An India-born businessman has won a local election in Western Australia.
Kevin Michel, a Labor party candidate from Pilbara seat defeated Brendon Grylls of the Nationals Party, with a 13.7% swing in Labor’s favour on a two-party preferred basis.
Michel had campaigned on a platform of jobs opposing Grylls’ proposal for an increase in the iron ore production tax, according to media reports.
“Without the mining companies, there is no community,” Michel had said during his election campaign.
“It was the first time I had ever seen red sand and rocks, and I fell in love with the place,” he said.
Michel was born in India, moved to Australia 27 years ago and to the Pilbara in 2001. He has been living in Karratha for the past 16 years and owns an air conditioning business.
The Western Australia state election was held on March 11 this year to elect members to the state Parliament including all 59 seats in Legislative Assembly and all 36 seats in the Legislative Council.
Grylls expressed confidence the party would “rebuild” without him and “continue fighting for regional Western Australia”.
Grylls had wanted to increase a 25 cent per tonne iron ore lease rental fee imposed on the two miners to Australian dollars 5 per tonne.