Albert Jacob has always been a keen follower of politics, joining the Liberal Party in his 20s.
However, Mr Jacob’s ambitions were tempered by his belief there was no clear pathway to politics until he reached his 40s.
That changed in the mid-2000s, when the City of Joondalup’s council was dismissed.
“I was 26 years old, studying, doing a bit of work, had a bit of spare time, and I thought, ‘Gee, if they’re ever going to vote for a young guy who’s got no experience, it’s when the previous council has been dismissed’,” Mr Jacob said.
“You never know when those experiences come, so I put my hand up for it and got elected.”
He said the transition was natural, given his background in architecture and desire to better understand planning, development and regulation, and how that applied to decision-making.
When Mr Jacob ran for state parliament in 2009, he saw an opportunity to make his part-time, $7,000 per annum gig a full-time job, while counting himself lucky that the newly created seat took in almost the entirety of his existing council ward.
He served as a minister between 2013 and 2017 before returning to the council as mayor after the Barnett government’s election loss.
While Mr Jacob concedes that mayors do not have the unilateral decision-making power of a minister, he appreciates that he is now able to deliver results and wield significant influence as a representative for the local community.
“I’m pro-development. I’ve never made a secret about that,” he said.
“There were major projects I wanted to see happen here in the northern corridor.
“I’ve spent my life up here, [and] we’ve always waited for that infrastructure pipeline, be it the freeway extension or the railway extension, or the hospital expansion.
“Over my lifetime we’ve been petrified of building anything worthwhile on the coast other than Hillarys Marina; that was opposed, and yet instantly became our second most-visited tourist destination in the state.
“I still have some major projects I want to see here … I’m a believer in that vision of Joondalup as the CBD of the northern corridor and I want to see that happen.”