17 March 2024

Scharf, Robins, Gordon complete new WTA lineup

| Lyndon Keane
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Lisa Scharf says she is “very happy” to have been elected to one of the three vacant WTA member positions at the weekend. Photo: Supplied.

Voters have elected Lisa Scharf, Geoff Robins and Trent Gordon to the three vacant Weipa Town Authority (WTA) member positions.

The trio will join incoming chair Jaime Gane, who was elected unopposed and will replace the long-serving Michael Rowland, who announced earlier this year he would not seek re-election.

Six candidates had thrown their hat in the ring to fill the vacancies, with WTA returning officer Nicky Perriman announcing the result of the quadrennial election via social media on Saturday night.

READ ALSO WTA candidates make their case for Weipa representation

Ms Gane said she was thrilled to be lining up to lead a team she described as passionate community advocates with a broad range of skills.

“I’m really happy with the outcome of the election,” she said on 17 March.

“They are all great people who are passionate about our community, and each brings a different set of skills and knowledge.

“I think I’m most looking forward to working with an awesome team, both the new members and the WTA staff [and] I’m very optimistic that, together, we will be able to achieve some great outcomes for the community.”

Geoff Robins, pictured with his wife, Rose, and children, Ayda and Olive, has thanked the Weipa community for showing its support for his WTA leadership ambition. Photo: Supplied.

The WTA leadership team is expected to meet this week and Ms Gane said the first item of business would be getting the new members up to speed on existing projects and operational matters.

“Our first priority will just be getting the new members up to speed on where we currently sit, and hearing their thoughts,” she explained.

“It will be good to get a fresh perspective on things.”

Ms Scharf said she was “very happy” to have been elected and was looking forward to getting down to business.

“I am keen to be part of a great team, listen to the people, and do my very best to represent the community and their needs,” she said.

“Weipa had a great turnout and I want to thank everyone who voted.”

READ ALSO Incoming WTA chair puts bullseye on locally-driven Weipa growth

Mr Robins praised the Weipa community for the volume of voters who had their say, adding he was still coming to terms with being elected.

“It is an amazing, and still surreal, feeling finding out that I had been elected as a WTA member,” he said.

“Given the calibre of the candidates, there was never a sense of any certainty, and I left the polling booths on Saturday afternoon feeling that it really could have gone to any of us.

“I feel incredibly grateful knowing that so many people in this community have put their faith in me to represent them.”

The newly-elected members will join Rio Tinto representatives Tim Ryan and Aaron Schleich, and Jackie Malacoola, who represents the Alngith Traditional Owners, as the full WTA representative body.

Trent Gordon campaigned for WTA representation on an economic diversity platform. Photo: Supplied.

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