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Shire of Harvey Cr Robyn Coleman to run for Shire president position at October council elections

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Harvey Shire president candidate Cr Robyn Coleman.
Camera IconHarvey Shire president candidate Cr Robyn Coleman. Credit: Sean Van Der Wielen/Harvey-Waroona Reporter

Shire of Harvey Cr Robyn Coleman will seek the Shire presidency in October as the position is elected by the public for the first time.

She was the first person to officially nominate for the role last week, with the council to soon have a new leader after Paul Gillett announced his resignation in July.

Cr Coleman said Mr Gillett’s unexpected decision had played a role in her nomination.

“I felt, after a lot of people in the community were actually asking me to run, that I had the skills to do it,” she said.

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A Harvey resident of more than six years, Cr Coleman has served on the council for the past four years and is also seeking to retain her position as an elected member.

She has a more than 40-year history of involvement with community organisations, including work on a national and international scale through Rotary International.

Cr Coleman is a small business owner and has previously worked alongside major philanthropists as a national relationship manager for a charitable organisation.

“All of those skills stand me in good stead to have a good understanding of the role of a councillor and a president, and my contacts, certainly throughout Western Australia but nationally and internationally, I think will be of benefit to the Shire,” she said.

When asked what her priorities would be if elected as Shire president, Cr Coleman noted the pressures elected members would face, with numbers being reduced from 13 to nine over the next two years.

“I would like to see a greater team effort within the council, so that there is some redundancy built in rather than just the president doing everything with the CEO,” she said.

“I believe I’ve got the skills to steer us through some tricky waters.”

Cr Coleman noted she was the only councillor to vote against the Shire’s recent rate increases, which included a 10 per cent rise for business landholders.

“We need to temper the development with the income, but we are one of the fastest growing shires in WA, so that brings its own exciting opportunities as well as challenges,” she said.

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