Shire of Derby-West Kimberley president Geoff Haerewa will step down from his top council position if he is successful in the upcoming State election. The 58-year-old was endorsed as the Liberal candidate for the Kimberley recently and said he is ready for the “uphill battle” for the safe Labor seat. Mr Haerewa was elected back into the council and voted in as president in 2017, following a two year stint in the deputy position from 2007, and has been vocal about key projects and programs across the entire region, as well as youth crime, alcohol-related harm and education. He is a small business owner, former Derby District High School parent council president and has a military background dating to the 1980s. Mr Haerewa said he planned to step down from council if he were to be elected in March, which made the decision to run all the more difficult. “It was not something I took lightly, knowing I would not be able to continue with the shire,” he said. “The passion for Derby and Fitzroy Crossing will always be there, it is where my kids were brought up, my wife is from there and there are fantastic people living and working there.” Mr Haerewa said he put his hand up to contest as the region was “not getting the leadership it needed and deserved.” “I feel the Labor party was never putting enough out to the Kimberley, we were always missing out on things,” he said. “It has been great seeing things like the Kimberley Recovery Plan come up, but even that is focussed only on Broome and not the entire Kimberley. “We have a demographic that needs help in every aspect — community safety, juvenile justice, health, education. “These would be my top priorities, along with economic development and helping Indigenous businesses such as pastoral stations.” Broome woman Divina D’Anna was last month selected to replace outgoing Kimberley MP Josie Farrer as the Labor candidate for the lower house seat, which is currently held by a 13-point margin. It has been in the hands of the party since it was lost by the Liberals in 1980. The Greens and Nationals are yet to announce their candidates for the 2021 election, which is scheduled to take place on March 13.