Esperance local government election - meet the candidates

The candidates have been listed in ballot order, which was randomly drawn by the Shire of Esperance and their returning officer. 

One to nine are up for election for the town ward, and the next one to two are going for the rural ward. Don't forget to have your say in the lead up to election day on October 21. 

Listed below are the full candidate profiles, as written by them, in ballot order.

Town ward

1. Rob Horan

A resident for 40 years with a passion for our town. Concerned with the new jetty plans and have options for its repair or replacement so decided at my expense a draft proposal for one of them from an architect which I believe would save money and future maintenance costs. Proposed waste disposal site is in the wrong area and will be future trouble due to the ground water and rock formation I hope it is rejected unsuitable and should be away from our coast. Agree with residents I have spoken to that council needs to took at reducing staff as other shires with larger populations run with less. If elected it is my intention to be open and honest with all my dealings and encourage constructive criticism resulting in the growth and future of our Community

2. Steve McMullen

I'm a local business owner, and active community member, with my goal to make Esperance the best it can be. In my 21 years living and working in this beautiful town of ours, I have gained enough respect and trust from my fellow community members that you can trust me to make rational and informed decisions that will help shape this town for the better. I have more than 10 years' experience in finance, including small business and agricultural finance. I also have first-hand experience in small business, currently a Director of three local businesses. I want to build a'stronger bond between community members and th.e Shire, foster and develop business relations to encourage investment in this town, and I want to see one of our growing industries, being Tourism, expand and develop. More important than anything else, I simply love this town, and want to see it thrive.

3. Shelley Payne

"A Voice for Families." I am standing for Council to be a voice for families. I am an engineer and am married to a local abalone diver. We have lived in Esperance for the past 15 years and are raising our children here. I am focused on the need for services and infrastructure for the wellbeing of our children and youth, and the need to develop a strong sustainable future for Esperance. I will work to develop a stronger local business community and to support our tourism industry creating more jobs in our town. We need to harness the enormous potential of our many natural assets and in particular, our most important tourist attraction, the Esperance Tanker Jetty. I want a Council that is open and accountable, and I will work towards ensuring transparency in all that is done. A fresh start for Esperance. A bright future ahead.

4. Jeffrey Sortberg

I am a proud resident of Esperance with my Wife and two children aged 6 and 4. I have had careers in Finance, Agribusiness, Transport, Hospitality and Tourism. As a board member on Tourism Esperance I learnt that tourism employs 12% of people here. Surprisingly Esperance doesn't have a representative on council or a specialist employee to promote Tourism, WA's Number One employer. We have an aging population and an increasing number of children. There is no Town Bus Service provided for these citizens. My goals are: Have Tourism represented on Council. Implement a Town Bus Service. Have a professional employed to lobby the WA and Federal Government to fund Infrastructure for: Jetty, Indoor Sports Stadium, Town Bus Service, in turn creating jobs for locals. Encourage open communication and debate with Council and Esperance Citizens to ensure accountability negating the "We and They" mentality. Let's make it "Us".

5. Jim Andre

I first came to Esperance in 1968 attending Esperance Primary and Senior High School. I did an automotive apprenticeship at the local Holden Dealer. On completing my trade I left Esperance and worked in Perth, Wyndham, Broome, Port Hedland and Tom Price. I traveled around Australia with my wife for two years and could not find a nicer place than my home town and we returned. I am currently employed as a TAFE Trainer. I learned a lot sitting in the gallery while my Dad was a Shire Councilor for 14 years, including nine as Shire President. I have always had an interest in giving back to my town that has been so good for me. That is why I am offering my local knowledge and experience to the Esperance people because I believe I have a lot to offer. I stand for being representative, with honesty, integrity and accountability.​

6. Barry Wroth

Living in Esperance for 35 years I love this Community and have embraced serving it. Over that period I have owned ten businesses encompassing retail, service .agricultural and hospitality sectors. Having been involved in Apex, Speedway, Bowling Club and other organisations I have never been one to sit back always looking to improvement ,of facilities. My involvement with St John Ambulance, as a Justice of the Peace, and The Esperance Theatre Guild helps me understand social issues and the arts. I believe this history provides the necessary background encompassing a wide knowledge base, and the skills to provide good governance serving on your Council. My focus will be on transparency and communication to ensure the perception of secret decisions by Councillors is history, financial accountability, economic development and tourism. My door will always be open to ratepayer concerns, ensuring that my vote counts and represents the majority of ratepayer sentiment.

7. Kevin Hall

For the last four years I have been an Esperance Shire Councillor and I have found it to be both rewarding and challenging. As a Council we have achieved some wonderful results for our community and Esperance is looking truly amazing. As a current Councillor I serve on numerous community groups and committees representing the Shire. I am lucky enough to have the time to devote to being a Councillor. As a Councillor I believe every decision I make, is in the very best interest of the entire community. Being a small business owner and employer of 16 staff, I understand the wants and needs of our community. My decision to re-stand in this election is to see some of the bigger projects come to fruition, including the Jetty, Waste Facility and the Indoor Sports Stadium. I have the dedication and commitment to fulfil another term representing my community.

8. Dale Piercey

A long term resident, I moved to Esperance from Kalgoorlie in 1980, after spending many holidays here. Married to a retired farmer, I am a qualified sociologist and counsellor with a Grad Dip in Regional Development. My beliefs: I passionately believe ourjetty should be restored. The Merivale tip site should not go ahead. Rate increases must be reined in. We need more tourism infrastructure. Accountability must be improved. And bullying should not be tolerated. Esperance is among the world treasures for its natural beauty. We need to ensure this beauty is preserved for future generations. I want to work towards retaining our natural resources while improving our built resources; ensuring growth so our youth can be educated and employed here in Esperance; and as we age we can remain among our families and familiar surrounds. It's time for residents to take back the Council. Fresh faces; a fresh start. 

9. Paul Griffiths

Having discovered this magic town in the early 90's, my wife Vicki and I decided Esperance was the ideal place to bring up a family. We established Griffs Electrical and trained several people over the years. The building industry has given me the insight to make informed decisions in that area. Being involved with several sporting clubs and organisations have enabled us to find our place in this pristine town. Environmental awareness from an early age has reinforced my passion to protect our valuable ecosystems. Enhancing that direction is my knowledge on renewable energy and waste to energy practices, these are the keys to setting Esperance along a sustainable pathway. I endeavour to provide a positive approach with lateral thinking to find the most advantageous direction for our town.

Rural ward

1. Basil Parker

In the past four years my vote on all items put before Council has been based on my serious consideration of the effect on the whole community and the ratepayers. I believe that the rural roads are the financial arteries for the whole community. During my term I've been able to influence Council to increase road spending by 38%. In a new term I will be fighting for further increases. Esperance should have a new jetty. To fix and maintain the Old Tanker Jetty, we ratepayers would need to have an open cheque book. The proposed Kirwin Road waste facility is, in my opinion, in the wrong place. Some issues I will be pursuing are, to encourage the Council to help address the scourge of methamphetamine, employment opportunities through increased tourism and the finalisation of the State Barrier Fence

2. Tania Lowe

I grew up on my family's Esperance farm, local artist. Today my partner and I help run a successful cattle, cropping and aquaculture business. While Raising three children. Apart from my passion for the land, I see tourism as being a major economic driver of Esperance's future, and as a member on Esperance Tourism and Visitor Centre Management committees, I can make a major contribution to the local development of this vital industry. If elected, I want to work with people who are open and accountable, who hold the interests of ratepayers above all else and can communicate with the community openly and honestly, particularly on important decisions that affect us all, like the waste management disposal and tanker jetty issues and roads. My decisions on expenditure will be weighed to provide the economic outcomes that will enhance the future prosperity of Esperance and meet community expectations and ratepayer concerns.