Last week Opposition Leader Mark McGowan announced Ms Destree would be Labor’s candidate for the newly rezoned Kalamunda electorate.
Cr Destree, who represents the North Ward in Kalamunda, said living in the Hills and being elected as a local councillor in 2015 helped her understand the local issues and appreciate that Kalamunda is a place of great community spirit, with a real desire for change.
Ms Destree had a landslide victory in last year’s local government elections. With 30 per cent of ratepayers voting, Cr Destree won the seat with 58.31 per cent of the vote.
Her nearest rivals were Richard Larsen on 21.29 per cent and the former councillor, Margaret Thomas on 20.41 per cent.
Cr Destree’s term is due to expire on October 19, 2019. If she is successful in winning the seat, she will be vacating her place on the council, which could lead to a by-election.
Cr Destree said Kalamunda was a major focus for Labor.
“People want change. This is winnable.
“There is a lack of direction in planning and if elected, this will be a major focus for change, when the area should be the jewel in the Perth Hills but had suffered from serious vision and planning failures,” she said.
Cr Destree said she would be working to shift the focus back to Kalamunda.
“We can have sustainable development that embraces our heritage, arts and environmental values.
“I believe that this will be an election for local people on local issues. With Metronet’s introduction, I will be working to continue to improve safe transport connections to the Hills.”
Cr Destree said that aged care remained a top priority for Kalamunda as well because “we need to meet this need and support families to live in their communities”.
Her working background has been as a scientist and she is currently working in risk management.
Kalamunda has been left behind, while other centres like Armadale, Midland and Vic Park have all shown change at a local level, she said.
“This has been a missed opportunity I would like to reverse.
“I was thrilled about Labor’s Science policy… offering real opportunities for our schools.”
Since coming to office Cr Destree has been passionate about the catastrophic fire risk of living in the Hills.
“We need to protect our volunteer firefighters, our people, our homes and our valued native fauna and flora.
“The canopy has also been eroded and I think we need to work to protect that in the Hills without inviting a fire, but also as a connection point with our environment because that is why we chose to live there.”
Mr McGowan said he was delighted to have such an accomplished local candidate.
“She has held senior positions in government, in the resources and oil and gas industries and has run her own consultancy as a professional risk manager.
“She has worked on company and NFP Boards and her experience on the Kalamunda Shire Council demonstrates her commitment to work for the local community.”