Time to vote

Editor's note: Everything Geraldton does not endorse any particular candidate.  


The last couple of years have been something of a roller coaster in terms of the Geraldton public's relationship with the local council.  

A merger that went ahead even though 80% of the people who voted didn't want it, massive rate increases, a change in CEO, and a lot of internal structural changes... have left some residents feeling like the council doesn't speak for them. Lots of residents have contacted Everything Geraldton saying they would like to see some changes. 

But for all the complaints, only 17 brave souls have put their hands up to have a go at being a local councillor, six of which were already serving the people of Geraldton on council.  

Most of the wards only saw one person other than the incumbent nominate for the thankless task. 

It's worth keeping in mind, that each ward has two representatives on the council, but only one of those positions is up for grabs at this election. In two years time, the other position will be up for election. If you were hoping for an entirely new council at this election, sorry to disappoint.  

Also worth noting is that the mayor's position is not up for election at this time.  It will be another two years before we vote for that position. 

Introducing the candidates: 

There is one position up for grabs in each of the seven wards in the City of Greater Geraldton. Here are the candidates, along with their brief statement they put forward for you to read, and their contact details if you would like to ask them any questions about how they plan to represent you.  

Also a first for Greater Geraldton this year, the City of Greater Geraldton Ratepayers Demand Change (CGGRDC) group has announced the candidates it endorses. More information and a copy of their announcement is at the bottom of this article.

Chapman Ward

Ron Ashplant

I am seeking your support to continue being your representative for the Chapman Ward for the next 4 years. I am married, with 3 children living in Waggrakine and have been on the council for the past 26 years. I will continue to use this experience, to support the development, and provide strong leadership for, and on behalf of the communities in the Chapman ward. My decisions are based on merit and common sense. I speak my mind, and consult widely with my community. The next few years will see major, and exciting changes, creating greater opportunities for the city, especially within the Chapman ward. As a experienced councillor, I am well placed to continue to be active in my endeavour to broaden the economic mix, and employment opportunities for our city and our ward. Thank you.

Home: 9938 1935

Mobile: 0400 215 031

Postal Address: 66 Hall Road WAGGRAKINE WA 6530

Email: ron.ashplant@westnet.com.au


David J Caudwell

Born in Kalgoorlie, my family moved to Geraldton in 1966. I completed secondary education here at St Patricks College, and I have lived here for 32 years. My wife Judy is a local girl, and we have two wonderful sons, both of whom have grown up here in Geraldton. After 22 years of public service with the WA Government I retired in 2009. I became a Justice of the Peace in 1991 and I continue to serve the community in that role. I want Greater Geraldton to be a more affordable place to live so we can attract more people here and together enjoy the benefits of affordable and sustainable growth. I will work to achieve this over the next 3 years by actively encouraging increased efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of all aspects of our local government operations without compromising the delivery of essential services and facilities we all need.

Mobile: 0419 216 000

Postal Address: PO Box 1113 GERALDTON WA 6531

Email: david.caudwell@bigpond.com

Champion Bay Ward

Steve Douglas

I have lived and worked in Geraldton since 1978, married and raised my family here. As CEO of Mid West Development Commission (2004 - 2011), I gained invaluable insights into the workings of government at all levels. I supported numerous Geraldton projects including the Foreshore Redevelopment.   My aims on Council are to:   support Geraldton's development into a vibrant, inclusive City; ensure Council priorities reflect community priorities; ensure financial responsibility; achieve a more appropriate balance between seeking new opportunities and meeting basic community needs; and develop a cost-effective solution for the Beresford foreshore protection project.   I have the expertise, networks, energy and plain common sense required to effectively represent Champion Bay residents and to realise these goals. I am a member of Tarcoola Tennis and Spalding Golf clubs, Chair of the Geraldton University Centre and until recently Chair of the WA Regional Advisory Group which supported Australia's successful SKA bid.

Mobile: 0400 801 778

Postal Address: 28 Cooper Circuit MT TARCOOLA WA 6530

Email: dougsm@bigpond.com

Robert Ramage

I was born in Geraldton and have been operating in the Hospitality business in partnership with my wife, Mary for many years. During that time I have owned and operated various hotels in Geraldton and I am currently actively involved with the Management of the Ocean Centre Hotel. I have previously served as a councillor for the City of Greater Geraldton and was a board member of The Geraldton Port Authority. Local Government now faces more challenges than ever before and I am prepared to accept that responsibility. With Geraldton becoming the regional centre for the Midwest, it is important that it deserves that title and the same time becomes a greater place to work and live.

Home: 9921 1782


Hills Ward

Michael Reymond

I am nominating to provide better representation in the Ward and to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of council. Over recent years I have observed many poor decisions and lack of proper governance and a deterioration in the consultation with electors. I believe and know that I can perform the duties as your representative far better. The recent hike in rates  and my concern about the financial management of council has prompted me to nominate for this role as your representative on Council. I am a retired engineer and have post graduate financial management qualifications. I have previously been an elected city councillor interstate and this experience makes me aware of the dynamics of local government and the team work required to ensure an effective and functional Council. I have lived and worked in Geraldton for the past 10 years and am actively involved in sporting, community and youth activities.

Home: 9964 7848

Mobile: 0427 569 515

Ron Bradfield

I came to Geraldton with my wife Mena in 1971 to teach at Bluff Point primary School. Our three sons were raised in Geraldton, where I was not just a teacher, but also the officer in charge of the Geraldton Army Reserve for 20 years. After 23 years as a teacher, I began service with Commonwealth Education, and am currently a self employed consultant working to help people empower themselves to get the best out of life. Whilst a councillor for Geraldton from 1997 to 2001, and was keenly interested in the future of the local area, and the process by which development takes place, in order to include the needs of all residents, especially those who call this home.  I now have the time and expertise to represent the residents of the greater city, and am experienced in both city and rural living, so will bring a balanced approach.

Mobile: 0438 261 443

Laurie Graham

I have nominated for a position on Council as I believe that the Current Council is out of step with community expectations on a number of issues including the level of rates being charged for the services being provided. If elected it is my intention to try to achieve a sizeable rate reduction. I live in Beattie Road (Hills Ward) am 67 years old and married with 3 children. Have been involved in Community organisations all my life and am currently the Chairman of Joblink Midwest and the Secretary/Treasurer of the Monsignor Hawes Heritage Committee. I understand the demands of being a Councillor and if elected can commit the time required to undertake this role. I was a Greenough Shire Councillor for 10 years, worked for the Geraldton Port for 35 years the last 15 I as its CEO and a Consultant for 10 years until I retired.

Home: 9938 1398

Mobile: 0418 939 334

Email: lauriegraham2@gmail.com

Jon Ward

I am 53 years of age, happily married, with two grown children. I have lived and worked in this region for over 30 years and have had a lengthy career in the employment and training profession, which has allowed me to assist many local people over this time. I have been an active member of numerous sporting and community groups for the past 20+ years, and was awarded Life Membership of the local Apex Club in 2005. Like the vast majority of residents and small business owners/operators, I was incensed with the massive rate hike inflicted on ratepayers in the 2012/13 financial year, and have been an outspoken critic of council's decision since. This has been the catalyst for me deciding to stand for council. If elected I solemnly promise to bring openness, transparency, honesty, and financial responsibility and accountability to the people of the City of Greater Geraldton.

Home: 9921 4838

Mobile: 0428 641 114

Postal Address: 5 Jeune Rd WOORREE WA 6530

Email: wardies@westnet.com.au

Mullewa Ward

Nino Messina

I am currently a councillor in the City of Greater Geraldton for the Mullewa Ward. I was president of Shire of Mullewa before amalgamation and a commissioner during the amalgamation process. I bring commitment, enthusiasm and vision as well as experience and the necessary skills to undertake the role of Shire Councillor. To illustrate my beliefs, policies and vision for the community I ensured a small town like Mullewa kept its identity during and after amalgamation. I meet regularly with the Mullewa Place manager and am on the Australia Day committee. I am committed to serving the community and enhancing all services especially emergency services by gaining government support and funding. I am chair of the Regional Road group I am deputy chief fire control officer for the City of Greater Geraldton.

Home: 9962 500

Mobile: 0428 611 052

Fax: 9962 5111

Postal Address: 90 Brenkley Rd TENINDEWA WA 6632

Jennifer Critch

I have been an energetic member of the Mullewa community for eleven years. I am married to a local farmer and have three children who attend our local school. I have a Commerce degree in business majoring in marketing and management and worked as a marketing coordinator before going back to university to study for a Graduate Diploma in Primary Education. I am a teacher at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School and director and finance manager of a large broad acre farming organisation. I have a strong community involvement in sport, school, church and playgroup and I am an active member of the Mullewa Agricultural Society and Mullewa Sports Club. My excellent communication skills and friendly manner ensure that I am very approachable. I will be able to represent the interests of the community of Mullewa clearly and effectively at a local government level.

Mobile: 0409 122 077

Postal Address: PO Box 308 MULLEWA WA 6630

Email: jen_critch@hotmail.com

Port Ward

Neil Bennett

Port Ward I have been a councillor with CGG for the past 2 years and was a councillor for the Shire of Greenough 2 years. I am retired and have time to serve the needs of the community. I am committed to ensuring that Greater Geraldton remains an exciting livable community that caters for its sporting, heritage, and cultural interests with quality infrastructure and services. I support having a community participatory budgetary process to help advise council on its priorities for capital work projects and the extent of and level of standard of services provided. I support current funded infrastructure projects including the eastern breakwater, multi purpose centre and sound shell, upgrade No1 railway station, recreation ground grandstand, Eadon Clarke reserve, regional art gallery, Wonthella oval lights and eighth street skate park upgrade. I will seek solutions to erosion of our beaches at Greys beach, champion bay and Drummonds cove.

Home: 9938 3038

Mobile: 0487 838 128

Email: neil.gayebennett@hotmail.com

Victor Tanti

I am 55-years-old and have lived in Geraldton since 1984. I have made a life here as a Point Moore home owner and ratepayer and along the way helped raise two children. I work as a Vocational Support Officer at Greenough Prison, a role I enjoy immensely and have held for eight years. Over the years I have also been employed as a laboratory assistant, factory worker, journalist, tutor, radio announcer, taxi driver and in the hospitality industry - a breadth of experience that I think is an advantage. I was born in Sydney and educated there to Year 11. I have also been lucky enough to travel and have visited parts of Europe and south-east Asia. I have several hobbies and am heavily involved in cricket and football but have been interested in local politics for many years and believe I could make a worthwhile contribution.

Mobile: 0427 535 584

Malcolm Smith

Born in Fremantle 1944, moved to Geraldton in 1997 as Group General Manager, Geraldton Newspapers/ Great Northern Broadcasters. I  managed newspaper companies in many Australian States for News Limited, Australian Provincial Newspapers and Community Newspapers WA. I am Chair of the Governing Council and Finance/ Risk Management Committee for Durack Institute of Technology; Chair Western Australia Museum Geraldton's Advisory Committee and a member of the Small Business Centre Mid West Management Board. I was deputy Chair of Commissioners appointed to manage the amalgamation of the City of Geraldton with the Shire of Greenough. I am a  past President of Country Press Association of Australia, founding member of Batavia Longboat Association and was President for Relay for life for two terms.I  live in the heart of Port Ward in Francis Street with wife Susan, and seek to represent the best interests  of all Port Ward and Geraldton electors.

Home: 9921 3298

Mobile: 0427 851 424

Postal Address: 57 Francis St GERALDTON WA 6530

Email: malcolmsmith6@bigpond.com

Tarcoola Ward

Shane Van Styn

I was elected to The City of Greater Geraldton Council in 2011 and I am seeking re-election. I served as the chairman of the COGG audit committee and chair of the Midwest Law and Order Committee. As a small business person in Geraldton I understand the challenges facing  Geraldton's small business sector. As a CPA accountant I understand the detailed financial workings of our City. I have been instrumental in lowering the demands placed on ratepayers by high levels of rate rises, both of which I strongly opposed. I have also served as President of the Geraldton Basketball Association. I have been a strong advocate for Tarcoola which has seen significant infrastructure projects commenced or completed including, Verita Road, Southern Districts Sporting Facility, Wandina Primary School and Derna Parade Park.

Work: 9921 1400

Mobile: 0417 910 005

Fax: 9921 1455

Postal Address: PO Box 7011 GERALDTON WA 6531

Email: shane@suncitysecurity.com.au

Terry O'Toole

I was a Councillor representing the residents of Tarcoola Ward for 10 years firstly as a Greenough Shire Councillor and then as a Councillor in the amalgamated City of Geraldton-Greenough. During this time there was no issue too small or too large that didn't receive my full attention. I believe: With more than 22 years experience working as a school teacher, I am fully aware of the importance of being active in our community so that I can see and hear at first, hand your concerns. I had the opportunity as a Councillor in Local Government to learn how this level of government can make a positive contribution towards ratepayers by structuring rates and land taxes that don't impose a heavy burden on the community. Council should engage more with the community and collaborate with local businesses towards the betterment of the community.

 Mobile: 0429 959 247

Postal Address: PO Box 2215 GERALDTON WA 6530

Email: otoole@wn.com.au

Willcock Ward

Chris Gabelish

 Having raised two adult sons in Gero, from the community based work I do at the Geraldton Resource Centre and organisations I have volunteered with, I have a clear sense of community and how many people are battling these days. As an experienced Councillor of 15 years, the City must provide an environment that encourages investment, employment opportunities while making the best of and protecting our natural and built assets. I'm a huge supporter of the 2029 and Beyond directions that our community aspires to and the importance of decision making involving community. Aspirations go hand in hand with economic sustainability and ensuring the City of Greater Geraldton lives within its means, just like a family budget does. I think independently of any group and make my decisions based on being properly informed and what's in the best interests of our communities. I'm positive and excited about the future.

Mobile: 0487 484 784

Postal Address: 105 Riflerange Road RANGEWAY WA 6530

Email: chris@grc.asn.au

Simon Keemink

A resident of Geraldton for 12 years, I have a supportive wife and two beautiful children. As a father, husband and school teacher, I am passionate about ensuring the City provides the community with facilities and services that showcase Geraldton as a great place to live. I'm firm believer that Local Government should be transparent and accountable and a successful local high school teacher for over 12 years, I have worked tirelessly in creating solid relationships within the community. I also hold the qualifications of Bachelor of Business and a Master of Business Administration. I have been actively involved in the 2029 and Beyond Project as a Community Champion. If elected I will strive to keep rates down, include Ratepayers in decision making process, represent your interests on Council, and ensure a greater emphasis on fiscal management. I will be Your strong voice in council.

Home: 9964 2620
Mobile: 0400 591 825

Postal Address: 6 Kane Street MT TARCOOLA WA 6530

CGGRDC endorse  candidates in six wards

Local government elections tend to be "political party free" in WA, unlike some of the eastern states where local government candidates are paid salaries, endorsed by political parties and run expensive campaigns.  

But this year the incorporated body named City of Greater Geraldton Ratepayers Demand Change Inc has chosen to endorse a candidate in each ward except Mullewa. They have stated in their release that each candidate that is endorsed either demonstrated a past history of voting against the "massive rate hike" or have committed to supporting the CGGRDC Inc agenda of reducing rates. 

Many Geraldton residents have expressed to Everything Geraldton their support of Max Correy and the CGGRDC Inc in their efforts to get rates reduced. 

While not everyone in Geraldton feels the CGGRDC speaks for them, people now have the chance to formally vote on whether they want members of the CGGRDC to have voting power on the council.



Information on voting via council website:

ELECTION PACKAGES will be sent to the electors on the local government electoral roll where there is an election in their electorate.

REPLACEMENT PACKAGES can be obtained from the City of Greater Geraldton, Civic Centre, 63 Cathedral Avenue, Geraldton and the Mullewa Office Cnr Thomas and Padbury Streets, Mullewa, prior to election day or at the polling place listed below from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm on election day if the package is not received or should any papers be missing.

POST YOUR VOTE EARLY. Completed postal voting packages must reach the Returning Officer by 6.00 pm on election day, Saturday 19 October 2013.

YOU MAY HAND DELIVER YOUR PACKAGE to an electoral officer at the City of Greater Geraldton, Civic Centre, 63 Cathedral Avenue, Geraldton, during business hours before election day or at the polling place listed below between 8.00 am and 6.00 pm on election day.


City of Greater Geraldton, Civic Centre, 63 Cathedral Avenue, Geraldton.

THE COUNT OF VOTES will commence at 6.00 pm at the City of Greater Geraldton, Function Room, 63 Cathedral Avenue, Geraldton.

Further information: 
Michelle Gard
Mobile: 0467 804 238