New deputy’s role for Bringo farmer on City of Greater Geraldton council

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Elise Van AkenMidwest Times
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Newly elected City of Greater Geraldton deputy mayor Jerry Clune with Mayor Shane Van Styn.
Camera IconNewly elected City of Greater Geraldton deputy mayor Jerry Clune with Mayor Shane Van Styn. Credit: Elise Van Aken/Midwest Times

It was female v rural representation when two experienced councillors went up against each other for the role of Greater Geraldton’s deputy mayor, with the new council electing Bringo farmer Jerry Clune to the job.

The new deputy mayor went up against Cr Natasha Colliver, the Geraldton Universities Centre communications co-ordinator and chairperson of Pollinators Inc, with both councillors going into their third terms after being re-elected at the weekend.

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While the number of votes each deputy hopeful received was not made public, Mayor Shane Van Styn said the result was “close”.

Cr Clune said he was “stoked” after receiving the second-highest number of votes at the election, as well as being supported by his fellow councillors in the new role.

“I was pretty excited with the election result I got on Saturday and being supported, and I’m even more excited tonight when I found enough fellow councillors had elected me to the role of deputy mayor, which I’m very honoured to take on,” he said.

“There are certainly a lot more meetings and appearances required, but I’m restructuring my business ... to give myself time to adequately cover those roles.

“I think I am what I am, there’s nothing pretentious about me. I’m a man of the land ... pretty honest and that’s what people see in me. I call a spade a spade.”

Cr Clune was the only councillor to vote against the adoption of the City’s 2021-22 budget, at the time saying he couldn’t support a budget that took away from community and gave back to councillors in the form of increased allowances.

He is a council representative on the Mid West Sports Federation board, the deputy chairperson of the council’s Heritage Committee which is lead by Cr Colliver and the chairperson of both the Mullewa and Greenough Bushfire Advisory Committees.

The City of Greater Geraldton council after the swearing in of its newly elected members.
Camera IconThe City of Greater Geraldton council after the swearing in of its newly elected members. Credit: Elise Van Aken/Geraldton Guardian

Cr Colliver sits on six committees on council and is a council representative on five other external committees.

In her speech to council before the ballot, Cr Collliver said she had the flexibility to be called upon on short notice to assist the mayor and had proven herself to be pragmatic in her decision making, specifying she had supported the most recent CGG budget.

Former deputy mayor Tarleah Thomas, who still has two years left to serve on her term, decided to stand down from the role because of her commitments with family and farming outside Mullewa.

“I have a few things going on at home and I just can’t commit to the role 100 per cent so I decided to step down from the position, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time,” she said.

“With the distance travelling out of Geraldton, I did struggle with that and with family commitments as well.

“It’s a great role to have that leadership in the council... I enjoyed helping and speaking in the community..., I’ll still be at a lot of Geraldton events, just not as many of them.”

She said while it was disappointing to see the number of women on the council reduced she thought the community had chosen the best people to serve for the next four years.

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