Recycling and spending more money to improve services and infrastructure in Mullewa are key improvements for one Greater Geraldton council candidate, while spending on tourism is not. Making his living out of reducing waste in Geraldton, Michael Barker has his eye on creating manufacturing jobs and training opportunities for everyone regardless of physical or mental capabilities with ecofriendly principles. Mr Barker’s personal experience comes from 30 years in the building construction and fabrication industry and five years as a self-made recycling guru, after starting up recycling business Geraldton and Midwest E-Waste in 2018. Tourism is not at the forefront of Mr Barker’s agenda if elected as a councillor. He said it should not be a responsibility of local government to attract more tourists to Geraldton. “My personal belief is tourism businesses should be responsible for drawing in tourists with the rates paid by the majority spent for the majority, not just on one aspect of the economy,” he said. Mr Barker believes an area in need of the most improvement in Geraldton is recycling and reinvesting in the manufacturing industries. He said the region’s “appalling” recycling record and the council’s “lack of foresight” and “endless excuses” were what drove him to run as a candidate. He is vying against 15 other candidates to nab one of four councillor spots up for grabs. “I have (been) very vocal on as many issues and decisions by our current council and leadership and lack of vision to some aspects to our future, which is why I have chosen to step forward and take a position to assist in directing our region’s future,” Mr Barker said. Issues important to Mr Barker other than recycling are refurbishing older dwellings, revitalising the CBD and supporting local businesses. Mr Barker said Mullewa’s infrastructure and services had been ignored since the Shire of Mullewa amalgamated with the City of Greater Geraldton. “My most important issues are recycling, the redevelopment of the older areas over expansion into newer land clearing, revitalising the city centre to provide vibrant but lower cost rental market to assist local business to succeed, supporting local businesses first over franchisers that under employee and whose profits do not stay in the Mid West region beyond initial construction and reinvesting in Mullewa,” he said.