2017 City of Busselton council candidates | Rob Bennett

City of Busselton councillor Rob Bennett hopes to be reelected next month.
City of Busselton councillor Rob Bennett hopes to be reelected next month.

City of Busselton councillor Rob Bennett hopes to retain his seat next month in the local government election making it his second term on council.

Four years was not enough for Mr Bennett to see through projects which began during his first term and he would like to stay on while they were being completed.

“You can see on the Busselton foreshore – it looks like a war zone at the moment but it will be brilliant when it is finished – I still want to be a part of it,” he said.

What Mr Bennett has enjoyed most about being a councillor was interacting with community members who came to him to help them achieve a particular outcome.

“People see you as their representative, sometimes you know it will not work but you still have to go in there and try and most people are happy that you tried,” he said.

“To have someone ring you up and thank you for achieving something or who have appreciated that you tried to bat for them was rewarding.”

It did not take Mr Bennett long to realise after being elected that being a councillor meant he was one voice on a team of people.

He took on quite a few battles and found he did not have a very good strike rate at first, which he put down to not being in step with others. 

“If you think you are going to come on council and change the world, you cannot not do it by yourself, you have to work with others and you need a consensus.”

Mr Bennett said the current council were a cohesive group that worked well together to achieve their master 10-year financial plan which helped guide wide scale projects.

“It is a bit like a jigsaw puzzle - everything is starting to fit together – you do not see it at the moment but in a few years time you will see it,” he said.

Gone were the days when the concept of local government was rubbish, rates and roads, Mr Bennett said it was now more like a big business and the role of councillors was like a board.

“You oversee things that work to this long term plan and we are fortunate to have a good team of people and a progressive chief executive officer who is the sort of person who makes sure things get done.”

One of the challenges facing the region over the coming years Mr Bennett said was making the Busselton Margaret River Airport a success.

“If it does “takeoff,” it would really do something for the area,” he said.

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