Focus on homeless people in hometown: Ron Bertelsen makes his argument to voters in Geraldton
A self-proclaimed “open book,” Ron Bertelsen says he is a desperate liar.
And while those attributes likely don’t allow Mr. Bertelsen to be successful in state or federal government politics, he believes his straightforward and honest approach will serve him well on a local council.
The community service worker – employed at Regional Alliance West Geraldton as a team leader for its prisoner reintegration program – is one of 13 candidates vying for a place on the city council of Greater Geraldton.
Seven positions are to be filled during the biannual municipal elections of October 16.
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Mr Bertelsen, born and raised in Geraldton, struggled to get elected to the board in 2019, but was unsuccessful.
This time around, his campaign is focused on implementing a strategy to tackle homelessness, achieving a zero carbon footprint, boosting tourism in the Abrolhos Islands and creating a shelter. evacuation site dedicated to Geraldton.
A father of two, Mr Bertelsen said he wanted his daughters to grow up in a city where they wanted to start their own families.
“I want to be involved in the city to move forward,” he said.
“I have a two and a half year old daughter and I want the city to be a better place to be when she grows up.
According to Mr. Bertelsen, his grandfather moved to Geraldton in the 1930s and was one of the first people to get into crayfish fishing in the Abrolhos Islands.
But Mr Bertelsen said the incredibly beautiful archipelago is not reaching its full potential as a tourist destination.
“He wants to see it open up more to ordinary people, but in a way that protects businesses and the environment,” he said.
“It’s an underutilized resource just off our shores.
As a community worker who sees firsthand the struggles of Geraldton’s most disadvantaged, Mr. Bertelsen wants the city to tackle homelessness head-on.
“We have people who live in poverty,” he said. “You bring someone into a house, so that’s the starting point. When they earn money, they spend money. You have to start at the bottom. One of the things I insisted on a few years ago when I ran for city council was implementing a homelessness plan. Two years later, they realize that this is a problem and that there needs to be a plan or a strategy for the homeless.
Praising the city’s foreshore, Mr Bertelsen said it was time to spruce up the outer suburbs.
“The foreshore looks great, but attention needs to start shifting to the suburbs,” he said. “If we want more people to move here, we need nice neighborhoods to live in. “