After 16 years in local government, and 10 years as Collie Shire president, Wayne Sanford says it is time for him to kick back and hand over the reins to a fresh group of leaders.
Extremely proud of his time on council, Mr Sanford says he can look back on years spent improving Collie for the community. “I am extremely proud of the good things we have achieved during my time on council. I had a good team of councillors and we got things done,” he said.
One of the highlights in his early time on council was having the Town Planning Scheme changed.
Mr Sanford said the scheme was nearly 30 years out of date, and it was difficult convincing some sections of the community that it had to change. “But in the end, we got there,” he said.
Other achievements that stand out for Mr Sanford is getting Collie included in the state government’s Regional Centres Development Plan, Super Towns, and being able to deliver on much needed investment in the town.
Now though, Mr Sanford feels it is time to take a break and spend more time with his wife and children, some of whom live in Perth.
And catching up on a few hobbies is something he is also looking forward to - chief among those is fishing.
“I have a boat that hasn’t seen the water in years so I am looking forward to going out in it again,” he said.
And reading, another hobby of Mr Sanford’s, is something he is looking forward to taking up again. “For the past 10 years most of my reading consisted of council reports, agendas and documents so I would like to read something different.”
As for any regrets, Mr Sanford said he was an aspirational kind of person and liked to think that during his time lots was achieved for the community. “We’ve done a really good job of trying to balance the cost of rates versus the infrastructure and amenity that the community required. We did the best we can with what we had.”
He said it was tough at times and he would really like to see more money and resource for local government.
Mr Sanford said he appreciated the support of the community during his time on council. “It was outstanding and I hope I was able to deliver for the community during my time. I did my best and I am sure those following will do the same.”
He said people in Collie who put their hand up for local government were usually people who genuinely wanted to make a difference to their community.
Mr Sanford said though his time on council was over he was not retiring from public life just yet. “I don’t feel like I’m finished with public life and maybe opportunities will present themselves in the future where I can still make a contribution.”