Two honorary citizens have been made Freeman of the Municipality by the City of Busselton council recognising the Honorable Barry House and former mayor Ian Stubbs OAM.
The award has now been granted to 14 individuals for their exceptional contribution to the community of the City of Busselton.
Mayor Grant Henley said conferral of the award was not something that was done lightly or regularly.
“Awards of this nature are only presented to individuals who have made a special contribution to the city over a long period of time and who are highly regarded and widely respected,” he said.
“There is no doubt that Mr House and Mr Stubbs fit into this category. Council’s support for the nominations were unanimous and we are delighted they have accepted the award.”
Mr House had a long and very productive political career advocating passionately for the people of the South West and for WA more broadly.
Mr Henley said his involvement with local people at the grass roots was just as commendable.
Mr House was involved in many organisations and causes and was the current president of the Busselton Tennis Club. He was also patron of many sporting clubs, CinefestOZ, Pathways South West, the Match Factory, and the Margaret River Writers Festival.
“It is this continued interest in local people and local events and his willingness to give his time generously over many years that has endeared him so thoroughly to this community,” he said.
Mr Henley said Ian Stubbs had a significant influence on local government and the long term development of this municipality.
“Many of the major improvements to facilities, infrastructure and services local people and visitors enjoy today are the direct result of his strategic planning, leadership and networking skills which helped raise the profile of the municipality at a state and federal level.
“He spearheaded both the Busselton and Dunsborough Foreshore redevelopments and was a keen supporter of central business district renewal programs.
“He advocated strongly for the redevelopment of the Civic and Administration Building and was a key driver in the Busselton Margaret River Airport expansion project.
“Mr Stubbs was integral in cementing the city’s position as the Events Capital of WA and played a major role in attracting the cruise ship industry to the region.”
Mr Henley said the economic, social and cultural benefits returned to this community as a direct result of Ian Stubbs’ dedication and hard work, could not be understated.
“Ian was a big vision leader who actively sought a genuine connection with his community,” he said.
“His commitment to recognising the contribution of volunteers and his willingness to make himself available to others made him an effective and well-respected leader.
“As a community we own him a great deal and it is most fitting that we honour his service by confirming upon him this important title.”
Mr House said he was humbled to be given the award and quite taken back when he was asked if he would accept the honour.
“It was a real priviledge, only a limited number of people have been granted the accolade which makes it very humbling,” he said
Mr Stubbs said he was very surprised when mayor Grant Henley phoned and told me of the Council's decision.
I certainly never expected it.” he said.
“I am delighted to receive the recognition but I have been just one of a team all working for the community.
“I have loved being part of the team that has been striving to make the city and its community such a great place to live.”