Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By JON BAS­SETT

THE first woman pres­i­dent of the WA Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion is Shire of East Pil­bara pres­i­dent Lynne Craigie (56).

“The big­gest is­sue now for lo­cal gov­ern­ment is the cost-shift­ing to coun­cils from other lev­els of gov­ern­ment, and we need to col­lec­tively look at that,” she told Com­mu­nity News­pa­per Group af­ter her elec­tion at the WALGA State Coun­cil last Wed­nes­day.

Mrs Craigie re­places Joon­dalup Mayor Troy Pickard in the WALGA pres­i­dency, af­ter he stepped down to head the Aus­tralian Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion last week.

Mrs Craigie said she would be ad­vo­cat­ing with Mr Pickard for all coun­cils and said that she was pre­pared for any crit­i­cism from the large eastern states coun­cils if she and Mr Pickard were re­garded as act­ing in uni­son for Western Aus­tralia.

“But we have to ac­knowl­edge they will al­ways get a prece­dent be­cause of their large num­bers, but we will have to be vo­cal, and at this stage you would be hard pressed to say WA is get­ting any­thing more than its fair share, ” she said.

Mrs Craigie is a New­man res­i­dent and has been Shire of East Pil­bara pres­i­dent for 10 years.

She chairs the Pil­bara town’s Women’s Shel­ter, Visi­tors Cen­tre and se­nior high school board as well as be­ing a mem­ber the East Pil­bara In­de­pen­dence Sup­port Group.

A prac­tis­ing psy­chol­o­gist for 13 years, Mrs Craigie said she would use her pro­fes­sional skills to lis­ten to the needs of her WA coun­cils.

“We no longer are purely about roads, rates and rub­bish, and com­mu­ni­ties now have much greater needs, whether it be sport fa­cil­i­ties of com­mu­nity ser­vices,” she said.

WALGA chief ex­ec­u­tive Ricky Burgess said Mr Pickard’s five-year-con­tri­bu­tion in­cluded the Re­gional Sub­sidiary Bill now be­fore Par­lia­ment, in­put to the new Build­ing and Dog acts and ne­go­ti­at­ing fund­ing for coun­cils.

How­ever, Mr Pickard’s ini­tial sup­port for the failed merger process un­til ear­lier this year, prompted sev­eral coun­cils to moot with­draw­ing from WALGA, and helped cre­ate the 12coun­cil Coun­cils for Democ­racy (CfD).

CfD spokesman Ron Nor­ris said it was “ex­tremely pleased” about Mrs Craigie’s ap­point­ment but she needed to re­build the trust dam­aged by WALGA’s role in merg­ers.

“Coun­cils would be look­ing to meet her soon, and for WALGA sup­port for coun­cils af­fected by the Perth Freight Link and the pro­posed City of Perth Act,” Mr Nor­ris said.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d440236

Lynne Craigie is the new WALGA pres­i­dent.

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