2017 City of Busselton council candidates | Luke O'Connell

Busselton resident Luke O'Connell is running for seat on council in the upcoming local government election.

Busselton resident Luke O'Connell is running for seat on council in the upcoming local government election.

Busselton resident Luke O’Connell hopes to see a generational change and bring a progressive voice to the chambers if he gains a seat on the City of Busselton council.

Mr O’Connell ran for the Greens in the state election and said he gained a lot of insight from people in the region and had enjoyed getting to know the community more during the process.

“We could do with some younger voices,” he said.

“I want to take some responsibility, I love Busselton and I want to have a say in how things are done and represent the people.”

Mr O’Connell said from talking to people there were concerns about the appropriateness of developments and having enough public space available for everybody to use.

“You are never going to please everybody,” he said.

“With the economic situation there is a lot of uncertainty globally and I think that translates to a local government level.

“For that reason I think we need to get ready for the coming century in terms of attracting new industries and diversify the employment market and be ready for those things.

“We cannot just rely on hospitality and the wine industry we need to think bigger. With decentralisation of industry you do not have to be in Perth or capital cities to do things that are internet based.

“There is no reason why we cannot grab the bull by the horns and get industries based here.”

Mr O’Connell said the airport expansion would undoubtedly attract new industries to the region but there were concerns about its viability.

“Unless we get international and interstate flights, reports have shown it won’t be financially viable in the long term.

“There are other things which need to be considered in the long term, like rail connection to the airport from Bunbury and Perth would future proof its viability.”

Mr O’Connell said the foreshore development was something which had been planned well but was concerned about some financial decisions which had been made by the council.

“I was a bit uncomfortable recently when they gave money to the chamber of commerce – I think the chambers do an amazing job but essentially they are a lobby group - I could not find a good argument for giving them surplus from the budget.”

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The 2017 council nominees (links will be updated over the coming weeks):