultures.

Wayne Martin, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation

My family moved to WA in 2002 where I worked in the building industry for 14 years, assisting hundreds of West Australians to build and own their own homes.

As part of my decision to join One Nation, I researched the aims of the party to make sure they aligned with my own values.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the aims of One Nation not only lined up with my own values, but from my experience also with those of West Australians. I believe democratic representation in Australia should return to its original intention where the appointed members truly represent the people. I will give everybody in the Geraldton electorate the opportunity to voice their concerns and needs so that policy may be refined and/or reformed in accordance with the collective will of the people.

David Caudwell, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers

I am contesting the Seat of Geraldton because I believe my solid relationship with the council, the City, community groups and businesses uniquely places me as the best advocate for Geraldton as one of Australia's major regional capital cities.

With some 22 years working in the public sector, I have a deep understanding of governments and their internal workings, and I intend to use this experience to help Geraldton realise its full potential in the years ahead.

If you feel, as I do, that Geraldton has been under-represented in the State Government over the past eight years, then please consider voting for the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (WA).

I would be proud to represent you in the WA Parliament, and I will fight to see that Geraldton gets the attention it deserves.

Victor Tanti, Independent

I am 58, have three jobs, two adult children and one main policy — open the Abrolhos Islands for real tourism. Our economy is flat. We're becoming a welfare town.

Change that by developing a few islands in the Abrolhos for tourism. There is a market — to our south is a city of two million and north is Asia — China alone has a middle class of 300 million. Imagine hundreds of people every week here to see the Abrolhos and other attractions, those empty CBD shops open and thriving, jobs generated, future consolidated.

The Abrolhos are part of our history — why can't they be part of our economy? I am the only candidate who believes we can create wealth, not just beg for some of our own money back.

Ian Blayney, Liberal Party

MLA, Member for Geraldton

My goals for 2017 – 2021 are:

Redevelopment of Geraldton Hospital – spend $138.5 million to increase capacity by 40 per cent, and an Integrated Mental Health Service.

Hospital/ GUC accommodation facility, soon to be announced.

Abrolhos Islands – establishment of national park, an aquaculture industry, and increased tourism.

Expand Geraldton Museum.

Education – a child and parent centre at Bluff Point, and four classroom block at Waggrakine. Two standalone 7-12 high school campuses from 2019. I support further expansion of Geraldton University Centre.

Transport – Four shore-tension units bought for port. Reseal/ extension of airport runway.

North-West Coastal Highway – first to be addressed, Hosken St.

Solutions to beach erosion, Drummonds first.

A solution for Point Moore residents.

Greg Hall, Australian Christians

My family has lived in Geraldton for about 20 years.

I have spent many years overseas in ministry, business and counselling services and I know firsthand the importance of such foundational institutions in Australia as marriage, freedom of expression, the sanctity of life and the importance of learning to respect others.

I know that freedom and prosperity for all Australians is vital.

Recognising these freedoms are under threat at present, particularly should a Labor government be elected, I decided it was time to stand and give the people of Geraldton real choice in this election.

I am very concerned about the so-called Safe Schools program and believe that a true anti-bullying agenda is needed that does not teach about gender fluidity and such topics.

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