Obourne to stand for community on council

Popular Esperance community member Jennifer Obourne has announced plans to stand for the Shire of Esperance council at next month's election. Photo: Supplied.

Popular Esperance community member Jennifer Obourne has announced plans to stand for the Shire of Esperance council at next month's election. Photo: Supplied.

Popular Esperance community member Jennifer Obourne has announced that she will stand for council at next month's local government election, driven by a desire to be a voice for the everyday resident.

Miss Obourne said she was nervous but very excited by the opportunity, after having carefully considered running for council for almost a year.

After 20 years of service to the Esperance community, Miss Obourne said she had developed close ties to a large cross section of the community.

If elected, Miss Obourne said her primary objectives would be to see the community delivered with a new jetty as soon as possible and growth within the tourism industry - two things she believes are closely tied.

Miss O'Bourne said the jetty saga had gone on long enough and the structure needed to be replaced to allow the community to move forward and to draw even more people to the region.

"There are a lot of ideas that I have, and I think one is the jetty - it has gone on long enough," she said.

"The thing I love most about Esperance is our community spirit, how connected we are.

"I feel like this jetty, which used to be a source of pride and joy, has turned into an ongoing saga that has caused division.

"The current design has been approved by the community, the necessary government departments and we have the funding for it, so let's just do it. It's actually damaging our tourism industry."

After formally announcing that she had nominated on Tuesday, September 10, Miss Obourne said her first priority would be going door to door, speaking with residents and gathering a better idea of the issues concerning ratepayers most.

"I assume people are going to talk about rates because, already, that's something that people have raised with me," she said.

"Esperance has one of the lowest population densities anywhere.

"You have this huge geographical area, but not enough people to pay for things and we all still want and need the services and infrastructure.

"It's hard to find that balance in providing that and people's capacity to pay for it.

"If I were to be elected to council, and I was to be presented with a budget, I would want to look at things line by line and see where we can find efficiencies."

Having been heavily involved in a number of community groups and initiatives, Miss Obourne said she believed that she was well-positioned to be part of repairing the community 'fracture' addressed during the Annual Electors Meeting late last year.

"I feel that that is a strength of mine, that I am already actively engaged in the community," she said.

"I can be a voice on shire council right from the first day I am there, for a wide variety of people."

The 2019 Local Government election will be held on Saturday, October 19.