Former Labor man Wayne Sanford running for Collie-Preston with Nats

Headshot of Shannon Verhagen
Shannon VerhagenSouth Western Times
Camera IconCredit: Picture: Shannon Verhagen

Born-and-bred Collie local Wayne Sanford is throwing his hat in the ring for the 2021 election as The Nationals’ candidate for Collie-Preston in a move anticipated to send shockwaves through WA Labor.

The former Collie shire president was last year Labor’s candidate for Forrest, but recently elected to embark on a new adventure with The Nationals in a bid to represent the region he calls home.

“Having stepped away from WA Labor and having been approached by The Nationals — which I’m flattered about — I’ve just made the decision that my core values in terms of regional representation fits nicely with the philosophy of WA Nationals,” Mr Sanford said.

Given my background in local Government, working closely with The Nationals through Royalties For Regions and Super Towns, a lot of my aspirations fit comfortably with the aspirations of the WA Nationals. So I made the decision, people change, I’ve changed and this is an opportunity for me to see if people of this district want me as their representative.

Wayne Sanford

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“While I understand that some people will be disappointed, there’ll be other people in the community who I think will be excited about it.”

WA Labor in February selected Collie Senior High School deputy principal Jodie Hanns as its Collie-Preston candidate.

Mr Sanford said with Mick Murray — who has been in the seat for 20 years — retiring at the 2021 election, an opportunity had arisen for someone else to represent the district in as “robust and strong a fashion” as Mr Murray had.

Stepping down from the council in 2017 after 16 years — 10 of which were as president — Mr Sanford said he had been able to take a breath and was excited to come back refreshed to be a “local champion” for the electorate.

I’m passionate about this district. It needs strong advocacy and leadership to take it forward through an economic and employment transition and I want to play a lead role in that.

Wayne Sanford

He has also sat on the boards of the South West Development Commission, Bunbury Wellington Economic Alliance and WA Local Government Association, which party leader Mia Davies said gave him a deep understanding of the region.

“Wayne is a quality candidate and a local leader that has dedicated much of his life to championing progress for the region he lives in and loves,” she said.

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