Kevin Michel swapped the metropolis of Melbourne for country life in Karratha 16 years ago and has not looked back.
“I was working in the air-conditioning business doing warranty work fly-in, fly-out a few days at a time and I fell in love with the Pilbara so made the decision to live up here permanently,” he said.
“The lifestyle is excellent – four-wheel-driving, camping, it’s fantastic.”
With the WAEC having declared the result, Kevin Michel defeated outgoing Nationals MLA Brendon Grylls by securing 52.3 per cent of the two party preferred vote. This represents a swing of 13.8 per cent to WA Labor.
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After moving to WA from Melbourne in 1998, Mr Michel initially lived in Perth and worked for an air-conditioning business servicing customers in Karratha, Port Hedland, Tom Price and Newman before he took up a role at the Woodside gas plant for four years.
In 2006, he married his wife in Dampier and they moved to Karratha, where the couple made their home.
In 2010, he started his own air-conditioning business in Karratha and Port Hedland.
Through his strong links to the Pilbara business community, Mr Michel became keenly aware of the Liberal-National Government’s lack of foresight and investment in the region.
Mr Michel, who describes himself as “hard-working, honest and upfront” is involved in fundraising for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, St Vincent de Paul, the Cancer Council and St Peter’s Dampier Church and St Paul’s Catholic Church.
A keen fisherman, four-wheel-driving enthusiast and camper, Mr Michel loves nothing more than a weekend travelling the West Australian coast – anywhere from Esperance to Port Hedland.
“We have seen a lot of projects in town not going to local businesses. One of my first tasks is to make sure we have local jobs for local people and people up here are getting a good share of the economic benefits of these projects”.
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