Colliver no stranger to politics

David Salvaire, GERALDTON GUARDIANGeraldton Guardian
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Newly-elected City of Greater Geraldton councillor Natasha Colliver is no stranger to politics.

The Tarcoola Ward councillor works as an electorate officer for the Nationals’ Paul Brown, who represents the Agricultural Region in State Parliament.

As well as studying a bachelor of business management at Geraldton Universities Centre, Mrs Colliver serves on the boards of Pollinators Inc, Geraldton Residential College and Great Northern Football League committee.

Despite her busy schedule, she said the council will be her first priority.

“I plan to balance those things very carefully, but being a councillor is really important to me and that’s what will come first, ” she said.

“What’s happening in our CBD is fantastic, but we need to make sure that it doesn’t come at the expense of local infrastructure, such as our parks.

“I really want parents and their kids to be able to walk down to their local park and experience some great facilities, so I’m committed to ensuring we have a good balance.”

Mrs Colliver arrived in Geraldton 27 years ago and, in a story familiar to many other long-time residents, said she was “just driving through”.

Just 17 at the time, Mrs Colliver was travelling up the coast with her friends after finishing school.

“I was off on this big adventure but I only got 400km up the road, ” she said.

“I met my husband soon after and I’ve never left.”

Mrs Colliver claimed victory in the extraordinary council election on Friday.

She won the seat after she received 326 of the total 1125 votes counted in the ballot.

Six candidates contested the seat, which was vacated by the election of Shane Van Styn to the mayor’s post in October.

As with all local government elections, voting was not compulsory and about 22 per cent of eligible Tarcoola residents had their say.

Mrs Colliver said she was planning to run for a council seat in the 2017 election, so when the extraordinary election was announced, she put her name forward.

“Running for council is always something I’ve thought about doing,” she said.

“I’ve done my fair share of standing at polling booths, so I knew how much work was involved in running for office.”

Mrs Colliver will now have a chance to experience the often heated debates that arise at local council meetings.

The newly-elected council member said she wanted to make sure she fully understood all the issues that affected her electorate before raising her voice.

“I’m not scared of the argumentative side of politics because that’s what diplomacy is all about and I think you need a cool head to be able to see the issues clearly,” Mrs Colliver said.

“I’ve got a lot of reading to do before the next council meeting and I plan to do a lot of listening as well.

“I hope the people of Tarcoola will stay engaged with the council.

“The beautiful thing about local government is that we’re only one phone call away.”

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