Former soldier has second shot at poll
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.”