As the October 16 local government election draws near the Broome Advertiser has approached Derby West Kimberley candidates to reveal their ideas should they gain a seat at the table. Among the six candidates vying for five spots up for grabs are three high-profile challengers each with compelling messages. The three incumbents will be canvassed in next week’s Advertiser Peter McCumstie Mr McCumstie served on council since 1991, including as Shire president for about 10 years, before stepping down due to health issues and taking a break in 2019. Now the born-and-bred Derby man said he was more passionate than ever to get back into the thick of it. “Derby has everything going for it — golf, fishing, camping, swimming, birdwatching ... it has one of the best speedway clubs in Australia and some fantastic volunteers,” he said. “One thing people often say to me is ‘how is it that Derby runs things like the races and rodeo and nobody gets paid?’ “I say it’s called community spirit, and the same applies to the people who run the rodeo and events out at Fitzroy Crossing.” Mr McCumstie said should he regain a seat on council he would advocate for a return of government services to improve job prospects for the region’s troubled youth. “Our youth are in a state of tragedy — their ability to attend school is being dramatically affected by drugs, alcohol and domestic violence, then coming out of school where are the jobs? “To date our Shire hasn’t done too bad a job, but unfortunately I think we need to step it up.” Mr McCumstie said the removal of government services from Derby in the last few decades had also removed training opportunities in mechanical workshops, roads crews and hospitals. On the Fitzroy River water allocation, Mr McCumstie said the present plan was “not anywhere close” to allaying his concerns. “I don’t want any harm to come to that river,” he said. “I have some grave concerns over the volume of water, how it is taken and what it is used for and the long term benefits across the board for everyone ... who has any association with the Fitzroy River.” He said the Shire was on the right track in bringing in austerity measures to balance the budget, but that council should not get carried away chasing a surplus. “The Shire is not there to make money,” Mr McCumstie said. “If you have stacks of money stashed away I don’t think you are doing your job that well.” Anne Poelina Traditional owner and ex-Broome deputy president Anne Poelina believes there is “nowhere else on the planet” quite like Derby. “There is a river and sea country that is of world value and there is great opportunity to see how we showcase that,” she said. “Derby West Kimberley people are not going anywhere — we live, love and die Kimberley.” “Derby is not Broome.” Ms Poelina believes she has the skills to bring new investment into Derby West Kimberley, which she said was needed to diversify the Shire’s income base. “I am connected globally and nationally and have been talking to a whole lot of different people about how to bring new investment into the Shire should I become successful and I am prepared to bring a whole lot of different types of thinking and entrepreneurship,” she said. “We seriously need new money, new economies, new industries coming into the region and many of the people I am talking about would bring new investment if we are not going to destroy the river, the nature or the place we love.” Of note is Ms Poelina’s posting as the Martuwarra Fitzroy River Council chair, a group consisting of six native title bodies lobbying to protect the river as plans progress to open the area up to irrigated agriculture. Ms Poelina said she did not buy the message agriculture would create jobs for Aboriginal people, but she would bring an open mind to all industries should she sit on council. “We need a way for the Shire of Derby to be the lead agency that puts all of these projects on the table,” she said. “If there is no impact bring it on, if it is going to be destructive ... we need to proceed with caution. “There are some very interesting young entrepreneurial leaders in Derby and I think we need to wrap around those.” Wild harvest, walking and horse riding trails, bird watching and science and ranger programs were among the industries Ms Poelina said had growth potential in the shire. Linda Evans Napier Downs pastoralist Linda Evans has lived in the Kimberley since 2004, with a rich knowledge of the pastoral industry and a love of the land. “It is home, it is where we raised our family,” she said. Finally having the time and energy to give everything to the role, Ms Evans said she wanted to make a difference to the lives of people in the region. “We all sit back and whinge but no one ever ... does anything about it,” she said. “I want to be a voice for the pastoral industry, before I get too old.” The station manager believes she would bing fairness and impartiality to the role, having no family links to the region. “I can be objective, unbiased and take things on their merit,” she said. On the Fitzroy water allocation, Ms Evans said she did not like the idea of damming. “There are other ways to harvest the water and I am strongly against losing holes,” she said. When asked how expectations of the Shire could be fulfilled by the budget, Ms Evans said the local council was ultimately a business. “It is tricky to make any business work,” she said. “But it is not a good idea to wade in before knowing the facts, it’s important to make decisions once you have all the information.” Juvenile crime was an issue Ms Evans identified as “important for everyone to understand”, and one she was interested in educating herself further about. “I would make a dead set concerted effort to better life for everyone in the Kimberley, and to make a difference to the district which has given so much to our family,” she said.