Councillor profiles Michelle Rich President Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale

Article image - Councillor profiles  Michelle Rich President Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale

Serpentine Jarrahdale is an outer-metropolitan area of Perth which is home to fast-growing urban cells, farming and agricultural areas, historical towns as well as significant forests and
national parks.

The shire’s natural environment features the only Northern Jarrah Forest in the world with many other outstanding attractions including Serpentine Falls, Serpentine Dam and our range of walking, riding and equine trails.

The shire also has a proud history of being one of Perth’s most recognised and celebrated equine regions.

I love our natural environment and all it has to offer our residents and visitors, given our close proximity to Perth. I enjoy what my local government area offers, being involved with local events and the outdoors with my family, especially with my four grandchildren.

Community voice
I am the office manager for my family business. This gives me insights into the issues faced by small business and the ability to manage the shire’s finances objectively. I was elected to Council in October 2015 and have been Shire President since October 2017. My motivation for being involved in local government is to ensure our community has a strong voice in representing them in managing our shire’s hyper-population growth, to ensure we have sustainable, environmentally sound development that protects the character, lifestyle and history of our area.

Fastest growing LGA
As the fastest growing local government in Western Australia, we have almost two new families move to our shire every day.
This hyper-population growth means we need to appropriately maintain existing roads and infrastructure, while also ensuring we plan and deliver new services and facilities to meet the needs of our growing community.

Over the past nine months, in the lead up to the March state election, we have been advocating to the major political parties on our priorities and requests to fund critical projects, including our
Hypergrowth Road Network Implementation Plan, Keirnen Park Sporting and Recreation Precinct and the Byford Health Hub.
We have received $20 million from the State Government to deliver stage 1 of the Keirnen Park Sporting and Recreation Precinct.
Our Hypergrowth Road Network Implementation Plan identifies 129km of our road network that requires upgrading, while Council recently endorsed the Byford Health Hub Business Case.

We continue to advocate to the State and Federal governments to secure funding to deliver these two important projects.
In November 2020, the State Government announced it was investigating expanding the Byford Rail Extension project scope to include a modern elevated rail component.

Elevated rail, including an elevated train station in Byford, has been Council’s long-term preference, and will help connect the Byford town centre and support it to grow into a vibrant city centre.

On being a councillor
I enjoy being able to help our community and act as a conduit between Council and the residents.

My main frustration is there are so many things to do and not enough hours in the day.

Over the past several years, Council has worked extremely hard identifying the needs and aspirations of our community, and outlining them in our relevant plans and strategies. We have been quite successful in our advocacy in the lead up to the March WA state election with funding commitments from both major parties. Over the next few years, I look forward to working with Council and our administration in delivering on these plans and strategies and making the projects and initiatives a reality so we can continue to grow and welcome more residents, businesses and visitors to our region.