Karratha educator to run for Labor in Durack

Alicia PereraPilbara News
Labor candidate for Durack Sharyn Morrow.
Camera IconLabor candidate for Durack Sharyn Morrow. Credit: Alicia Perera

Karratha-based higher education co-ordinator Sharyn Morrow has been named the WA Labor candidate for the seat of Durack at the upcoming Federal election.

Ms Morris moved to the North West two years ago, where she works as the Pilbara study hub co-ordinator for CQUniversity, chairs the Pilbara Community Legal Service and is membership officer for the Karratha SES unit.

A former resident of Brisbane, Melbourne and regional Victoria, she said she had been struck by the level of isolation in regional WA on moving to Karratha and wanted to improve awareness of the challenges associated with that on a national stage.

“From living in other major centres and then moving here, there are a lot of opportunities that we’re not able to engage in here because of the level of remoteness, and I think that’s the same across this electorate,” she said.

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“In regional Queensland or Victoria, towns are fairly close together so you can pop over and do something there, but we can’t do that and I feel politicians don’t understand that. The tyranny of distance is huge.”

Ms Morrow said improving access to healthcare and education, promoting tourism, streamlining services across the electorate where possible and growing local jobs would be her priorities during the election.

She said the lack of important services available in the electorate was her key concern.

“The Pilbara community in particular is actually the economic powerhouse of Australia, but families don’t stay here because there’s nothing for the kids once they get to a certain age, and people don’t retire here, so we have this intermittent, transient type of population that’s not in line with normal population statistics,” she said.

“Services are really important for people who live in Durack, and for our community to continue to grow we’ve got to provide those services and I think at the moment we probably miss out a fair bit.”

Ms Morrow said if she won the seat, she would also like to set up an an electorate office in the Pilbara, which currently lacks such a base for the sitting Durack member.

She will be travelling to all urban centres in Durack in the lead-up to the election, including Hedland, Broome, Geraldton and Carnarvon.

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