By Grace Jones | posted on March 28, 2019
ESPERANCE Shire councillor Shelley Payne was named the Federal Labor candidate in the running for the seat of O’Connor last week.
Ms Payne has lived in Esperance for the past 17 years after growing up in Canada and travelling the world completing an engineering degree, a master of business and recently a diploma
of local government.
Ms Payne said she got involved in local politics in 2017 after her youngest of three started high school.
“I felt that there were some issues that were happening in the shire and I wanted to help out,” she said.
“About a year ago I got interested in running for a Federal seat when I saw the opportunity to represent my region.
“The electorate wants someone they can trust that will fight for everything that regional communities have missed out on in the past.”
Ms Payne said the biggest issue that the O’Connor community faces is having better health and education services.
“It’s an issue regionally everywhere,” she said.
“I was really pleased to see Labor’s commitment to a cancer machine in Albany but the crux of the matter is that regional people need a voice.
“It hasn’t happened for the past few Federal terms and it needs to change.”
Ms Payne said a large influence on her decision to jump from local government to Federal was her children.
“My kids will be in the workforce in the next decade,” she said.
“I want to build a better future for my kids and the kids of O’Connor.
“It’s time to get some progression happening.”
Ms Payne said the future of climate change was a concern that needed to be addressed.
“People need to genuinely understand what climate change means and we need to build a sustainable future,” she said.
Ms Payne said she wouldn’t “stand on the backbench and do nothing” if she is elected.
“I’m not afraid to stand up and fight for the region,” she said.
“The timing is right for a Labor representative for O’Connor.
“Someone needs to stand up and make sure regional areas get their fair share.”