The Liberal Party launched its Central Wheatbelt campaign last Sunday at the Northam Country Club.
The evening’s entertainment included The Perth Hills and Wheatbelt Band, singer Debbie Hughes and a speech by Hon James Chown MLC and local candidate Bill Crabtree.
The party announced Bill as its candidate in October last year. In the past, Mr Crabtree worked for the Department of Agriculture and the No-Till Farmers Association before becoming a farm consultant and farmer.
At a recent sundowner held by the Liberal Party, Mr Crabtree spoke of his passion for sustainable agriculture in his opening speech.
“My track record has demonstrated that I am really in it for Agriculture,” he said. “I’ve helped farmers to adopt no tillage and GM technology and canola. Mr Crabtree then acknowledged his wife Monique and son James.
“We travel the world with a lot of farmers and we see good things happening around the world – and we learn from them. “What I have learned more recently is that we are slipping behind in Western Australia.”
In addition to sustainable agriculture, Mr Crabtree said he stands for safer and wider roads, continued arts funding, improved education options, more employment and apprenticeships, pathways to reduce the ice epidemic, creating better telecommunications and reliable electrical power.
Since starting his campaign, Mr Crabtree said he has learned a few key things from the community. “The level of unemployment is higher than i thought,” he said.
“Power supply is not good enough in some regions.” The candidate said he also found that water for garden maintenance is too expensive and cheap rural housing is creating some social challenges.
In response to being asked what the main difference was between himself and Wheatbelt member Mia Davies, Mr Crabtree responded: “I will renew wheatbelt prosperity, Mia nor the Nationals, have been able to improve wheatbelt prosperity.”
- See next week's issue of The Advocate for another candidate profile.