Northampton Shire President to retire in wake of cyclone recovery efforts

Edward ScownGeraldton Guardian
Shire of Northampton president Craig Simkin opens the new visitors centre and RSL Hall redevelopment.
Camera IconShire of Northampton president Craig Simkin opens the new visitors centre and RSL Hall redevelopment. Credit: Supplied, Shire of Northampton

After 10 years spent in local government — the past five months of which have been consumed with cyclone Seroja recovery — Northampton Shire president Craig Simkin is stepping down from the council.

Cr Simkin will not contest his seat in the upcoming local government elections on October 16.

He was elected a councillor in 2011 and became Shire president in 2016.

The veteran wheat farmer’s reason for leaving the council is simple — he believes he’s done his part.

“I’ve served 10 years in local government ... what more is there to do?” he said.

While Cr Simkin said he didn’t always get his way, he was proud of what the council had done for the Northampton community in his time as president, including keeping rates and red tape low in the wake of Seroja.

“Just sitting in the chair was a privilege,” he said.

Cr Stewart Smith stood against his doors to hold back the winds of cyclone Seroja but he too won’t be standing for re-election.

Although he would like to continue, his health has seriously declined, with a recurrence of prostate cancer.

“Otherwise, I would’ve run ... but health’s got to take precedence,” he said.

Cr Sandra Stock-Standen and newcomer Rob Horstman, a local farmer and spokesperson for the Northampton Cyclone Response Committee, have been elected unopposed in the Northhampton ward.

Cr Peter Stewart will have to fight for his seat in the Kalbarri ward against surf lifesaver and former RAAF finance clerk Trevor Gibbs, and former councillor Jessica Booth.

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