Michelle Campbell makes history as Shire of Harvey’s first directly elected president

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenHarvey-Waroona Reporter
New Harvey Shire president Michelle Campbell.
Camera IconNew Harvey Shire president Michelle Campbell. Credit: Sean Van Der Wielen/Harvey-Waroona Reporter

Shire of Harvey voters have elected Michelle Campbell to the Shire president position in a historic first.

The former deputy president under Paul Gillett was voted into the top job on the weekend, becoming the first person in the role to be popularly elected as a result of local government reforms.

In her first interview with the Reporter since being elected to the position, Ms Campbell admitted the win had not sunk in.

“I am still coming to grips with it all but it is certainly a humbling experience, having people put their confidence in you,” she said.

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Ms Campbell was the clear stand-out for the position on first preferences, gaining 37.4 per cent of the primary vote ahead of fellow councillor Robyn Coleman with 28.6 per cent.

She will not have much time to relax before getting back into the business of local government, with the new council meeting for the first time on Tuesday.

Ms Campbell said the council would be in for a change, with several long-serving councillors retiring on Saturday.

“We have got a bit of a change of the guard so I am looking forward to working with everyone as a team,” she said.

“I have warned the new ones they’ll be busy for the next four years.”

Ms Campbell is hopeful the council will be able to progress several major projects during her four-year term, which have been held up due to funding constraints.

Counting did not go as planned on Saturday night, with technical issues forcing votes to be manually counted.

No council across the South West had their results known before Sunday, with Shire of Harvey staff finishing counting on Sunday afternoon.

Results were formally declared on Monday afternoon.

While Ms Campbell will get straight back to business, it is not her only priority.

“I hope to get out and about as well and touch base with the community groups and see what they are doing,” she said.

The question of who will replace Ms Campbell as the deputy Shire president will not be resolved until Tuesday’s meeting.

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