Running for his third term on council, City of Busselton mayor Grant Henley hopes to retain his position next month in the local government election.
Still carrying a passion and desire to continue in the role, Mr Henley said he would love the opportunity to stay on council so he could help achieve great outcomes for the community.
“It has been a great learning experience,” he said.
“I would like to see through some of the projects we started – certainly the foreshore – it would be fantastic not to see it as a building site.
“People love the western side and it will be fantastic when we finish the central area.”
The airport expansion was another project Mr Henley was looking forward to seeing through, which he said would be a huge game changer for the city.
Once the airport is complete Mr Henley hopes the community would see some diversity bringing more light industry and new jobs for young people to have good career paths.
“I also hope young people embrace opportunities that are presented through the NBN, which was offered to every town in Australia,” he said.
“While it makes the marketplace more competitive, there is nothing holding young people back from achieving their dreams if they have the will and energy to pursue them.”
Being part of the Busselton foreshore master plan was one of Mr Henley’s proudest achievements,which was done in consultation with more than 80 members of the community representing different groups.
“I was only talking to someone the other day about how close we got to what the community vision was,” he said.
“It was incredible - when you develop a master plan from the initial concept phase it usually does not look anything what you end up with.
“To be so close – you can see the light at the end of the tunnel – and it will look so much like what the community hoped for.”
The things which kept Mr Henley awake at night were usually contentious development issues, knowing that decisions made in council impacted people in the community.
“Hopefully those people were able to see the rationale behind your decision making, if not, that there concerns were considered,” he said.
“It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt you – you are human – and any criticism hurts anyone and I know the councillors try to do the best for the whole community.
“Sometimes people think consultation is a waste of time, but certainly, we seriously consider every submission on every subject and you take it to heart.”
The best part of being mayor for Mr Henley was the chance to represent the community when hosting visitors and explain what the city was doing to a diverse range of state and federal representatives.
“Just talking to people and taking on-board some of the desires you hear in the community, and putting them into our decision making and planning,” he said.
If reelected Mr Henley said he would continue to lobby the state government for funding to improve transport, health and education investment.
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