For­mer sol­dier has sec­ond shot at poll

Comment News (Gosnells) - - State Election '17 - So­phie Moore

WA LA­BOR can­di­date Barry Ur­ban will at­tempt to take the seat of Dar­ling Range from Lib­eral in­cum­bent Tony Simp­son for a sec­ond time on March 11.

A mem­ber of the Ser­pen­tine-Jar­rah­dale Coun­cil, the UK-born for­mer sol­dier and po­lice de­tec­tive has lived in the elec­torate for 14 years, four of those as a Youth Jus­tice Of­fi­cer.

Mr Ur­ban said he was four years too early when he ran for Par­lia­ment in 2013.

“The last elec­tion was an eye-opener,” he said.

He said he had not planned to stand in 2017 but his wife, Jen­nifer, en­cour­aged him to think about it.

“I read La­bor’s poli­cies and was in­vig­o­rated,” he said.

“Metronet, train line, cre­at­ing jobs but also bring­ing peo­ple to jobs, ei­ther in the city or through build­ing in­dus­trial es­tates – Dar­ling Range has not been for­got­ten about.”

Mr Ur­ban said this time the La­bor party trusted one an­other. “We’re back to be­ing a big fam­ily like we used to be,” he said.

De­scrib­ing him­self as com­mu­nity rather than mon­ey­ori­ented, he said he had al­ways been a “dyed in the wool La­bor voter.”

Mr Ur­ban was raised in North­ern Eng­land by a sin­gle fa­ther, who was a miner dur­ing the min­ing strikes of the 1980s.

Mr Ur­ban spent four years in the army be­fore trans­fer­ring to the po­lice in 1989.

“To be hon­est I would have joined the po­lice force ear­lier but that was the year they low­ered the height re­stric­tions to 5 ft 8,” he said. “I’m 5 foot 8 inches ex­actly.”

As a po­lice de­tec­tive, Mr Ur­ban led a war crimes team to Bos­nia-Herze­gov­ina to gather ev­i­dence for the in­ter­na­tional war crimes tri­bunal in the Hague.

He said his ex­pe­ri­ence changed his out­look on hu­man­ity.

“There are some peo­ple who don’t care about oth­ers – it made me more hu­man­i­tar­ian and com­pas­sion­ate, to want to con­tinue to de­fend peo­ple who couldn’t de­fend them­selves,” he said.

Mr Ur­ban said the top pri­or­ity for Dar­ling Range vot­ers was jobs.

“A job is crit­i­cal to the de­vel­op­ment of a com­mu­nity and that in­cludes se­niors – they’re not ‘old and grey’ but im­por­tant con­trib­u­tors to our com­mu­nity.”

He said jobs were key to solv­ing prob­lems with youth at risk.

“Keep­ing kids oc­cu­pied and trained. Get them into the work­force and all of a sud­den they are con­tribut­ing to so­ci­ety.”

Barry Ur­ban

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