News from the Kimberley town
It has been a busy fortnight for new Shire of Derby-West Kimberley president Geoff Haerewa, who has worked tirelessly to begin delivering on his pro-development pledge.
Mr Haerewa was sworn into council and elected president on October 26 and has wasted little time attempting to wrap his head around the different projects under way and in planning.
The former businessman and army officer said he needed to be up-to-date with all projects before developing a strategy to grow Derby and its economy, as well as surrounding communities.
“I needed to get the homework done before I started throwing my support behind everything. I have visited each current project in order to get a close-up look at how they’re progressing,” Mr Haerewa said.
“I’ve covered a lot of ground in a small amount of time and I am supportive of projects, growth and what’s best for this town.”
Mr Haerewa said his first priority is getting money into the area.
“The bottom line is, we need money flowing into Derby. The next objective after that is to collaborate with the Chamber of Commerce to distribute the money to everyone that will benefit,” he said.
“We need to keep the money in the town, which means people need to jump on board the opportunities.”
Mr Haerewa said he will support resource companies in town, as long as they work “within the established parameters”.
The president also aims to support local events and help them to improve and flourish.
“A lot goes on in this small town,” he said.
“We want to give organisers of these events the opportunity to show us what they can do and we will help them out wherever we can.”
Although the role of president is new for Mr Haerewa, he is no stranger to council.
The Derby local sat a four-year term from 2005 to 2009, serving as deputy president for the last two years of the term, before being elected again last month, eight years after his last run.
With Andrew Twaddle and Chris Kloss retaining their respective seats and Geoff Davis and Denise Andrews rounding out the new council of nine, Mr Haerewa believes he is leading a very strong and collaborative Shire.
“Each individual has their own strengths and my aim is to mould these strengths together,” he said.
“I want a team that works together, converses and helps each other out, with the common goal being what is best for our area.
“Our Shire has gone through problems but I believe we are now headed in the right direction.
“The shared vision of developing Derby requires a team effort and that is what it will be.”
New Shire of Derby-West Kimberley president Geoff Haerewa outside Shire offices.