Jennifer Critch: Councillor grasp of rural Geraldton vital
With the issues affecting rural Geraldton residents often different from the challenges facing city dwellers, a regional council needs rural representation.
That’s the view of Mid West farmer Jennifer Critch, who is running for her third term on the City of Greater Geraldton council.
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Cr Critch was elected to the Mullewa ward eight years ago and ran unopposed in 2017 for the same position.
She said she supported the “no wards system” adopted in 2019.
“I think it will work,” she said.
“We will get a range of people no matter what.
“It is disappointing for Mullewa people to not have their own representative, but we were well aware.”
However, the mother of three said she believed it was important to vote in a councillor who understood the needs of rural residents.
“There are very different issues between the city centre and the rural areas,” she said.
“We have different needs.”
Despite being known as the “unofficial Mullewa councillor”, Cr Critch promised to represent the entire local government area.
“I have always liked helping people, so they know they can call me about anything,” she said.
“I’m an open book and I always follow through.”
The former school teacher, who has lived in rural Geraldton for close to 20 years, said she was not affiliated with any political party.
“It is disappointing when sitting councillors run for State politics,” she said.
“I’m only on here for my community.
“I have no desire to run for big politics.”
It is disappointing when sitting councillors run for State politics, I’m only on here for my community. I have no desire to run for big politics.
“We had power outages that were lasting up to a week,” she said.
“It took a lot of work — we bugged a lot of people but it really helped the townsite.”
Cr Critch said she was passionate about improving telecommunications infrastructure in the region.
“There are quite a few blackspots,” she said.
“You can’t talk the whole way from Geraldton to Mullewa.
“It’s very hit and miss — we need to have a better system.”
An active volunteer, Cr Critch is on the boards of the Geraldton Regional Arts Committee and Mullewa Agricultural Show and is the president of the Mid West branch of the Isolated Children and Parents Association.
Passionate about road safety, transport, education, aged care and telecommunications infrastructure, Cr Critch said it would be her last run for the City of Greater Geraldton council.
“I still have time and energy to give to council and I think I can make a difference,” she said.
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