Creating more blue collar jobs to help address Western Australia’s unemployment crisis is the top priority for new Burns Beach MLA Mark Folkard.
With the WAEC having declared the result, Mark Folkard defeated outgoing Liberal MLA Albert Jacob by securing 52.5 per cent of the two party preferred vote. This represents a swing of 13.9 per cent to WA Labor.
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A decorated police officer for the past 27 years, Mr Folkard has served both the local northern suburbs community and Australia overseas by helping to establish the East Timor Police Force during the country’s struggle for independence.
Mr Folkard said he had seen the consequences of rising unemployment on WA communities and will advocate to expedite government projects to help create new jobs without delay.
Mr Folkard, who describes himself as “dedicated”, said his clear head and ability to work well under pressure were key attributes he would bring to his new post.
“As a police officer, I have seen the very best and worst in our community and have worked on many projects with a variety of stakeholders implementing strategies that will deal with issues like crime, youth disadvantage and unemployment,” he said.
“These experiences have given me great insight into the work a local member should do to support their community being safe and prosperous”.
“Serving in East Timor during their struggle for independence, I had to work in dangerous and difficult circumstances. That has given me a sense of calmness under pressure, an ability to negotiate and work with all stakeholders for mutually beneficial outcomes, and leadership qualities that will serve me well in achieving positive outcomes for Burns Beach.”
A big believer in the value of volunteerism, Mr Folkard has served as a volunteer firefighter and surf life saver.
“Having talked with families over many months during the election campaign I know that unemployment is the primary concern that they have”.
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