Carol Adams’ failed tilt at state politics during the 2008 state election may have worked out for the best from the perspective of the 40,000 or so residents in the City of Kwinana.
Ms Adams missed out on pre-selection for Labor (to Roger Cook) for the then newly created state seat of Kwinana, ran as an independent, but ultimately was unsuccessful.
Ms Adams said her value as an independent became clear upon her return to council, as she dealt with the complacency that had developed among decision-makers in the traditionally left-leaning locale.
She said her challenge to the established order had brought positive results, with an increase in the investment that flowed to the area post-2008 evidence her campaign had achieved what it had set out to.
“While I may not have won the seat, ultimately, I’ve still worked very well with Roger [Cook],” Ms Adams said.
“Running for politics was about getting attention to the City of Kwinana, and I feel I achieved that.”
Ms Adams has spent 23 years bringing attention to Kwinana.
She arrived in the city a single mother studying law and in need of an affordable area to live.
She recalls being enamoured with the community and personalities, but aghast at the city’s challenges, including its poorly connected infrastructure, and economic malaise following a downturn in industrial activity in the 1980s.
Ms Adams was first elected to council in 1997 and became mayor less than a decade later.
“There seemed to be an acceptance by the people who were living here that this was as good as it gets with much of the services and infrastructure,” she said.
“I disagreed with that.
“I thought there was no reason why Kwinana shouldn’t have the services, infrastructure and opportunities that many of the other metropolitan councils enjoyed.
“I suppose to that end I wanted to contribute to the economic planning and prosperity for the city and drive the change that was needed to arrive at that point.”