Straight-talking Collie minister will retire to the town he loves

Headshot of Shannon Verhagen
Shannon VerhagenSouth Western Times
MLA for Collie Mick Murray in the Collie forest.
Camera IconMLA for Collie Mick Murray in the Collie forest. Credit: Sharon Smith The West Australian

After two decades in the game, Collie’s “fierce, straight-talking” Mick Murray has announced he is retiring from politics.

Come 2021’s March election, the Minister for Sport and Recreation, Seniors and Ageing, and Volunteering and Collie-Preston MLA will be stepping back from politics to retire in his beloved home town of Collie.

He’ll be swapping tackling the big issues in Parliament for a tackle box and campaigning for caravanning as he enters his next chapter, focusing on family and a spot of fishing.

The grandfather to three and great-grandfather to two was feeling “relaxed” following the decision, and felt privileged to have been in the role.

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“To have people put their trust in you, I haven’t taken it lightly,” he said. “What I’m really pleased about is connecting with the community.”

After 20 years he will be leaving behind a lasting impression, securing a number of major projects including a $10 million Collie Adventure Trails plan, a new $8million DFES multipurpose bushfire facility and $1million for the restoration of Collie’s historic Roundhouse.

He has also watched his electorate grow and the demographics change, with developments in Eaton, Treendale and Capel causing the population to skyrocket from 13,000 to 28,000 from 2001-2017.

He hoped whoever took over would “keep country towns on the map.”

“There’s over 100 local communities from Boddington to Tone Bridge and everywhere in between, and it’s important they continue to look at all towns big and small and make sure the country has a voice.”

He also hoped they would look outside of coal for the future of the region and develop its tourism potential, using Margaret River as an example.

“50 years ago it was just cows down there, and look at it now – its world renowned,” he said.

“I don’t see why we can’t do the same here.”

Premier Mark McGowan congratulated Mr Murray on a decorated political career and thanked the “fierce, straight-talking advocate for the people of Collie-Preston” for his outstanding service to WA.

"In the history of the WA Parliament, there has been no greater representative of the community of Collie,” he said. “…He has worked tirelessly to deliver better health and education services, and improvements to dangerous local roads.”

"…As a result of Mick’s advocacy, Collie's future is looking extremely strong and confidence is returning to the community.”

"…I thank Mick for his years of service to his electorate, and Western Australia, and wish him and his family well for the next chapter of their lives."

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