New Bunbury MLA Don Punch says he will draw on his business acumen to restore the confidence of business to invest and provide jobs across the South-West.
With the WAEC having declared the result, Mr Punch secured 60.8 per cent of the two-party preferred vote. This represents a swing of 23 per cent to WA Labor.
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Mr Punch is well-placed to get results in his new role, with a strong background in government and knowledge of the region honed over 18 years at the helm of the South West Development Commission.
Describing himself as “strategic and focused”, Mr Punch has extensive experience working in regional Western Australia, including on key infrastructure projects, trade facilitation and community and economic planning.
As the SWDC chief executive officer from 1998 to 2016, he built a detailed knowledge of the region’s economy and social infrastructure and has strongly represented the region’s needs to all governments.
At the SWDC, Mr Punch guided the South-West economy towards a new future based on trade and export facilitation and improved logistics to support business and investment growth.
He has been a strong supporter of small and medium enterprise and has an in-depth knowledge across many sectors, including tourism and emerging creative and technology-based industries.
Mr Punch has served as the chair of the Bunbury Port Liaison Committee and has overseen the business case development for major new projects including, the Busselton Airport and the Bunbury Waterfront.
Prior to joining the SWDC, Mr Punch worked in community development and family support services for 18 years. This experience enabled him a greater understanding of the importance of human services, including family support, child care and mental health.
Away from work, Mr Punch is a father-of-three grown-up children to his wife Helen and together the couple are carers for his mother-in-law who is 91 and lives with them.
Mr Punch has a MBA, Bachelor of Psychology, Bachelor of Social Work and is a graduate of the Australian Company of Directors.
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